Cal Pep, Barcelona
Concierge.com's insider take:
There's probably no better way to see how impassioned the Catalans have become about eating than to queue for a seat at the pink granite counter at chef Pep Manubens's catch-of-the-day tapas seafooder (the communal groove of the counter is more fun than the quieter dining room). Originally nothing more than a Frankfurt (the local word for sausage stall) on the corner of a quiet square near Santa Maria del Mar, Cal Pep has evolved into a fascinating restaurant. But don't come expecting refinement—this place is relaxed, as in paper place mats and culinary commotion in the open kitchen behind the bar. Depending on the season and markets, you'll feast on clams with parsley, pinkie-sized fried sardines, squid with onion and tomato, potently flavored crimson shrimp from Palamós, baby octopus, or deep-fried Andalusian-style (breaded and fried) cuttlefish. Service is unfailingly good-natured despite the crowds of foodies, locals, and tourists.
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Though it seems that most customers are tourists, it helps if you speak Spanish. Our bartender hardly spoke English, so ordering from among an unwritten menu of the... more
Be prepared - *Americans*. I have to admit I was disappointed and felt like a bit of a tool as we were seated next to a group of Texans (we were in the back at a... more