Review of 'Txapela'

Walking down Passeig de Gràcia towards Plaça de Catalunya you can't help but notice the signs for the original Txapela location with it's simple poster having pictures of all of the tapas they have on offer - Colourful, varied, and, looking more carefully, looking surprisingly inexpensive until you realize that the prices are per individual item and not for a portion…Despite this we were tempted in to give it a try. We visited the location on Passeig de Gràcia north of the Gran Via de Les Corts which offers the same menu. The previous evening we had already eaten but were curious about the place so the polite lady at the door invited us in to look around the narrow, long but contemporary interior. As you enter there is a long bar on the left with a glass display containing plates of what is on offer in case the pictures on the menus do not help. You can sit at the bar but when we visited we chose to have a seat towards the back as it was a bit cool to be sitting out on the pavement and we wanted to be away from the smokers. Unfortunately, when we visited there was a large group of (English) tourists that were also there but thankfully this did not significantly effect our experience - At least they were quiet though our waiter did disappear never to return…

The paper placemats at the tables are the same as the poster with pictures of each of the dishes on offer, a brief description, and price. We were told there was an English menu but despite asking for it we never saw it so we made do with what we could see…It was a bit haphazard but we had the following:

  • 2 x “Osasuna” - “Calarmars a l'andalusa amd maionesa” (€2 each) - Battered deep-fried calamari strips on toast with mayo. The calamari was not rubbery and quite tasty.
  • 2 x “Croqueta” - “De pernil iberic” (€1.80 each) - Deep-fried croquettes with Iberian ham. Quite cheesy tasting but nice.
  • 1 x “Braves” - “Patates fregides amb salsa picant” (€2) - Roasted potato pieces served with a nice mayonaisse-type sauce. Quite common here and reasonably tasty.
  • 2 x “Sagardoa” - “Xoric confitat a la sidra” (€2.50 each) - A cidre-based sausage on toasted bread. Probably the tastiest of the evening - Perfectly cooked and juicy with a lovely flavour.
  • 1 x “Ondarribia” - “Sipia a la planxa” (€2.60) - Grilled cuttlefish on toast. A bit fishy but, again, quite tender.
  • 1 x “Aurresku” - “Pepito de filet de bou a la planxa” (€2.50) - Small Pepito beef tenderloin burgers in a bun (sliders). Very nice but a bit chewy.

The server spoke quite good English and was able to advise us on what each dish was. As is the custom we started with a few dishes then added additional items as we finished.

We were talked into a bit of dessert. As with the standard menu they offer a number of small single-item dishes but after having so much tapas this was probably for the best…I had the “Crema Catalana” (€2.50) which was basically a creme brulee, but reasonable, and my companion had the “Tap Xocolata Calenta” (€2.50) (chocolate fondant) which she said was very tasty but a bit over the top with chocolate sauce over top which overwhelmed the fondant making it too sweet.

At €30 including drinks for two of us (ok, only one glass of wine for one of us and a soft drink for me) it was reasonably priced and it left us feeling quite full. Next time we visit we will have to try some more interesting items on the menu but we enjoyed what we had. The service was a bit spotty and left us waiting a few times for someone to show an interest but when it did come it was helpful and courteous. Recommendation: Eat at the bar as you can see what you are going to get (literally) and probably will have better service…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-03-27


Cuisine: Spanish

Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 58, Barcelona, Spain

Public Transport: METRO Passeig de Gràcia

Location: Barcelona (Spain) - Eixample

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Telephone: +34 934 872279

URL: http://www.txapelarestaurant.com/