*this post is long overdue. I had forgotten about it until a recent dinner at TestKitchen that featured Spanish tapas, then I remembered how GOOD tapas were in Spain.
On a relatively quiet side street off of the grand Passeig de Gràcia, "hidden" behind bright yellow umbrellas, cheerful sunflowers, and leafy green foliage, lies a little place called Tapaç 24. Tapaç 24 is a place you would walk into only if you were looking for it, and we should all be looking for it. For all its publicity, the place still feels relatively local for two reasons: (1) if you were a tourist, you would already be eating at one of the tourist traps on the Passeig de Gràcia after a long day of shopping. (2) after a long day of shopping, the sight of the daunting line snaking out of Tapaç 24 and around the block would turn away all but the most serious foodie tourists.
One word of advice--since the restaurant is open all day from 8AM-midnight, avoid meal times. The first time we visited Tapaç 24, we got there at a relatively early hour for dinner--around 6PM. Luckily, the Spanish don't even start considering dinner until 10PM, so there wasn't a line. If there had been a line, I'm not sure I would've been as successful in convincing my fellow students to eat at this little, underground, cigarette smoke-laden tapas bar. By the time we finished our meal and left the restaurant, there was already an impressive line out the door.
So if Tapaç 24 worth the wait?
Let's just say we went more than once, and we always ordered a second round of food.
In a city full of tapas bars, it's surprisingly difficult to come across one that impresses time and time again. Without a doubt, Carles Abellàn's Tapaç 24 impressed me more than once. This tapas bar has the warmth and bustling atmosphere of the most traditional tapas bar, yet its array of tapas is done with a consistent finesse and the occasional modern touch. A most compelling combination.
After a long day of Gaudí sightseeing at the Casa Millà and Parc Güell, we were all ready for not only some place to rest our sore feet, but also some good food. I subtly led the way towards Tapaç 24 and at Tapaç 24, we were all pleasantly surprised how good the good food turned out to be.
tel: +34 93 488 09 77
open from 8AM-midnight, Mon-Sat
Fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce ("bravas" sauce) and garlic sauce
Literally every tapas bar in Spain serves patatas bravas. It's such a guilty pleasure with greasy fried potatoes and a garlicky aioli--it's only worth eating if it's good. This was pretty damn good.
BOMBES de LA BARCELONETA
Potato and meat balls with spicy sauce
RUSSA amb PICOS de JEREZ
Russian salad (potato, carrot, tuna, olives, mayonnaise) with thin crusty bread
This was not something I would've ordered off of the menu, but it was actually rather tasty. This just goes to show, I shouldn't always be a menu hog.
CROQUETES de de PERNIL IBÈRIC
Iberian ham croquettes
OUS ESTRELLATS al GUST
"Scrambled" eggs with potatoes and chorizo
BIKINI COMERÇ 24
Warm sandwich with black truffles, cured iberian ham and buffala mozzarella
PINXO de XAI "ALHUCEMAS"
spicy lamb skewers
Small beef hamburger with foie-gras served with foie and truffles mayonnaise
TOMÀQUET amb HUEVAS DE TONYINA
Tomato with tuna fish roe/eggs and tender onion
RABO de TORO
Bull tail cooked with beans
ARRÒS NEGRE de SÎPIA
Black rice with cuttlefish
XOCOLATA AMB PA, OLI i SAL