Paco Meralgo – comer algo, get it?
(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.
Never mind. I didn't get it either. It took our friend the Silly Disciple to point out the pun, and then David to translate it. I can be that thick sometimes. You still didn't get it? What's Google Language Tools for?
Paco Meralgo is a tapas bar in a town full of tapas bars, Barcelona. With a roster of names like Pinotxo and Quim in the Boqueria market and the world famous –you either love it or hate it- Cal Pep, just to name a few, it's easy for yet another tapas bar to get lost in the fray. Paco Meralgo distinguish themselves with not only good tapas fares –easy enough to find in this town- but by opening every day of the week. Now that's something you don't find every day. Ha ha –I'm just so full of puns today. Even more amazing is that they somehow manage to have fresh seafoods even on Sundays and Mondays. Never mind what that Bourdain told you. It's really quite safe to eat seafood at Paco Meralgo even on those days. The quality is evident enough in the photos above, so if you didn't believe me you could see for yourself.
It's also a good sign that all kinds of people in-the-know can be found here. Two very knowledgeable foodie friends took us here the first time, and then the next day at lunch we were back there again with another friend, Francesc, the fancy ingredients purveyor to the best chefs in Spain. And we ran into the guy who runs Inopia, chowing on some tapas on his day off from managing a tapas bar! I told you this place isn't bad, now you believe me?
What did we eat there? Well, the thing not to miss is the salt cod salad Esqueixada, served in the simple and traditional manner, with chopped tomatoes, a few olives, and dressed with good olive oil. There was also the Pa amb Tomàquet, the ubiquitous Catalan bread rubbed with tomato, which was particularly good here. We also had plump oysters –yes, yes, on a Monday- and juicy Razor clams. Being a lover of all things fried, I really enjoyed the fried artichokes –trimmed, sliced crosswise to look something like vegan crabs and fried in olive oil- and the tempura fried Calçot (kal-sot), a milder, sweeter variety of spring onions. The fried Calçot was served with a great big bowl full of Romesco sauce. We also had some good Chipirones, little baby squids , and yummy Padron peppers.
The beer and wine lists here are quite good as well. We particularly loved the old vines Albariño on the list from Do Ferreiro –a great nose, floral, citrus, and green apple, with good minerality and acidity, just delicious with the tapas.