Bar Mundial in El Born, Barcelona
[Bar Mundial en Barcelona]
Resuming my tapas run in Barcelona: for the same reasons you’ve got to be at Cerveceria Catalana to soak in the typical bar scene, Bar Mundial offers you yet another kind of down-to-earth neighborhood tapas bar tableau. Fresh seafood is the name of the game in this antiquated establishment, run by the same family for many many years.
That weekend I was in Barcelona, Nico and Ivan offered me the honor of choosing a dinner venue. And for T’s benefit, since I’m showing him MY Barcelona, Bar Mundial was my top choice, namely for the fresh-seafood-to-order tapas genre I want to orientate him through. We got lucky since Nico has an “enchufa” (literal translation for both plug and socket; Spanish slang for connections or network.) The “enchufa” is the co-owner -- the female counterpart of the husband and wife team, who went to school with the guy Nico was dating.
Okay, so we arrived, and we get (drum roll…) reserved seats at the bar – absolute prime real estate! You see, this is such a treat for me because I swear the first three times I tried to check this place out, I was flat down turned away cos it was full house, and it was late, and they simply couldn’t accommodate more. This was great. The fourth attempt and my first actual taste of the place, we were in the dining area, which was not all that fun. In contrast, the seats at the bar gets you all the action: people standing at the bar debating on the headline of the day and demanding for more cerveza, people beside and behind you talking loudly with their voice and their hands, tables so small all the food that arrives just appears to be larger and more inviting in size – you get it, it’s just more fun and less boring.
[Pulpo a la gallega]
To give you an idea of what kind of big seafood dinner we get, here’s what we ordered out of the menu: navajas con ajo y perejil (razor clams with garlic and parsley), mejillones a la marinera (mussels in white wine sauce), pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus with paprika). We also had a huge serving of jamon Iberico, pan amb tomaquet (national Catalan dish – tomato and garlic on baguette) and patatas bravas (Spanish “fries” in its own right).
According to T, it was the best tasting fries he’s ever had. I’ve had some really good ones at Brasserie Harkema in Amsterdam past weekend but he insists that those Spanish ones are unbeatable, best tasting. I’m sure the olive oil used to make those patatas bravas does really make a difference.
So here you go, holiday-makers, you can’t miss this one if you’re heading to Gaudi town anytime soon. One online reviewer simply put it this way: “Popular with discerning Barcelona dwellers I cannot think of a more 'authentic' experience in the city.”
In the know:
Plaça Sant Agustí Vell 1, 08003 Barcelona
Metro: Jaume I
Reservations recommended: 933 199 056