Wendy at Quimet & Quimet

Tapas for Day 2 of Barcelona with Portland Food Adventures


I didn’t rouse early for Day 2 of our Portland Food Adventure Barcelona tour. The plan was for us to break into two groups to have a tapas lunch at Quimet & Quimet at noon or at 1:15 pm.

Penny and I walked to Q&Q, which was  in the El Poble Sec area, about a 40 minute walk from our hotel. This was the day of the La Merce Festival and many other eateries were closed. We wisely arrived at Quimet & Quimet to be first in when it opened.

Chef Jose Chesa take our orders at Quimet & Quimet
Chef Jose Chesa take our orders at Quimet & Quimet

Q&Q is a tiny tapas bar (as is typical for a tapas bar).  It often makes top 10 lists for tapas bars in Barcelona. There are a small number of cafe tables to stand at to eat. They specialize in montadito, little open-faced sandwiches with amazing toppings, many of which use their own conservas – preserved or pickled items. My liver was going to have a lot of work to do to process all of this. They are a wine shop that specializes in vermut, different types of vermouth.

What makes this Portland Food Adventure international great is that our Chef Jose Chesa of Portland’s Ataula, a native of Barcelona, was able to order for us. That took away the intimidation factor and also ensured we got a variety of items. Left to myself, I certainly wouldn’t have ordered some of the more esoteric but delightful ones. Also, we shared plates so we could enjoy a small bite of each rather than having to just try one or two.

Here are the amazing montaditos we enjoyed:

Quimet & Quimet - white asparagus with salmon
Quimet & Quimet – white asparagus with salmon
Quimet & Quimet - foie pate with black salt
Quimet & Quimet – foie pate with black salt
Quimet & Quimet - tuna belly, red pepper
Quimet & Quimet – tuna belly, red pepper
Quimet & Quimet - Salmon, cream cheese, truffles
Quimet & Quimet – Salmon, cream cheese, truffles
Quimet & Quimet - Caviar and cheese
Quimet & Quimet – Caviar and cheese
Quimet & Quimet - Sardine and sea urchin
Quimet & Quimet – Sardine and sea urchin
Quimet & Quimet - Anchovy, red pepper, olive
Quimet & Quimet – Anchovy, red pepper, olive

I made my way back to the hotel and enjoyed some of the street muscians playing. Plus, the rooftop bar of the hotel had a lovely view out over the city and comfy seating.

View from Hotel H1 in Barcelona
View from Hotel H1 in Barcelona
Street musicians in Barcelona
Street musicians in Barcelona

Our dinner would also be tapas, and rather than split into two groups we were able to get seating for all of us in one go, although a few had to sit at a separate bar.

Lolita Taperia
Lolita Taperia

Lolita Taperia is in the upscale L’Eixample district. Owner Joan Martínez transformed a classic bar into a fun and trendy place. Several of the tapas and plates are plays on American fast food, such as hamburgers, chicken fingers and ribs.

Again, we were saved by Chef Jose Chesa ordering for us.  If I had come here on my own, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the variety of dishes.

Lolita Taperia Group
Lolita Taperia Group
Lolita - house-cured pork shoulder and soda bread
Lolita – house-cured pork shoulder and soda bread

Chef Jose laments that he can’t get the same flour in the US to make the soda bread. I have to admit that while I like the bread, I want some garlic salt added to the tomato topping. Sacrilege, I know, but next time I go to Spain, I’m taking some with me.

Lolita - salt cod with tomato
Lolita – salt cod with tomato
Lolita - tuna escabeche
Lolita – tuna escabeche

This tuna escabeche was fantastic, and I also loved drinking up the broth from the mussels, which had a peppery punch to it that wasn’t typical for Spain.

Lolita - Mussels
Lolita – Mussels
Lolita - fresh anchovies, deep-fried
Lolita – fresh anchovies, deep-fried

Chef Jose always ordered “little fishies” for us. I will never be a fan, but I appreciate the love others have for them.

Lolita - Eggplant with molasses
Lolita – Eggplant with molasses

The eggplant with molasses was super.

Lolita - chicken nuggets with curry mustard
Lolita – chicken nuggets with curry mustard

Not your McDonald’s variety of chicken nuggets.

Lolita - rabbit ribs with aoli
Lolita – rabbit ribs with aoli

Chef Jose said you can’t get these in the US, the rabbits aren’t the right size.

Lolita - hamburger with steak, green pepper and cheese
Lolita – hamburger with steak, green pepper and cheese

The bun needed some work, it crumbled. But the steak sandwich was super.

Lolita - borracho rum cake and mango with lime and honey
Lolita – borracho rum cake and mango with lime and honey

I longingly hoped my dining companions would be too full and leave me an extra one of these.

Dinner lasted from 7 until 9:30 pm, so we were able to leave before the real Barcelona diners were ready for dinner. It was a nice walk back to the hotel. Many of our group then went out dancing, but I had a scary bout of almost fainting at Q&Q earlier in the day and I thought it wise to go to bed.

Next: Day 3 trip to Michelin-starred Can Jubany

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