No matter how grown up you are, there’s nothing like a good sign or notice with a rude word in it to make you go all puerile and giggly. Such is the case with the name of the bar next to Can Eusebio. If I hadn’t have chortled to myself I might never have noticed the wonderfully rough, ready and cheap neighbour in its midst. Patatas bravas for 1 euro? In central Barcelona? Let’s give them a whirl.
Though you’re offered a menu it’s really not necessary here as the walls are lined with yellow, laminated cards stating the dishes and rock-bottom prices and as always there is the omnipresent TV providing background entertainment. And for once, many of the customers crammed into the packed out bar had one eye on the screen showing the re-run of the pre-season El Classico ‘friendly’. To quote a friend who recently visited “Spain could wipe out its economic deficit in a flash if they just turned off all the unwatched TVs in bars.”
The waiters here are slightly surly but are dashing out decent standard tapas at a furious rate. Those cut price patatas bravas hit the mark, crisp on the outside, fluffy in the middle and as I like them with the bravas sauce on the side.
The winning dish was the pinchos morunos, succulent, tender pieces of marinated pork that hinted of paprika, lemon and other spices. Some toasted bread and a dollop of alioli made this a moreish combination and was on the bill for a measly 3.30€.
The generous portion of boquerones vinagre, anchovy fillets marinated in vinegar were as good as any I’ve had elsewhere and again were only 3.50€ per plate.
The potato bombas lacked the finesse and perfect sphericalness of those I ate at Lolita Taperia and were a little too soft, but had a comforting flavour of home in the sense they reminded us of stuffing. Once again, only another 3.50€.
And finally pulpitos. If you’ve never eaten baby octopus then you really should try them. Cooked in garlic and parsley they are wonderful, especially if they have a little crispyness on the outside from being fried. Here they were marinera style so I was slightly disappointed when they arrived in a tomato and red pepper sauce, served only lukewarm. My fault for not being up on the different permutations of sauces, these were passable but I wouldn’t order them again.
The full bill for the food including two Cokes was only 18€, a bargain for a fair amount of grub. The laid back yet buzzing atmosphere make this a great place for a midweek get-together or pre-night out refuel. I might even make a habit of a plate and a euro beer on my way home from work and amuse myself once again with the neghbouring bar name. I’ll leave you to discover that one for yourself.
Can Eusebio, Vilá i Vilá 84, Poble Sec