It's Friday night and after a succesful week in terms of working out we decided to go out for dinner. Right next door to our building, on number 264-266 (we live on 268) of C/ Rosselló is Can Pere, a family restaurant with a good reputation for paellas and Catalan cuisine. Since we were tired and didn't want to stray far, we decided to give it a try. We went downstairs at 8:30 pm but that was too early – restaurant only opened at 9 pm. We tried again at 9:15 and got a table. We had a Amanida Catalana (Catalan salad) to start – a fresh mix of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, slices of Catalan sausages, olives and cheese. We then had the paella, which was only served for two.
Let me open a parenthesis here to add that Alan had already experienced paella here and was very disappointed. During our first trip to the old city we found ourselves hungry and in a little square filled with restaurants aimed at the tourist crowd. They all offered the same menu of pasta, pizza and paellas. It looked pretty artificial to me so I told Alan it was best to avoid the paella there. He didn't listen and had what we now call a "tourist-trap paella". It was indeed pretty bad and he decided he didn't care much for the dish. We've since seen the exact same sign for the paella he had in that restaurant in several other touristy spots and we've decided that it must be some sort of mass-produced paella sold to restaurants across town. Maybe frozen paella??
Tonight he decided to give it one last shot in a place that looked legitimate enough – the lack of english menus was a good sign – and we were not disappointed. The seafood (different kinds of shrimps, baby lobster, mussels, oysters, etc) was very fresh and the rice al-dente and well seasoned. We followed it with a flan de la casa and a cortado and more or less rolled home. Alan's bad impression of paellas was succesfully erased.
Next week we are going for tapas with his class. I'll let you know how that goes.