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El Gran Cafe



Recently I took a good friend here for a Sunday mid-day repast that was also a birthday treat, we were not disappointed at all. In fact, we had one of the finest meals I've had in any European city, with service to match, and practically discount pricing.

Upon entering we were ushered upstairs, as we had no reservation. But no problem, they were happy to have us, and seated us at the rail of the balcony looking over a room filled with happy diners, scurrying waiters in uniforms, and management efficiently making sure everyone was taken care of properly.

Built in 1924 the interior is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau, with crystal chandeliers and black-and-white tiled floor. The wood panelling is hand-carved and stained a dark brown from years of smoking, you can see the original hand-painted decorations through the patina.

Many of the diners were dressed quite nicely for Sunday dinner, with only one table of tourists looking sadly out of place with their t-shirts and plastic clothing emblazoned with a myriad of logos. Yet even they were treated with kind professionalism.

We ordered a bottle of Montecillo, a fabulous rioja, priced at just 12 euros. The taste still lingers in my memory, and it's a nice memory indeed. The three course meal started with a supposedly simple garden salad, which featured no fewer than 20 different ingredients, not counting the fresh herbs and dressing. My soup was onion, and rich. It also contained an egg yolk, boiled to perfection. When mashed into the soup it gave the concoction a different, and amazingly rich flavor. My friend's appetizer plate was also reportedly amazing, but I was too busy with the soup, and I don't even remember what my friend had!!!


 

However both main courses stick in my mind quite well. Not only decorated and placed on the plate with an artistic flair, the portions were not small, and were accomplishments of note for perfection. My friends tuna steak was seared to a crispness outside, and being thickly cut, still quite fresh inside. The flavor was indeed superb. My more traditional sounding Peking Duck was anything but, served as slices of amazingly tender duck breasts grilled and plated with a sauce from heaven. I cannot describe it further, but wonder how many millions of calories were in this thick, brown gravy. Alongside this array of duck was a square tower on the plate consisting of a potato puff pie with strands of herbs baked into it's interior.

However both main courses stick in my mind quite well. Not only decorated and placed on the plate with an artistic flair, the portions were not small, and were accomplishments of note for perfection. My friends tuna steak was seared to a crispness outside, and being thickly cut, still quite fresh inside. The flavor was indeed superb. My more traditional sounding Peking Duck was anything but, served as slices of amazingly tender duck breasts grilled and plated with a sauce from heaven. I cannot describe it further, but wonder how many millions of calories were in this thick, brown gravy. Alongside this array of duck was a square tower on the plate consisting of a potato puff pie with strands of herbs baked into it's interior.
But enough elaborate descriptions, all I have to say is that when in Barcelona, go to the Gran Cafe in the Barrio for a great meal. Weekdays they have a lunch menu under ten euros that include wine and three courses. Weekends and nights it's a la carte, but what a choice, and the prices range around 30 euros per person for a nice meal with wine, dessert and tip.


More Info: Metro stop: Liceu or Dressanes

Open Mondays thru Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm, and 9 until 11:30 pm. Sundays 1 pm until 9 pm.

Address: Calle de Avinyo
City: Barcelona
Postcode:
Phone: 933 18 79 86
Fax:
Added: December 18th 2003
Reviewer: Martin Trip
Score:
Hits: 8787
Language: albanian

  
Visitor Ratings
11 entries.
Food:
8.9
Service:
9.4
Ambiance:
9.6
Value:
9.7
Overall:
9.5
Rate This Restaurant


Posted by Ofian on 2004-10-18 12:32:14
My Score:
A must!

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-10-14 16:49:12
My Score:
A great place for a romantic meal with a Superb range of local and international wine.

Posted by Russells on 2004-09-01 13:24:04
My Score:
This was our first visit to Barcelona and would recommend this as a must to visit. The food was exceptional, better than any top London Restaurant that we have frequented. We will return in the not to distant future.

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-08-18 18:03:29
My Score:

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-07-19 18:56:29
My Score:

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-07-15 17:36:01
My Score:

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-04-02 18:27:00
My Score:
The highlight of an amazing holiday in barcelona. Muchas gracias todos.

Posted by Anonymous on 2004-02-12 17:50:09
My Score:
The ambiance is excellent, the food is o.k. and the prices reasonable.

Posted by sexy mama on 2004-01-10 18:20:21
My Score:
I loved it sooooooooooooooooooo much. LOVE IT

Posted by Anonymous on 2003-10-14 10:04:40
My Score:

Posted by Anonymous on 2003-09-09 04:53:20
My Score:

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