Most tourists are familiar with the medieval Barrio Gótico, renowned for the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia – the young virgin who suffered martyrdom during Roman times by being placed in a barrel stuck with knives and rolled down the street (good times!); the ever famous hangout of Pablo Picasso called, Els Quatre Gats; and the palm tree lined Plaça Reial, complete with lanterns designed by Gaudi himself. This neighborhood is a hotbed of history and culture, and also happens to contain some of the most authentic Tapas joints in Barcelona.
El Tropezón, located on the corner of Carrer d’En Gignàs and Carrer del Regomi, is easy to pass by if you’re blind to the ginormous Tortilla Española sitting regally in the window. Measuring approximately 5 finger widths tall, and oozing with eggy, potato deliciousness, you might find yourself unconsciously peering ravishingly at its perfection, nose pressed flat against the glass. But you’re not the only one, I too have done it on more than one occasion, slightly freaked out when one of the many cooks stare at me with the all too familiar, “yeah, we know you want a piece of this!” Yes, yes I do.
And so I did last Saturday, sitting on a dark wooden bench with a plate of Patatas Aioli, Mushrooms and a slice of Tortilla Española. I was also tempted to order their chorizo, but as I was dining alone, 3 healthy portioned dishes looked as if I was eating for small army, but curiosity got the best of me.
The Patatas Aioli are renowned as being some of the best in Barcelona, despite being improperly named Patatas Bravas by many guides. Patatas Bravas are traditionally drenched in a spicy sauce, while these are blanketed in a mountain of mayonnaise, garlic and smoked paprika. Don’t get me wrong, they’re tasty, but they aren’t Patatas Bravas; instead, they’re a delicious heart-attack in the making.
What did grab me, however, were their fantastic mushrooms! Doused in garlic olive oil, these were lovely and most definitely worthy of your attention! Finally, the Tortilla Española, which can show horrifically if not made well. The potatoes must be tender enough to savour, but still retain a touch of crispness – which to my great fortune, they did. Wrapped in a slightly eggy exterior, not too dry or overcooked, it was phenomenal.
Mind you, this isn’t a place for sweet service or a helpful staff, nor is it a location for wine. I didn’t dare ask as for a glass, as both red and white appeared to be kept at Antarctic temperatures within a cooler. This is a beer joint! But we’re not taken fabulous Belgium beers, we’re talking good old-fashion quaffing tapas beer. So keep your wine preferences for places such as El Senyor del Vin, Tapas C24, Origins or Vila Vinateca, and enjoy this place for what it is, authentic tapas.
El Tropezón Tapas Bar
Carrer del Regomir, 26
Barcelona – Spain
Opening hours : Every day except Wednesday from 12am to 2am
Tapas from 2 to 6€
+34 93 310 18 64
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