I went out looking for albóndigas (meatballs) today (having seen some on a menú yesterday) but there were none to be had …until I came across Panda and Smile. Menús diarios change daily – they want you back tomorrow, which keeps everything interesting! I often look to see if there are a few tables of older Catalans – they know where the food is good 😉
I’d looked at quite a few menús and was about to give up when I found this bar. First option on the segundos (main courses), Arroz con Albóndigas …and I liked the options for the primeros too! The formula here costs €9.95 – doesn’t offer wine, but you do get a soft drink or you can have a beer for an additional €1. Frankly I wasn’t too bothered, a glass of wine is cheap and my mind was made up!
I ordered a vermut de la casa while I waited and Lenny (my waitress) brought me some posh water (my non alcoholic drink option) in a recyclable bottle. This reminded me that 30 years ago, one could buy water here in very large glass bottles (20 or 30 litres) which came in a basket with handles. You paid a deposit on the bottle and took it back to the bodega for a replacement when it ran out. Sadly they were phased out in the 90s and replaced by “disposable” plastic. I’m not pointing the finger at Barcelona here – this is a world problem – we all used recyclable containers years ago!
While my food was being prepared Lenny brought me some delicious olivas picantes.
I didn’t hesitate with my choice for first course – I ordered choricitos al vino, tiny chorizos cooked in wine. These were fantastic – hot and spicy. The sauce was per mullar pa (Catalan – good enough to wet bread) so I made sure to mop it all up!
At this point I was ready for wine and ordered a glass of vi rosat.
When the bill arrived, I expected to pay for the vermut and wine, but was pleasantly surprised to see that the brandy in the coffee was included – the total came to €16.25. The food here was excellent, as was the service!