I spotted a good Menú del Día at Aribau 3 a few weeks ago, while en route to another restaurant. The food looked promising and all the people eating outside were locals. I have been keeping an eye on their menú ever since – the options change on a daily basis. A few times they didn’t have what I fancied and a couple more times all the seats were occupied. Today I got lucky – there were lots of dishes I wanted to eat and a table with my name on it!
If you look closely, you’ll see that Aribau 3 does a three course Menú del Día, including wine or beer for €12.90 inclusive.
Aribau 3 is conveniently located at number 3 Carrer Aribau, just above Plaça de la Universitat and opposite the university building.
I sat outside and drank a Vermut de la Casa – I had my mind made up regarding lunch choices but reviewing the menu, I was very spoiled for choice. The ones that got away were Empanada de Atún (tuna empanada), Churrasco de Ternera (beef short ribs, cut across the bone), Rodaballo a la Plancha (turbot cooked on the griddle) and Cazon a la Andaluza (Andalucian style dogfish) – I wanted to order them all, but hearty local dishes got the better of me.
For my primer plato I had the classic Habas a la Catalana – a Catalan stew of broad beans, pork and sausage. This was excellent!
The bread included in the menú was similarly good.
I drank a vi rosat – Celler d’en Calaf, a very drinkable young rosado.
My main course was the classic Catalan Botifarra del País con Judías Blanc y Alioli – country sausage with white beans, fried potato and allioli. Botifarra (butifarra in Spanish) sausages date back to the time of the Romans and this dish became popular in small Catalan inns (seises) during the 19th Century. The recipe appears in the 1830 Catalan cook book – Nou Manual de Cuinar amb tota perfeccio. Note that Judías means Jews, who are synonymous with beans in Spain – see my explanation here.
Having had two excellent courses, I was lulled into ordering a very good Flan de la Casa, but forgot to ask them to hold the cream – so it came with lots squirted all around it! No matter, es la vida, I pushed it all to one side and enjoyed the flan no less.
…and no menú del día is complete without a carajillo de coñac!
…and a little tour before the bill. This is the interior from the back, looking towards where I sat outside. I have to say it doesn’t do much for me, it’s far too much like an airport lounge, however, the food is excellent, as was the service and I will definitely eat here again, albeit afuera.
On the subject of the food, the raciones (portions/tapas) on offer look to be as good as my menú.
Note three types of tortilla, all a slightly different shape, which suggests home made – the one to the left looks like the very popular tortilla de espinacas (spinach).
The bill came to €19 including a vermut, half a bottle of wine and a coffee with brandy! There was a 50 céntimo charge for sitting on the terrace, but that’s neither here nor there for such a great lunch!
A good heaty lunch indeed. I love legumes in all shapes and cooked in about any fashion, so I’d be enjoying that lunch. The Empanada de Atún sounds very interesting and tasty as well. It reminds me of the Filipino tuna hand pie. I’m sure the concept came to the Philippines via Spain at some point. Thanks for sharing your lunch…
Thanks Ron – the Philippines were a Spanish colony, so tuna hand pie is almost certainly related to the empanada. I did a post a while ago about a French octopus pie which looked decidedly Spanish. When I researched it thoroughly I discovered it came from a part of Italy which had previously been part of the Kingdom of Aragon and later Spain.
Another lovely local spot serving beautiful food at very reasonable prices. You’re so lucky, MD! Where we live, you mostly have to choose between cheap and not very good or expensive. (And sometimes expensive and not very good…)
In any event, I was fascinated to read your post explaining why beans are called judías in Spain. It was actually something I had also wondered about for a long time.
And by the way, that vermouth looks enormous. At lunch, it would have put me out of commission for the afternoon, lol!
Thanks Frank – the Judías and beans thing had me puzzled for years and nobody Spanish (that I asked) had the faintest idea – it’s just something that has been used for so long that it’s completely normal. If I hadn’t come across that Spanish etymological text online, I’d still be in the dark.
That vermut is not as big as it looks – they fill the glass with ice and pour the drink on top – it’s not intended to make you drunk!
That’s how you “suck out all the marrow of life.” Wonderful description of food and place.
Thanks Tammy! I hope all is well with you.