Barcelona Dining – El Choquito Restaurante

April 21st, 2008 at 5:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Yesterday, after touring the Parc Guell and passing up a visit to the Miro museum (see previous posts), we ended up in Las Ramblas, a busy, touristy section of Barcelona about a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel. We picked a Tapas-oriented place at random and ended up at El Choquito Restaurante, a busy restaurant with mostly tourists as customers, although we did see some locals at the Tapas bar on the way in. Service was brusque – just a slight bit above the sort of service one would get at Dick’s Last Resort back in the U.S. – a chain which prides itself on rude servers.

Fortunately, the food was a bit better than the service, but nothing great – mediocre and expensive would be a better description. We had a blend of tapas and entrees, none of which really stood out, although the patatas bravas were pretty good.

Bas particularly enjoyed his Chicken paella, although I was a bit put out by the lack of saffron flavor and the use of frozen vegetables. However, it’s been pointed out to me that each region in Spain has its own version of paella, with different flavors – but whether that was the reason for the flavor of the paella here or not, I don’t know.

The only thing that was distinctively good was the Cava-based Sangria – Cava is Spanish sparkling wine – and normally Sangria is made with red wine, but it was close to US$35 for one liter of Sangria with Cava.

There’s no question in my mind that El Choquito was a tourist trap. Cost for lunch was about 160 Euros (about US$250) for the six of us – pricey for what we got. I give El Choquito Restaurante a 5.0 out of 10.0 on The Richter Scale.


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