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Cal Pep

This entry has a rating of 5
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Cal Pep $$$ [Tapas][Mediterranean][Seafood][Born]
Plaça de les Olles, 8
08003 Barcelona, Spain
[website]  [map]
Metro: Jaume 1 (L4), Barceloneta (L4)
Hours: M 8pm-11:30pm; Tu-Sa 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11:30pm;
closed Sundays

Contact: 93-310-79-61 /// calpep@eresmas.net, calpep@calpep.com
One of the best places in Barcelona for fresh seafood tapas that is becoming more and more packed by tourists as the “secret” is let out.

Visited: 2pm Sat. May 20, 2006
Entrance: Cal Pep
In the middle of shops and restaurants in a small square. I never really noticed this place when I was walking around, as the entrance is so small. Sometimes you’ll see a line of people going out the door.

The tapas bar.
Cal Pep
There is also a restaurant with tables in the back, but come here for the fun tapas bar! Very narrow area, with one wall lined with fan artwork and the people waiting to eat, the other with the fresh seafood on display and the cooking, and the center occupied by the diners at the bar. There are only about 20 seats, so be prepared to wait up to an hour before getting seated. Cal Pep does not take reservations for the bar seating area, but the wait is not so bad. I spent the 45 minutes drooling as I watched them prepare the food and breathing down the necks of the diners, staring at the delicious looking dishes they were eating. Okay, the space is not that tight, but it’s pretty tight! They’re also pretty fair with the line; you must be in line to get seated. For example, right when you enter, you let them know how many your party is, and all of you must wait in line. We got bumped up because someone in front of us was saving spots for 6 other friends.

Pan con tomate €2.30
pan con tomate
Finally seated at the bar, we started off with some crunchy toasted bread smeared with tomatoes and olive oil. The waiter who took our order was very quick and helped us pick some dishes.

Fried Artichoke €4.30
These were the best fried artichokes I’ve ever had! Soft artichoke hearts fried crisp in ultra light and thin salted batter. It didn’t feel too oily at all, and retained a lot of yummy artichoke flavor.

Fried Calamari €11.10
Very light and thin salted batter, like the one on the artichokes. Fresh soft chewy calamari. I really like this type of batter, if it is even a batter. It covers the food perfectly evenly and gives just enough crispiness and salt without being too heavy, doughy, soggy, or oily like most battered fried foods.

Cockles- Berberechas €7.50
Little clams drizzled with slightly spicy, peppered olive oil.

Lobster with Rice €33.00
lobster rice
Really yummy creamy saffron rice with a medium sized meaty lobster and mussels. This dish almost defeated us, but we were still ready for dessert!

Coconut, Lemon, and Catalan Creme Foam €2.40 each (€7.20 total) and one shot of Strawberries and Cream €3.00
foam shots
Just ask for the “espumas” and they’ll give you all four deliciously dense, thick flavored whipped creams served in shot glasses. Everyone has to get these! A good way to finish off the meal, as they are light but very yummy.
The coconut one tasted sugary like a marshmallow, and had a touch of alcohol like a pina colada. The lemon was very sour and sweet and had a thick strong taste like a key lime pie. On the bottom right, the Catalan creme was caramelly and gingery and topped with a thin crispy layer of burnt sugar. The strawberries on the left were topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with some chocolate powder.

The strawberries.
tiny berries
These strawberries were tiny! I have never seen such small cute ones! They were really soft and sweet, and just mushed in my mouth.

Cal Pep was one of my last meals in Barcelona, and a great way to finish off my stay, although I wish I had gone earlier so I could have gone back several more times! Simple and quick seafood seasoned just lightly so you can savor the fresh and natural flavors. And definitely can’t miss their flavored foams!

2 racio pa de coca 4.60
1 racio calamar fregit 11.10
1 racio carxofes 4.30
1 aigua sense gas 1/4 1.20
2 coca-cola 3.60
1 Llagosta a la planxa 33.00
1 berberetxos a L’olla 7.50
3 espumes 7.20
1 chupito maduxetas xoco 3.00
total+tax= €80.79 (large lunch for 2)

One Response to “Cal Pep”

  1. Edward Juan says:

    that lobster and clam dishes look so good. i want to make that NOW.