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Barcelona / Bar Bodega Quimet: a good old-fashioned tapas bar

Streets of Barcelona can be a real challenge for city breakers to found an authentic spot to dine.

However, after being put in the picture by some trustworthy locals where to head off for some good food in Gracia, Bodega Quimet was on top of the list.

A not pretentious exterior with no special street signs of hostesses to lure in random pedestrians was already a hopeful indication that we were on the right location.

Bar Bodega Quimet is a family-run bistrot dating from the 50’s and located in the “youngest” barrio of Barcelona, Gràcia.

The antique wooden furniture spread around the dining room, an inevitable tapas vitrine, a simple bar, quite short doors and plenty of collector’s items placed on the hanging shelves are still there at this place where time doesn’t control the trends, but where proven values are those to maintain the good old concept.

The idea behind Bar Bodega Quimet is simple but marvellous – a wide variety of craft beers and wine and a very traditional almost forgotten list of typical Catalan tapas transformed into mini dishes.

Chorizo Iberico, octopus, cod, gazpacho, jamon, anchovies, oysters, asparagus… all done in a local way, with plenty of Mediterranean garnish, and what is even better all written only in Catalan.

So for whoever is not that keen in speaking Spanish will end up having an almost blind dinner, or on contrary get really pantomimic to try to order Quimet specials.

But tapas being taps and served on quite small plates, this lost-in-translation experience may turn into a very diverse feast and an all-round tasting.

Speaking of the tasting, go for the marinated anchovies (anchoas) just to get a bite of well preserved sea, seasoned with olive oil and lemon.

Don’t forget to order an extra portion of aceitunas meaning olives – it will come in all kinds of sorts and colours.

If cod is your type of fish, try bacalao ahumado – we didn’t fancy it too much as we missed a kick in the taste but it doesn’t mean it won’t please other palates.

To end the visit go for a non-sous vide but a supreme dish - the braised octopus (pulpo con patatas). The texture difference between potatoes and the octopus is very subtle which makes this dish very soft and tender, while standing for a successful response to all the chewy octopuses that many of us (unfortunately) taste worldwide.

While being on your very own culinary journey through Cataluña and beyond, go for a bottle of Spanish wine and enjoy the experience of this small but very busy place that defies the fashion but serves good old bites in a very cozy and warm ambiance.

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