While traipsing through Barcelona’s L’Eixample district we passed a place with a line of people out the door and about half a block long. This rubbernecker was way too nosey curious to just walk by without seeing what the hoopla was about. All the rage was a Spanish tapas restaurant. Apparently, judging by the crowd, this one was pretty damn good. And they sold bikinis.
Tapas, 24 is owned by an alum of Ferran Adria’s renowned El Bulli restaurant and creates unique, designer tapas. Not Louis Vuittons. But, Carles Abellans.
We decided not to wait amongst the growing masses and instead come back at an off-peak hour, definitely before prime dinner time. Good idea. We were sat immediately.
Tapas 24 is a no fuss ‘basement’ restaurant, you must go several steps below street level to reach the front door.
Spanish newspapers are available upon entry, hanging along the wall. I left them hanging for someone who could actually read Catalan.
The tapas menu is also in Catalan, printed on a paper bag. But, when the staff sees you eyeballing it glazed over and confused, they will bring you an English version. At least that’s what happened to me.
We started with the Bombes de La Barceloneta (potato croquettes) and the Russa amb Picos de Jerez (Russian potato salad with carrots and fish).
The presentation of both tapas seemed trendy, yet effortless. The fried spud dumplings were crunchy with a smooth mashed potato center. Can you really go wrong with deep-fried potatoes?
Even though we were in a Spanish tapas restaurant, we couldn’t resist ordering an American classic. The Mc Foie Burger.
This tapa was a beef and foie gras patty served with foie grenache. It was the size of a slider accompanied by the DIY foie spread. I slathered the velvety spread on the tender meat and thought about ordering another. But, the bikini was coming.
There was one dish that almost every table had and was highly recommeneded by the staff. The Bikini Comerc 24, a warm sandwich with black truffles, cured Iberian ham and buffala mozzarella.
In my Italian world, it was a crunchy bikini panini. Say that three times fast.
The flecks of black truffles did their job of creating a delectable flavor profile. I liked eating bikinis.
Although eating a bikini did not get the title of the best tapa in Barcelona, it was a close second.
Have you eaten a bikini? What is your favorite tapa restaurant in Spain?
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