Sunday, December 07, 2008

Txikiteo Taberna Vasca, Barcelona


Given that our initial intention to go to San Sebastián on this trip got nixed, it was fortunate that we happened to step into this Basque restaurant here in Barcelona (7 Josep Anselm Clavé, 93-412-4157), as if it were a form of consolation. We got a huge spread of items, including a garlic soup that hardly tasted of garlic, as well as something called pisto, which was a thick mix of tomato, peppers, and zucchini that made for great bread dipping.

Gulas a la VascaMy favorite of the bunch was the gulas a la vasca, or young eels sitting in a little dish of bubbling hot oil, garlic, and chili peppers. These weren't giant unagi-type eels, but rather little noodle-like things that one never would have thought was a form of seafood at all.

Some items pushed the envelope a bit though, including the marmitako stew in the photo up at the top. The dark cubes of tuna carried enough of a fishy stank to the point where we only ate the potatoes. I also got some Arceniaga black pudding that, while edible enough, had a bit more of a bloody aroma than the stuff from yesterday. I'm glad I tried it all either way - next time we'll just have to make sure that we actually head over to the Basque Country to get it straight from the source.


Diane said...

Calling those "eels" is kinda pushing the definition. They are actually "elvers", which are wee baby eels just barely spawned -- a delicacy in England and other such places where people have their eye on the local eels' breeding season and know when the elvers are running. They are *amazing* deep-fried: like whitebait, but better.

Anonymous said...

unless you paid a lot of money for those gulas then they arent really elvers. they will be reconstituted whitefish made to look like elvers. trust me ive had them a lot in spain. real gulas cost a fortune
kelsie from

bma said...

Now that you point it out, I do recall seeing some €50 (US$65) eel dish on the menu at some place earlier this week. These here were only €9.50 (US$12), so I guess that means that they weren't real?

kelsie and mel said...

still seems pretty pricy to me. but a lot of places in barcelona do overcharge. you are better off heading to the pinxto (tapas) bars rather than restaurants for angulas. bar biscaya is fab and all around that area (el born district). failing that you can easily bar gulas in small packets in supermarkets for mere pennies

kelsie and mel said...

and yeah san sebastian is brilliant. el parte vieja is the best for bars. la cuchara de san selmo is the place to be oh yeah baby!!

justinteractive said...

Indeed they are elvers, and they are fantastic dipped in a thin batter and deep fried for a few minutes. We fish them from the Thames every year in London and the mighty St John do them justice every time!