My last post was about a menu del dia in our neighborhood and my main observation was the portion size considering how inexpensive it was. I decided to do a bit more research and I’ve learned that not only is this one of Barcelona’s best kept secrets but it’s also intended to be the biggest meal of the day. This makes so much sense to have a large meal in the day and then have tapas in the evening as you wind down.
Today we visited La Pubilla for their menu del dia. I read a lot of reviews, all positive, that said this was the best Catalan menu del dia in Barcelona. The main complaint was that it’s hard to get inside without a reservation. We arrived around noon and we learned that lunch was not going to be served for another hour. Luckily we were right next to the Mercat Llibertat, which would keep us occupied for more than enough time. It’s a wonderful market filled with seafood, butchers, fresh fruit and a few small bars. We visited Bar La Clau and had a couple of coffee amb llets and a gazpacho. You cannot go wrong with gazpacho freshly made from the market ingredients.
We headed back to La Pubilla right as they began to seat for lunch. I will say that being able to communicate with very little Catalan speaking has been so challenging. I’m terrible at it. I can pick up one or two words but it takes me too long to even put one word together and I must sound like a caveman when responding. My husband’s Spanish is excellent so we were able to understand that table seating was for reservations but we were welcome to sit at the bar facing the wall. This was extremely accommodating and then as a few local patrons left the bar, we were invited for prime seats at the edge of the bar.
The menu was 15 euros for 3 courses including drinks. We each had the casa vi negre and then I wish I could tell you what we had but the menu was in all Catalan and neither of us could understand any of it. Again, a word here and there but you really can’t go wrong with the food here. Who needs words though when you’ve got photos.
My menu del dia started with a potato salad with sweet red onions, apple, melon and radishes. The second course was a salted cod in a lemony sauce with legumes and mussels, finished with a panna cotta style pound cake. Amazing!!!
My husband’s menu started with a mutton rolled inside of a long ravioli with a warm bread to soak up the cream sauce it was sitting in, followed by a sweetbread and calamari dish and finished with a cold watermelon gazpacho with homemade ice cream. We should have photographed the menu because it was so interesting.
The amount of food was incredibly satisfying and so unique. We’ve never had a pairing like this before and it was our first taste of eating Catalan food. I cannot recommend this enough. The best part of having a meal like this midday is stepping out into the cool breezy air for a long walk home and a siesta. Fins la propera!