Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guest Blogger: Manny Gonzalez Reviews Barcelona Restaurants - #BarcelonaSpain

Barcelona, Spain has been home to the artists Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Antoni Gaudi. This Spanish city, in fact, nurtured these artists. This tolerance (a better word is "appreciation") of the eccentric, even weird, can be seen and felt in Barcelona in its architecture and unique Catalan culture, including cuisine.

The following reviews of some restaurants in Barcelona, Spain are reprinted by permission of the author, Manny Gonzalez.  A resident of Whistler, Canada, Manny Gonzalez is a Director/shareholder at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan, Philippines. He travels extensively and enjoys reviewing the hotels and restaurants he's visited.

These reviews first appeared in TripAdvisor.Thanks to Manny Gonzalez for sharing these reviews in my blog.

Boca Grande - 3 Stars
Passalge de la Concepcio 12

Lovely Interior But ...
Personnel stiff and unhelpful, especially the maitre d', who looks and dresses very downscale relative to the decor. . . Seating uncomfortable. . . Food variable. Their fried-shrimp appetizer was sweet and succulent, the paella fishy (common in Barcelona, but at this price you hope for better). Somewhat annoying was that the waiters clearly have been given lines to use with tourists groups, so as to give an impression of being outgoing and jovial. And their "insider's tip" is always the whole fresh fish ("which just happens to be perfect for the size of your party"), paired with paella.

Cinco Jotas - 4 Stars
Rambla Catalunya, 91
Jamon, Tapas, and Tenderloin

I had a very good filet mignon style steak with crispy fries. It had a rich, meaty flavor similar to the best I have had around North America and Asia. However, most people seem to come for the tapas and the ham; their ham is apparently well-regarded by locals, and it has a busy takeout counter. My glass of red wine (there are several choices, mine was Monty) was exceptional, considering the price (3.10). Servers are friendly and obviously accustomed to handling many tourists in big groups. Only drawbacks are the seating, which is uncomfortable, and the customers, who are, like me, tourists. But if you are dining on Rambla de Catalunya, and your Spanish is patchy (or even if it's good), this is a good choice.


Farga Beethoven - 4 Stars
Beethoven, 11
Good Eats in a Less-Touristy Part of Town

You would not go out of your way to come here, but if you are in the neighborhood, this is convenient and good. It is quite near Turo Park, so if you are in the area to shop or meet up with friends, I would recommend Farga. A friend and I had lentils with foie gras (quite good), risotto with shrimps (okay, but a little gritty), and small sandwiches (good). Service was friendly and tgere seemed to be a steady turnover of regulars.


La Bodegueta - 4 Stars
Rambla de Catalunya 100

Busy, Lively, Food Variable

Has some imaginative tapas, but not all of those we ordered were really tasty. Their foie gras, though, was rather good, better than in many restaurants in Paris that I just tried. This is not a place for serious eating. Rather, it is a place to drink with friends in a crowded and fun atmosphere


Bopan Rambla - 4 Stars
Rambla Catalunya 119
For a Quick Bite

Has modestly-priced quick meals such as quiche, roast chicken, sandwiches. Though the food isn't great (and the fries are quite bad, by European standards), it's mostly okay, and the price is modest. This place draws a steady flow of localsfor snacks or quick meals. The interior is nice, with a "period" bar look to it, and attractive food displays.


Ciudad Condal - 5 Stars
Rambla de Catalunya, 18
Great Location, Solid Food

An excellent place for a quick snack or heavier meal. The location at the bottom of Rambla Catalunya, just off the Plaza, is very good for both tourists and locals. Small sandwiches were nice (good ham, better bread than typical in this city), fried squid was superb (light, crunchy, no batter -just a dusting of flour before deep-frying). Finally, efficient and friendly staff (not as common in Barcelona as one would wish).


Casa Alfonso - 4 Stars
Roger de Lluria (10 o 14 approx)
Solid Choice

When looking for a tapas bar near Plaza Catalunya, consider this. Very popular with locals, and just far enough (2 short blocks) from the plaza to lose most tourists, it offers a wide choice of tapas, most of them quite good. Pisto Manchego (a vegetable dish from La Mancha) was surprisingly good. The pan con tomate (Spanish bare-bones bruschetta) was amazing, better than a lot of other places in town. Seating is cramped and noisy, and we saw not a single tourist table (I was with locals)

Read also
Manny Gonzalez Reviews Paris Restaurants
 Travel: Eiffel Tower Madness!

Tags: food, drink, restaurants, Barcelona, Spain, Manny Gonzalez, travel, reviews, gourmet, #Barcelona

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