Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tapas moments at Ronda Sant Pau

Our address in Barcelona was Ronda Sant Pau, a small street located between La Rambla and Montjuic, the hillside overlooking city centre. In this street, as most in the Catalan capital, there are a great number of small restaurants serving breakfast and tapas, small Spanish finger food. We were tempted to three tapas moments. Here I will give an account of two - bocadillos wiith cured ham at El Ajali, and small fried fish at Moritz.

Bar El Jabali - a place with a past

First day - after lunch hunger!! We had a stroll to find a place to eat, and ended up at El Jabali after we had walked around the block. It was a part neighbourhood, and part delicatessen founded in 1926.

Located on the corner we found a table in the shade. We could see into the deli, where patés, cheese, cured ham and other scrumptious specialties were on display. Traffic in and out of the door showed that this was a popular place for the neighbourhood, a true supplier of culinary goods!! If you should happen to visit - look at the window, filled with memorabilia of old film stars Spanish ham hanging in the background.

What to order? We looked through the menu. At El Jabali there were traditional tapas, salads, subs (or bocadillos) under offer. Our eyes rested on the sub section and we decided on a grilled sub with cured ham and brie.

For a relatively modest sum we were served a generously sized bocadillo, rubbed with oil and garlic, then covered with slices of ham and topped with sliced brie cheese. Great grub, for hungry travelers, filling with a cold pint of Estrella Damm, the local beer. True summer food, leaving us slightly comfortably numb and well filled up.

Bar El Jabali
Ronda Sant Pau 15
08015 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: 934 427 235

Fried bait at Moritz

Mediterranean culinary traditions and culture differs greatly from our Scandinavian. You are sometimes served the most unexpected foods, and we were slightly surprised at another small tapas bar in Ronda Sant Pau.

Trying a small tapas is a good idea when ordering a beer. Moritz, a small bar in our street, specialized in seafood, and I went to order small mussels as had been served at our neighbouring table. The waitress, did not "habla inglese" and suggested "pesquaditos" as I tried to explain what we wanted. When I thought she had understood fully, I nodded, and I went back to our table, waiting patiently for our mussels.

But we were served tiny fish instead, and they would, in Scandinavia, been used as bait, as you would have had a hard time gutting and filleting these minute fish. What to do? Shake them in flour, throw them in hot olive oil for ten seconds or so, then serve with skin, bone, guts, and heads. Let us eat bait!!!

The funny thing - they tasted great, very fishy, as fish should, and very good to our cold pint of beer - and let us face it, very healthy for you. Those small bait are a part of the diet that make people here live longer not dying from cardiac arrest.

If you are up for it - try the pesquaditos yourself. You will be surprised.

Moritz Marisqueria Braseria
Ronda Sant Pau 7
08015 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: 934 411 088

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