Paco Meralgo – comer algo, get it?


(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.

Never mind. I didn’t get it either. It took our friend the Silly
Disciple
to point out the pun, and then David to translate it. I can
be that thick sometimes. You still didn’t get it? What’s Google Language Tools for?


Paco Meralgo
is a tapas bar in a town full of tapas bars, Barcelona.
With a roster of names like Pinotxo and Quim in the Boqueria market and
the world famous –you either love it or hate it- Cal Pep, just to name a few, it’s easy for yet another tapas bar to get lost in the fray.
Paco Meralgo distinguish themselves with not only good tapas fares –easy
enough to find in this town- but by opening every day of the
week. Now that’s something you don’t find every day. Ha ha –I’m just
so full of puns today. Even more amazing is that they somehow manage
to have fresh seafoods even on Sundays and Mondays. Never mind what
that Bourdain told you. It’s really quite safe to eat seafood at Paco
Meralgo even on those days. The quality is evident
enough in the photos above, so if you didn’t believe me you could see for
yourself.

It’s also a good sign that all kinds of people in-the-know can be found
here. Two very knowledgeable foodie friends took us here the first time, and then the next day at lunch we were back there again with
another friend, Francesc, the fancy ingredients purveyor to the best
chefs in Spain.
And we ran into the guy who runs Inopia, chowing on
some tapas on his day off from managing a tapas bar! I told you this
place isn’t bad, now you believe me?

What did we eat there? Well, the thing not to miss is the salt cod salad Esqueixada, served in the simple and traditional manner, with chopped tomatoes, a few olives, and dressed with good olive oil. There was also the Pa amb Tomàquet, the ubiquitous Catalan bread rubbed with tomato, which was particularly good here. We also had plump oysters –yes, yes, on a Monday- and juicy Razor clams. Being a lover of all things fried, I really enjoyed the fried artichokes –trimmed, sliced crosswise to look something like vegan crabs and fried in olive oil- and the tempura fried Calçot (kal-sot), a milder, sweeter variety of spring onions. The fried Calçot was served with a great big bowl full of Romesco sauce. We also had some good Chipirones, little baby squids , and yummy Padron peppers.

The beer and wine lists here are quite good as well. We particularly loved the old vines Albariño on the list from Do Ferreiro –a great nose, floral, citrus, and green apple, with good minerality and acidity, just delicious with the tapas.

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  • http://ulteriorepicure.wordpress.com ulterior epicure

    Looks very fresh. I’ll have to put this on my list for my next visit to Barcelona.

  • http://www.chubbypanda.com Chubbypanda

    Ooooh… Tapas. That’s a cuisine that really needs to hit the States. I want as many tapas bars as there are sushi joints. That would make me a happy panda.

  • http://www.chubbypanda.com Chubbypanda

    The tapas look great. I wish there were more tapas restaurants in the States. As many as there are sushi places would be a nice start. That would make me a happy panda.

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com/ Trig

    I shall have to ask my new employer in Tarragona whether he uses this guy’s services.

  • http://www.ceresandbacchus.com Mary

    Quiero comer todo.

  • http://www.myeasydating.net easy

    what is tapas?? is it kind of food? i have no idea on spanish culture…anyone can help because spain is one my next stop in europe

  • http://www.restaurantreviewworld.com foodette

    I agree with Chubbypanda – we need more tapas bars around here! The smaller the plates, the better, so I can try more things :)

  • http://www.mygrub.net eddie

    What kind of camera are you using? Those are some really sharp pictures. Please send me an email.

  • Pablo

    Just to make the Spanish word game clearer…
    Paco Meralgo –> pa’ comer algo = para comer algo –> to eat something
    It took me a little bit to figure it out, but the name is brilliant!
    Cheers for an excellent blog!

  • Anton

    I totally disagree, this is the least enjoyable place I’ve had the misfortune to visit in 3.5 years in Barcelona.
    Not all bad… impressive in terms of looks, cleanliness and kitchen service. Highly popular.
    However, poor waiter service, small portions of food, the pan scam and hostility towards English speakers make the restaurant a clear miss.
    There are more inventive tapas bars with better service in town. There’s bars closer to the port that offer better sized portions, service and ambience than that on offer here.
    With outstanding food and service one expects a restaurant to surpass. This was not the case.
    At this restaurant diners can expect a misfortune of condescending & discourteous service, food thrown on tables, and stupidly small and expensive portions.
    To top it off, visitors can enjoy the infamous bread ‘rip off’ service – bread is added to the menu to cover service charge.
    Service
    In a word – appalling. Having entered a bare restaurant, we were ordered to sit at a certain place at an empty bar. We were discouraged at sitting at any other place in the bar – no reason given.
    There were no other signs with ‘reserved’ marking the tables. Neither were other tables used for 1.5 hours during our eating.
    Food is literally thrown down in front of people without naming or identifying it with the orderer. For a high class restaurant, this is unheard of.
    Although the menu was in English, the waiter could not identify the corresponding meal when replied to in Queens English. The waiter insisted on using a Catalan menu to identify the food and repeating back an order in Catalan.
    We could have ordered 9 bottles of champagne and half a roasted donkey as far as we knew.
    The question herein lies don’t offer international menus or reply to the public in the tongue you have insinuated you might understand.
    There were other idle [moderate] English speaking staff available. Instead a demeaning Spanish vs. Catalan language exchange ensued.
    The only good thing to say is that kitchen service was fast.
    Ambience:
    A busy, clean and vibrant restaurant. Smokers and non-smokers are divided into two sections. The bar is kept clean and the dark walls give the restaurant in the smoker’s section a romantic ambience.
    Food and Quality:
    Having been to similar restaurants, quite frankly for the market positioning of ‘poshness’ vs. ‘deliverables’ the restaurant fails.
    The quality of the food is mid-high, but in terms of presentation, quantity – average. The pan con tomate was very good, but 1.70 per half of a normal small bread per person excessive.
    Vegetarians have little choice – fried aubergine, podrones, roasted camembert ir brie on bread – that’s it. The bomba on the menu forgets to advise it contains meat.
    Price
    Expensive. Dishes range from 5-18 Euros. Fish and meat dishes are expensive and like all portions, very small.
    To give an idea of value 2.5″ [l] x 1.5″[w] of bread plus 8mm if roasted cheese costs 6 Euros. A plate of shrimp 1cm in height and size of a saucer – 16 Euros.