Subject: Re: Dining in Barcelona
Hi Linda,

Adding to Covadonga's comments about Barcelona, I can sympathize a little with her disappointment about the waning art of great tapas dining, especially with the tendency nowadays to dumb-down the dining experience all over the world. And of course it is nigh impossible to compete with the Basques, since EVERYONE knows they are the best cooks in Spain ;-)

That said, on the waterfront near the Barceloneta, I like very much Set Portes which is a large convivial place with a good seafood paella among other great dishes. It is a little bit touristy, but enjoyable nevertheless, and not too expensive. When I was there a couple of years ago, I was seated on a bench up against the wall, and my dining companion pointed out to me the wall plaque right behind my shoulder, indicating that King Juan Carlos had sat in my seat when he had dined at 7 Portes.

Another very fun place, although admittedly almost too touristy for words, is Los Caracoles, where the meal to get (possibly the only meal served) is a big bowl of snails accompanied by spit-roasted chicken. It's not authentic Catalan dining in the strictest sense, but the food is very tasty, inexpensive, and as I've said, the place is a lot of fun.

>From my Michelin Red Guide:

Set Portes passeig d'Isabel II-14

Los Caracoles Escudellers 14, (just of Las Ramblas, and a block southeast of the Plaša Reial)

Joel, in bitterly cold Chicago