Sunday, June 21, 2009

Barcelona Eats: Taller de Tapas

We spent our first dinner in Barcelona at Taller de Tapas, which was tucked away in one of the many squares off Las Ramblas, one of the main pedestrian drags that caters to tourists and locals alike. The place is a real maze, so we picked what looked like the least touristy place. As we found it later, Taller de Tapas is a chain of tapas restaurants, with numerous locations spread around town.

The first thing that we had to order was a plate of jamon. It's hard to critique one plate of jamon to another: not much bad one can say about perfection.

The other thing that jumped out was razor clams. I used to eat alot of these in Texas, but for whatever reason, I've never seen them on a menu in Canada (apparently you can get them at T&T or at Chinese restaurants depending on the season). This is the first of a recurring theme. If you've never had them before, they taste sort of in between clams and geoduck. Here they were just steamed with a bit of olive oil, which I like: most seafood shouldn't be messed around with too much.

This was a plate of tomato/garlic toast, which seemed like a pretty common side order at most places. While the tomato and garlic were pressed into the bread here, many places just give you a plate of toast, a sliced tomato and a bit of mayo/aioli. This version was one of our faves. Again, simple without too much fuss.

Grilled sardines are always great. They have a sardine fest in Vancouver once a year; this seems to happen 365 days of the year in Spain.

There's not much to say about this paella. It had two clams, two mussels, two crayfish, and way too much lemon juice. I wasn't overly crazy about it, especially considering the paella we had later in Barceloneta, the beach/waterfront part of the city.

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