November 26th, 2015
Even though I’d previously lived in Barcelona for several years, I had no idea that El Racó del Mariner existed until a couple of weeks ago. El Racó del Mariner (The Fisherman’s Dock) is a bar/restaurant that caters for the fishermen working out of the harbour and to get there one must pass through a security gate with suitable ID – a European passport will suffice.
Having made it through Checkpoint Charlie we walked past wholesale fish businesses, which open at the crack of dawn (they are long closed by lunchtime), until we reached the harbour clock tower (la Torre del Rellotge). El Racó del Mariner is just to the left of the tower. We were seated in front of the door in a large, covered vestibule area. It was a warm sunny day but the restaurant provides space heaters for those who feel the cold. Oli, Sandra and myself were soon joined by friends Alfredo and Nookie.
We had intended to eat a giant paella and one must order the rice by phone on the morning of the table booking. However, when we called to make the order, we were told that the restaurant had run out of rice! To console ourselves, we made do with a giant plate of mixed seafood, including prawns, mussels, razor clams, swordfish, sea snails, crab claws and langoustines.
The fish arrived with pan con tomate – bread rubbed with garlic and tomato, plus a drizzle of olive oil on top.
and then mackerel.
Next came some astonishing deep fried fish balls – they are marinated over night and taste of spicy vinegar and cumin.
and crispy anchovies – all were fantastic.
Thoroughly sated, we wandered out into the sun at about 5pm, en route for a wine festival. I believe lunch cost about €30 per head, but regular wine and paella would have been considerably cheaper.
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