Americans love their endless unlimited refills and salad bars. Britons fancy their cup of tea and three-tier desserts. But what about Spaniards?
In Spain, TAPAS are the rage. Why? I am not completely sure, to be honest. However, I believe that since it is a quick and easy meal that can be consumed at any time of day, it serves as a convenience to the locals.
Most tapas are served at bars but a few restaurants also have tapas options as well. The best way to indulge in tapas is at the bar with a glass of wine or beer.
During my time in Barcelona I visited two different tapas bar/restaurants on days that I did not visit Obama: Ciudad Condal/Ciutat Comtal and Txapela.
Ciudad Condal, also known as Ciutat Comtal because of the Catalan language, is a tapas bar that offers seating in two ways: bar or table stools. I sat in the high chairs at the table stools and we were offered a menu. the menu listed all the tapas but the downside was we did not get any pictures to accommodate the description. If you sit in the bar then you are able to choose tapas by pointing at them, directly, rather than ordering from a menu.
I ordered the Spanish Omelette and the vegetable tapas, which offered asparagus and mushroom grilled in olive oil. The Spanish Omelette was amazingly delicious, it ended up being my favorite Spanish dish. The omelette came out fresh as the baguette was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside because of the tomato juice/sauce/extract. Then the omelette was airy and soft. The potatoes were in cubes but it was soft enough to melt in your mouth with the egg. Eating the omelette on its own was just as delicious as eating it in a sandwich form. I ate the bread last with the vegetables and indulged in the omelette by itself.
During my time in Spain, it was hard to come across vegetables; therefore, I was really happy when I saw in the menu there was a tapas that had only vegetables. The asparagus and mushrooms were nicely grilled, not burned, and slathered in olive oil making it a great topping for the baguette.
The dessert was consumed by my friends and they enjoyed the dish. However, they could not finish the wine that came with the pastry as it was too strong for them.
Overall, I really enjoyed Ciudad Condal and recommend it to those visiting Barcelona. It is located in the city center, right next to Obama. I went during lunch time and there was only a 15 minute wait; however, we once went at night and they told us it would be a 2 hour wait. I would suggest going during lunch or afternoon before the night rush.
Address: Rambla de Catalunya, 18, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Txapela is known to serve only tapas. They have an extensive range of tapas and their menu offers graphics to tourists. I had high expectations before going into the restaurant; however, I came out disappointed with both the food and the service.
The service was not that great and the language barrier is understandable; however, how they treated us was not pleasant. They kept forgetting our order and would try to charge us for a meal we did not even receive. They kept rushing us when we wanted time to pick and select our tapas. Although not all of our tapas came out the ones that did come out, it was served cold. I was disappointed with the cod omelette as I expected it to be just as delicious as the one in Ciudad Condal but boy was I wrong. It was cold and not soft, there were parts that were hard. The baguette was super hard to bite into, which made the tasting experience unpleasant and painful. The salmon tapas was overfilled with way too much cream cheese and too little salmon.
There are several Txapela; however, the one I went to was not fun so I do not recommend it, whatsoever. If you really want to check this place out I suggest visiting the one in Gracia there were more people there than the one I went to.
Address (to avoid): Plaça de Catalunya, 8, 08007 Barcelona, Spain