The weather was good today, so I arranged to have lunch with Jonas at the Victoria. This is an old favourite, the food is good, the Menú del Día is incredibly cheap and we get treated like old friends. This restaurant is very popular with local people and a table outside is a good place to watch the world go by.
I arrived first, but all the tables outside were occupied – the proprietor patted me on the shoulder, assured me there would be seats in about five minutes and rushed in to get me a vermut.
I stood and looked at the menú and sent a picture to Jonas – we both chose the same dishes! Note the price of the Menú del Día – it’s €9.95 for 3 courses including wine! At the weekend and on Días Festivos the price goes up to €12.95! There’s usually something good to choose from and their paellas, fideuàs and hearty stews are always excellent!
Within a few minutes we had our table and plates full of pèsols saltats amb gambes (sauteed peas with prawns). This is a moreish dish – I’ve had something similar (recently) with bacon instead of prawns – I believe some chefs combine the two.
We ordered a bottle of Batuta vino rosado, which proved to be a very drinkable wine.
Our main course was xurrasco a la graella (grilled churrasco) – churrasco is beef short ribs cut across the bone, served here with potatoes, pimiento (grilled and peeled) and a blob of allioli. Churrasco can also mean grilled beef or meat, but in Catalunya it’s a specific cut.
For pudding we ordered quallada amb mel – this is a curd cheese with honey, similar to mel i mató.
Before we’d even ordered coffee our affable host brought us out chupitos de heirbas (a strong herb flavoured liquor from the Balearic Islands). This is a digestif, often served at the end of a meal.
To finish we ordered carajillos de coñac …and you get a very generous measure of brandy in your coffee here!
The bill was astonishingly cheap – if you look above, we had 2 menús (with a bottle of wine), 2 beers, a vermut and 3 carajillos and the total came to €33.95! Jonas cheekily said to our host, “I thought it was €9.95 each, inclusive!” The poor man exclaimed, “¡Qué cabrón!” and then we all laughed heartily.
Restaurant Victoria is at: Carrer dels Angels, 8, 08001, Barcelona.
A great little dining spot, I just love to dine al fresco and people watch. A great meal at a fantastic price. Thanks for including the link for the Gambas con guisantes as I’ve got to give that dish a try. I’m also intrigued with your aperitif, I don’t think I’ve tried it and likely might not as a 1000ml bottle of Barañano Hierbas sells for about 52 euro here at our government liquor monopoly. I’m just going to have to make that trip to Spain I guess…
Thanks Ron – Hierbas is incredibly cheap in Spain and is often given away to customers in restaurants as a thank you. I can’t remember how much it costs per bottle, but I do remember buying it wholesale for a restaurant a couple of years ago and I think 3 bottles cost less than €10 plus they threw in an extra bottle as a gift! The alcohol tax is very low in Spain, which is why they can include half a bottle of wine in a cheap lunchtime menu. Nevertheless though, they still have to do a lot of covers to make a profit. I’m sure you’ll enjoy a trip to Spain – it can be cheap if you travel midweek in the Spring and Autumn 😉