I cycled up to Gràcia (once a village in it’s own right, but now a suburb of Barcelona) today, in search of Mercat de l’Abaceria, the oldest market in the barrio, but sadly it was closed. It’s possible that it’s closed for August (as are many businesses in Barcelona), but it is also due to be refurbished soon. Looking to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse and as I was up in Gracia, I thought I ought to look for a suitable place for lunch.
I had been looking for a shaded table outside, however, the menú del día looked good and was served indoors only. It’s also worth noting that there were 20 or so locals, eating food downstairs – I took that to be a positive sign.
It was a hot day and as I’d cycled up hill and walked around for 45 minutes, the idea of cold air conditioning with a cheap lunch won me over.
I promptly ordered a refreshing vermut de la casa before the menú del día arrived.
My friendly waiter brought over a dish of little olives to go with the drink. I was beginning to like this place and forgot about the large wall TV (blissfully silent), showing the latest news.
I ordered Fideuà a la Marinera amb Allioli (seafood fideuà with garlic mayonnaise) as my starter. Fideuà is a very popular paella like dish, made with short pasta instead of rice – as with paella, fideuà should never contain chorizo! This fideuà was a good one, with, clams, squid, mussels and langostinos (prawns).
For my main course I ordered Tonyina a la Planxta amb Vinagreta de Soja i Llimona (tuna steak cooked on the griddle with a soya and lemon vinagrette dressing), served with fried potatoes in their skins. This was excellent!
For pudding I had iogurt – yogurt with cherries and fruit syrup on top.
Included in the price of my lunch was a 500ml garrafa (carafe) of very good vi rosat – that’s two thirds of a bottle!
I was astonished, when I got my bill – the lunch, including 3 courses, wine, olives, bread and a vermut was €10.50!
I suspect it may get a little noisy here at night, but there are always tables outside. Nevertheless, the lunch and service were excellent and I will go back!