By Nina Ornstein
Building on my list from last week, Barcelona’s restaurant scene has all the tempting flavor you need to satisfy any appetite. I would typically start this day with a smoothie at the Boqueria market before heading into the Picasso museum. We slept in and missed that part – sleep and time being of the essence there were no museum trip for us on our long weekend in Barca. We went straight for the Pintxos.
There is a very special Pintxos (peen-chos) restaurant I was most looking forward to visiting after my last trip to Barcelona is called Euskal Etxea. It’s Basque, its pay-by-toothpick, it’s delicious, fresh, friendly and convenient. Barcelona is in Cataluyna, worlds away from Spain’s west coast Basque country, but this restaurant really accomplishes that culture right here in the Barrio Gotico neighborhood. Located just a few steps east of the Picasso museum, Euskal Etxea is the perfect retreat after taking in Picasso’s finest.
Pintxo style dining is based on the honor system, and there is a constant turnover of exotic finger foods. A pintxo is an assemblage of food presented on a small piece of bread and (usually) held together with a cocktail stick or toothpick (a ‘pincho’ in Spanish). Pinxto cuisines is customarily self service, with passed plates as they come out. This is when to grab the stuffed mussels, meatballs, goat cheese stuffed peppers and Spanish tortilla. With over 80 pintxos varieties here its tough to choose between the olives, sundried tomatoes, brie with jam, fried cheese covered in cavier, cod salad and more. The menu is in constant evolution and I’m always impressed.
Once you’ve thrown your napkin on the floor (customary end to the meal), throw back a little coffee and count your toothpicks. It’s tough to leave because they keep coming out with new platters. But every good thing must come to an end. Walk out and hang a left. Its only a short meander down to La Barceloneta, Barcelona’s fabulous waterfront neighborhood where you can get relax seaside for a few. Along the way you can take in the gorgeous architecture of the Barrio Gotico and Born neighborhoods, admiring the tiny walkways, Catalan flags, palm trees, exquisite patio gardens and really cute old people, my fave. Not many cities of this amazing combo of culture, food, nature, amenities and style. Barcelona, I love you!
EUSKAL ETXEA || Placeta de Montcada, 1-3_08003, Barcelona, Phone : +34 933102185
Opening hours: Bar: 10:00h to 0:30h (Friday and Saturday until 01:00h) Restaurant: 13:00h to 16:00h and from 20:00 to 0:00h