Photo by Tashoma Lemard
They say the best things in life come in small packages. Like Poble Sec’s weekly ‘tapas and pincho hop’, which sees the bars, restaurants and community come together in the convivial art of eating and drinking. Carrer Blai, the pedestrianised street that runs parallel to Paral·lel, is already fairly lively, it’s true, but this latest innovation brings entire families, friends and neighbours out in their droves. Officially, there are 14 participating establishments; unofficially, there are many more as it seems nearly everyone has entered into the spirit of things by offering a drink (a glass of wine or a beer) and a tapa for €2 every Thursday evening from 7pm, from now until July 12th. Rarely has a tapas crawl been more affordable or, for that matter, more fun. It’s a stroke of brilliance for a barri that may not have the polish of the Born or the historic impact of the Barri Gòtic, and it has successfully captured the very essence of the tapeo: an affordable and diplomatic means of spreading the wealth in your village by having a drink and a snack in one place before moving on and doing the same in the next.
The route goes from the Fifties’ bar La Federica (Salvá 3), spreading along the entire length of Blai and up to Plaça del Sortidor, ensuring there’s plenty of terrace space and choice for everyone. At La Soleá (Plaça del Sortidor 14), we chomped on saucers of tasty seafood paella washed down with small tumblers of cold Moritz. Bar Lia (Blai 28) is famous for its three meat croquetes, but last week came up trumps with mini salads of sweet, plump sun-blush tomatoes in thyme-infused oil scattered with rocket and glasses of vibrant Rueda. And La Tieta (Blai 1) served mounds of rich ensaladilla rusa—chopped potatoes in a velvety mayonnaise studded with gherkins, chunks of high grade tuna and sweet carrots—with a buttery white from the Costers del Segre. Grand total €6. Now that, my friends, is surely worth leaving the house for.