The above phrase is Catalan that translates to “that was delicious”.
This would have been an oft repeated phrase while we were in Barcelona, if I would have known it then.
My family and I recently visited Barcelona in January, six adults and four children under four. Now some people would admire our courage and fortitude to attempt this traveling high wire act without a net, others would call it lunacy. When you have grandchildren that live in a foreign country, you do what you can to see them. We were able to meet them for a week in Barcelona and it was wonderful.
Now I don’t have to tell those of you with small children and grandchildren that eating with a large group with four small children is a challenge at home, much less in a large restaurant, and even more in a small European cafe. Just trying to find places to store the strollers is hard enough. We had a double stroller, about the size of some European cars, that was like parallel parking a car between two cramped tables. The Barcelonans, to their credit, were very nice about it in the restaurants and went out of their way to accommodate us.
But, be that as it may, this blog is about the food we ate in Barcelona. We were not able to eat a lot of meals together as you can imagine. Most meals we carried into our rental house in El Masnou, a beach town outside of Barcelona (that will be another blog). However, the food we ate in Barcelona was so good.
Our first meal was in the morning after we all met in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona. We found chocolate croissants and coffee at Forn de Sant Jaume.
Forn de Sant Jaume in Eixample.
We loved the chocolate croissants and coffee at Forn de Sant Jaume.
Our only meal in the evening was at Set de Born. We rode the train into Barcelona and walked through the El Born neighborhood and found Set de Born. This was a very good choice. We ate too early in the evening for the Barcelonans so we had the restaurant to ourselves and the staff was very accepting of our group. This was the one meal the little ones weren’t on top of their table manners, just on top of the table. Nonetheless, the staff was very kind and patient and we appreciated that.
I loved the intimate setting of Set de Born, tucked into a narrow street in El Born.
We started with some marinated olives…very, very good.
I loved the anchovies on tomato at Set de Born.
The meat plate with homemade sausages and Iberian ham was the hit of the meal, with very good reason.
This is how our typical table looked in Barcelona, lots of food to choose from. The cheese plate was delicious, so was the tomato bread, and the goat cheese salad.
We visited the Santa Caterina Market two times. I got some more marinated olives that were a treat while walking the streets of Barcelona.
I highly advise a foray into the many booths and stalls of this market. It can be overwhelming, but keep in mind, there are no bad choices in here.
The shaved ham cone was a big hit in our group, one of our purchases in the Santa Caterina Market. Why are there not any of these in the U.S.?
A highlight of our eating experience in Barcelona was churros!!! I can’t express how good this treat is. Our churro consumption was in Churreria Laietana in El Born. I don’t have any way to compare churros, but I do know this, these would be hard to beat.
This lady that served up churros at Churreria Laietana was very impressive. She could handle English and Spanish with ease, in a very busy and chaotic setting, while handing out little plates of love, all the while with a smile on her face. I think she was also doing air traffic control in the back.
CHURROS! CHURROS! CHURROS! at Churreria Laietana
Our last meal together in Barcelona was a real treat. We had an afternoon meal at
El Quatre Gats (the Four Cats), one of the more famous restaurants in Barcelona. It has a lot of history and is noted for being one of the hangouts of Picasso in his younger days. It is located in the Barri Gotic (Gothic quarter of Barcelona). I enjoyed this meal most of all. The children were well-behaved and the staff was so nice and agreeable to our wishes. Again, we ate at an earlier time than most of the Barcelonans, so it wasn’t very crowded. This was a good plan on our part so as not to be too disruptive. I think this is my best advice with those traveling with small children in Barcelona, eat early so as not to find the restaurants and cafes too crowded. Keep in mind that a lot of restaurants in Barcelona do not even start serving food in the evening till about 8:00 PM.
The 4 Cats entrance is inviting.
The classic look of the historic 4 Cats.
Just chunks of parmesan cheese to nibble on before the meal at 4Cats. Why don’t we ever think of these things?
Tomato bread is a favorite tapas dish in Barcelona. We ordered it everywhere we ate. I think the best I had was at 4Cats.
The prettiest dish we ate all week was the roasted eggplant at 4Cats. It was as delicious as it was beautiful.
These pork cannellonis were really good at 4Cats.
One of my favorite dishes of the week…seafood rice at 4Cats.
If you are in these areas of Barcelona, I would highly recommend these eating establishments.
Barcelona, estava bonissim!