Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Microwaved lasagna at (on) Venus

This was one of these rare culinary occasions you asked whether you were on another planet. What an irony that the tavern was called Venus. I ask myself how restaurants like these manage in a city as Barcelona, as this is a place to avoid when looking for a place to eat in Barri Gotic.


Venus is located in a dark and mysterious street located in the Barri Gotic - the old part of Barcelona. This is an area with much character, easily within walking distance from La Rambla and Placa Catalunya.

Service: BBBB

There were no one in the restaurant but us, a clear warning to leave. Thus, we were given proper attention by the two waiters and were able to order immediately, and we did not have to wait for our food. The waiters appeared, neither attentive, nor welcoming for us as guests.

Style: BBB

Venus had an interior characterized as shabby chic, but this was no artificial wear'n tear - this was a place in genuine distress. Plaster fell off the walls, and even though it had the atmosphere of an old tavern it seemed to be in a state of decay.

My concern for the hygienic state was raised as I discovered a sign on the toilet saying something like:

- Kindly do not dispose toilet paper in toilet, but place them in the waste basket (!!!)
Conditions like this should be attended by the proper public authorities, as this, besides being extremely unappealing, may also be a cause of food born infections.

Food: BB

We booked lasagna, and we were surprised when we were served. The only truly nice thing with the dish was the price - the rest was terrible!!

It was a square heap with a sauce as white as snow on top, sprinkled with dry herbs (OUCH!!) on top. Even though the Lasagna Bolognese is often "Al Forno", i.e. from the oven - this lasagna had not been close to one, rather heated, or reheated in a microwave. It had an appearance of a damp white blanket with dust on top.

The white sauce had a creamy consistency, but an bland taste, slightly salty. The tomato sauce between the pasta sheets did not provide the sweet aromas of Mediterranean tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs. It rather had the taste of a cheap sauce poured out of jar bought at the closest supermarket.

The dry herbs had most probably been poured over the white sauce after the dish had been taken out of the microwave, and were crisp as paper.

The pasta was overcooked, and when cutting into it, it turned into a white and red mash. A truly unappealing dish, hardly fit for sale at any place.

So my friends, it is fair to say that is most certainly not a place for lovers of Italian food, in fact I think, with this dish in mind, I would not dare to recommend any of the dishes served. At best, it is the place to have a drink - only!

Drink: BBB+

We ordered a glass of red wine of the house. Inexpensive, but hardly anything to talk of.

Rating the Venus experience: BBB+ (3,31 points)

Venus provided the worst culinary restaurant experience in 2009. The 3 B's is due to location and price. The food was terrible, the interior looked worn and decayed. This is certainly a place to be avoided if looking for a late night snack. Consult the map below to find other (and better) restaurants in the neighbourhood.

C/ Avinyó 25, 08002 Barcelona
Phone: 93 301 15 85

View Barcelona and Catalonia on Enjoy Food & Travel in a larger map

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