A Rustic Fare in Barcelona

Photo: N. Cook

Just steps inside the main entrance of one of Barcelona’s busiest municipal food markets sits the small counter resto Bar Pinotxo where one can enjoy some of the best eats on offer in the city.

Once you fight your way through the crowds of the cavernous Boqueria Market off Las Ramblas and score one of the 14 prized stools at the counter of Bar Pinotxo, you are immediately greeted by the bowtie-clad owner and operator, Juanito Bayen who asks you if you are in the mood for meat or fish.  Your Correspondent and his wife chose the meat option.  Juanito cut up a few slices of crusty bread, poured your Correspondent a glass of cava (a great way to start the day in Barcelona) and set two plates on the counter in front of us: one plate consisted of Cocido de Carne (beef stew with peas and potatoes) for your Correspondent’s wife and the second plate consisted of braised ox tail in fragrant tomato broth for your Correspondent.  Juanito did not inquire as to whether we were in the mood for either of those two specific dishes, as that’s not how the operation works.  However, Juanito did not lead us astray.  The meat in both dishes was extraordinarily tender and flavorful. We soaked up the last of the juices with our crusty bread as onlookers salivated and hoped that we were abandoning our seats after a satisfying meal.  But we disappointed them.

After the meat dishes, your Correspondent ordered a dish of pimientos de Padrón as he does at almost every meal while in Barcelona.  The rustic dish of quickly fried and salted Padrón peppers hits the spot every time.

The simple and flavorful food, the lively atmosphere of the market, the service with a smile and the history (Juanito has worked at the bar for over 50 years) make Bar Pinotxo a JTMWTG recommendation.

Get there early because they do run out of food in the early afternoon (as your Correspondent sadly learned on his second visit to Bar Pinotxo).

Bar Pinotxo
La Boquería  466-467
La Rambla 89
08002 Barcelona
ph: +34 933 171 731

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Correspondent:Nick Cook

Originally from the Midwest, Nick has spent the last decade living in Washington, DC, Kiribati, Sao Paulo and London. Wherever he goes, Nick enjoys starting a meal with a wheated bourbon and finishing it with a tawny port. Nick is currently based in London with his Omahanian wife where he spends his weekdays lawyering and his weekends searching wineshops for malbecs to wash down his favorite cheeses from Neil's Yard Dairy.

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