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#331 joethefoodie

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:31 PM

We did this (and more)in a leisurely way, which is why we didn't get to Montserrat. Even so, I missed the Picasso Museum (I mentioned the line, above) the Monestir de Sant Paul del Camp, and the Tapies Museum, but, hey,, you can't see everything in just a week.

The Tapies Foundation is stunning; one of Spain's greatest artists, he just passed away at the age of 88 this past February.

Our experience with the food and the people of Barcelona only made us want to go back as soon as we can. From a 9 course, 45 euro meal at Restaurant Gelonch, to the amazing tapas at Quimet et Quimet, the jamon tasting at Jamonisimo and the martinis at Dry Martini, we thought Barcelona was a blast. Perhaps that's because we traveled in late November, not exactly the height of the tourist season, and we avoided areas like Las Ramblas and El Born just as we avoid Times Square and Avenues A & B on Friday and Saturday nights.

A week was barely enough.

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#332 Lippy

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:21 PM

A week was barely enough.

I agree. But our next stop in Europe is Venice. Then, maybe back to Barcelona. If we do go back, I think I may want to rent an apartment...with a kitchen, not too far from La Boqueria.

#333 joethefoodie

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:08 AM


A week was barely enough.

I agree. But our next stop in Europe is Venice. Then, maybe back to Barcelona. If we do go back, I think I may want to rent an apartment...with a kitchen, not too far from La Boqueria.

That's how we did it...we were very close to a great market, Mercat de la Concepcio, where I was able to stock up our kitchen - although the only meals I prepared were breakfasts. It is nice to be able to brew some coffee before heading out.

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#334 Chambolle

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:49 PM

Our experience with the food and the people of Barcelona only made us want to go back as soon as we can. From a 9 course, 45 euro meal at Restaurant Gelonch ...

Gelonch, eh ... hmmmm ... made ya want to go back, eh ...

Chambo, less so ...

While having that recent unmitigated disaster of a meal at Gelonch that I hinted at somewhere, I was seated next to a gregarious, gastronomic-going Parisian couple. During our interminable waits for plates, while sweating rivers due to a broken A/C system in high-humidity August and swilling warm white wine*, we talked Parisian restos ...

* " Why warm white wine, Chambo?


* because they had no ice cubes !

No fuckin' ice cubes ! Not one !

When was the last time you went to a resto aspiring for a Michelin star that couldn't chill a white wine ?

and this was totally unrelated to the A/C problems.

Did I mention that the meal starts with my asking for agua con gas and they said that they had no bubbly water ???!!!??

"You don't serve bubbly water here?"
"We ran out."
"Ran out? I just walked by three places that are open and selling it?"
"Oh really?"
"Yeah. Can I go get you some? It would be my pleasure."
"Oh no, that's not necessary" (I think to myself : ummmm, it IS NECESSARY ! A customer just requested some !!!)
"I'll call them ! Really, no worries. There's a place 50 meters from here. They'll walk it over in a minute, they weren't busy at all!"

WTF ! Are you kidding me ! It is acceptable not to have bubbly water when it is being sold on within a sand wedge of your location ?

I just had their flat water instead, which started semi-cool and slowly but surely rose towards 90-ish degrees.

Actually the meal didn't start as I just described - I'm misreprenting the situation.

The meal started by their telling me that I couldn't order the full tasting menu (but that's why I came)... and on and on and on it went ...

Wait wait wait, I'm forgetting a good one. They actually said to me "How would you like to come back another night ?"

I laughed and said "Come back another night ? It's past 10pm right now. What do you recommend that I do for dinner tonight ? I'm kinda hungry and I'm standing in the restaurant where I have a reservation ? "

Other than the broken A/C, their reasons and excuses throughout the night were so searingly pathetic that your jaw truly drops.

This was such an inexcusable amateur hour that it was mind-blowing.

They had a full house dining and they were massively understaffed. But they assured me that was not the case in later discussion.

They had 2 front of house ... that's it for upstairs and downstairs ... they need at least four to pull off any reasonable service when full ... and the kitchen was clearly understaffed too ... dishes took forever to arrive and then they arrived when the dirty prior plate and utensils were still sitting there, causing a laughable juggling act (once resulting in food from the arriving plate falling off the plate and onto the table, causing them to apologize and make Chambo a new version that arrived who the hell knows how much longer ... I knew early on that I should have just walked out but it was late late late and I was already here and I was tired tired tired ... post-juggling, when the plate was put down, then no utensils FOR FIVE MINUTES cuz no one was seen on the upstairs premises for 5 minutes ! (I was just about to walk downstairs, say not a word and simply find and grab myself my utensils)... it was continuous like this .... continuous ! ... my warm white wine waits in the warm, iceless water bucket at a separate table and it waits and waits and waits. But my glass has been empty for another FIVE MINUTES ! I finally stand up and grab my bottle, pour myself a glass and place it on my table ... While up, I bow and ask my equally-thirty Parisian neighbors if I could humbly replenish their glasses from their bottle "Oui, monsieur, ca sera gentille. Tres gentille ! We'll soon make lemonade out of lemons and laugh at the ludicrousness of the experience. But frankly, I should be slightly pissed at them ... because as I sat down and waited waited waited for someone to take my order or ask if I wanted some (cold) liquid refreshment in the upstairs sauna, I noticed that not a single service person could be seen for ten minutes. I had politely asked my Parisian sauna-mates if the pace of their meal was proceeding reasonably. They told me yes. They lied.

The next night, when I enter Hisop, guess who's there ! My Parisian sauna-mates from the night before. We nod and smile at each other. While passing by their table shortly thereafter to use the facilities, I'll wink and say "C'est bien, diner avec la clime ... non ? to which they respond "Air-conditioning - one of man's great inventions! " to which I respond "And service, too! "

Hisop was enjoyable. (By the way, I counted 6 service people at Hisop.)

#335 joethefoodie

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

Our experience with the food and the people of Barcelona only made us want to go back as soon as we can. From a 9 course, 45 euro meal at Restaurant Gelonch ...

Gelonch, eh ... hmmmm ... made ya want to go back, eh ...

Chambo, less so ...


Yeah, well - that's what makes the world go 'round for joethefoodie, I guess.

Truly sorry for your bad experience. How was the price/value?

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#336 joethefoodie

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

Our experience with the food and the people of Barcelona only made us want to go back as soon as we can. From a 9 course, 45 euro meal at Restaurant Gelonch ...

Gelonch, eh ... hmmmm ... made ya want to go back, eh ...

Chambo, less so ...



Yeah, well - that's what makes the world go 'round, I guess.

Sorry for your bad experience. How was the price/value?

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#337 Chambolle

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:08 PM

Sorry for your bad experience.

No apologies necessary. Chambo is a big boy and, unlike, hmmmm, how many ... 47% 53% 99% ... hmmmm, not really sure how many, but unlike many Americans, he takes full responsibility for his actions and his decisions.

How was the price/value?

How was the price ?

Well, on the surface, the price is extremely fair - 56 euros for 10 plates.

But then, account for the obligatory cost to dryclean your shirt and pants afterwards (because you didn't realize that you were going to be eating in a sauna and hence forgot to pack your bathing suit) and the prices mounts.

Then account for the semi-necessary, unanticipated phone meeting with your shrink because you are convinced that the world is conspiring against you after a such meal and the price is now starting to get very steep.

And do keep in mind that a plate, like plate #1, can be a single leaf with some goo on it or a plate, like plate #2, could be an onion cake-ball slathered in onion goo sprinkled with crunchy fried onions. Also keep in mind that they may opt to speed things along and serve them to you simultaneously cuz it's late.

Posted Image

Let's move on to value ...

The food had issues.

If this food was served to me in an air-conditioned room at a reasonable pace by reasonably capable service folk who had access to ice cubes, I would have probably overlooked the food issues, considering the price point.

But it wasn't.

Hence, that evening, the food had close to zero value to me.

It was an unpleasurable experience.

Let move on to the mathematics ...

The price/value ratio was astronomical !



I can clearly see that on a good night that Gelonch does a very fine job at its price point.

Personally I'd rather pay more or receive less plates for 56 euros.


Hisop was 9 plates for 50 euros. I enjoyed it so much more. Nice cheese plate at Hisop, too !

Posted Image

And who knows what this is ?

Posted Image


I gotta go now ... I'm late for my 6pm call ! I just got back from La Bigarrade. 9 plates for 55 euros. Why do I do this to myself ! Why ? I gotta call my shrink now ... I'm sure there's an answer, probably rooted in childhood ... Salut mes amis !

#338 Nancy S.

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:34 AM

I'm spending 5 days in Barcelona at the end of the month with my son and his girlfriend. I've made dinner reservations at:

Paco Merlago
Hisop
Barra Canete
Cinc Setits
Shunka

Any revisions?

#339 joethefoodie

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:15 PM

For a nice cocktail, you can always check out Dry Martini. It's perfect for before Paco Meralgo as it's about a 4 minute walk.

 

Also, no need for a reservation but we really liked Quimet et Quimet.


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#340 Nancy S.

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:18 PM

Barcelona was excellent. Morro Fi!!! What an amazing place -- great space, great vermouth and great crowd. Paco M. was fun and tasty, Canete even more so, Koy Shunka was lovely. We also had some casual eats at Ferderal, Cosmos and Central.

#341 Wilfrid

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:16 AM

Good to know Paco Meralgo is still good.



#342 balex

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:32 AM

Long and excellent meal at Abac yesterday. Slightly overusing a few techniques -- spherification, asian seafood stocks -- no foams though. Some truly excellent ingredients (stellar prawns and some calcots) and well thought out combinations with again an Asian use of texture ingredients; e.g. tendon turned up twice. Interesting wine list with some strange natural wines if you like that sort of thing;  we  had some 81 white Tondonia among many other wines as we were a large table, that was an excellent match with a cured egg yolk and cheese dish.

15 courses or so, and with no real duds, which is remarkabel, but a slight lack of range in the conceptual and presentational repertoire detracted slightly from the overall experience.  Highly recommended if you like modern Spanish food.



#343 IanT

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:26 AM

Long and excellent meal at Abac yesterday. Slightly overusing a few techniques -- spherification, asian seafood stocks -- no foams though. Some truly excellent ingredients (stellar prawns and some calcots) and well thought out combinations with again an Asian use of texture ingredients; e.g. tendon turned up twice. Interesting wine list with some strange natural wines if you like that sort of thing;  we  had some 81 white Tondonia among many other wines as we were a large table, that was an excellent match with a cured egg yolk and cheese dish.

15 courses or so, and with no real duds, which is remarkabel, but a slight lack of range in the conceptual and presentational repertoire detracted slightly from the overall experience.  Highly recommended if you like modern Spanish food.

 

We were there two weeks ago and I completely agree.  We also noticed the repetition of techniques (2 x spherification, 3 x intensely savoury stocks, 2 x dry ice) but it didn't really detract from a very good meal.   Our meat courses (suckling pig with aubergine and miso, a rice dish with woodcock offal, black truffle and foie gras) were particulalry memorable.  We ate in Celler Can Roca the following night and, although the overall experience at Can Roca was amazing, I would go with Abac if I had to pick a meal to eat again.



#344 IanT

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:32 AM

I should also say that the breakfast at Abac pips Bras for the best hotel breakfast I've had.  Great fruit salad with mint sorbet, fresh orange juice, good coffee, excellent home made pastries, a small Iberico "sandiwch" and a slow cooked egg dish with parmetier potatoes and manchego "wafers" that could have featured on the dinner tasting menu.



#345 balex

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:02 PM

Next meal was at Via Veneto, a very old fashioned 1970s style restaurant.  None of this mucking about with modern techniques, an elderly rich clientele; excellent old fashioned service.

 

Some absolutely stellar dishes -- some baby octopuses the size of moscardini, but a different species, a dish of fresh green peas with butifarra and some deep fried slices of baby artichoke: these absolutely blew my socks off, (ETA and I got a spoonful of a seafood rice dish that I will go back just to eat)

 

and a couple of duds, a gloppy tagliolini with black truffle and a rather disappointing becasse.

 

Crepes suzettes at the end to round of the 70s theme. Love it.

Vega Sicilia to drink. Yum.