And so we continued on our way, eventually we reached La Rambla. We both loved this street. It was perfect and had all the ingredients to make it such an enjoyable place to be in. The atmosphere was lively, street performers were abound, stalls littered both sides of the street and it had lots of food and ice cream!
Walking along La Rambla, we eventually noticed the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (La Boqueria Market). We entered this market and were greeted by various displays of fruits and fruit juices amongst other things. The natural medley of the various fruit colours were a sight to behold.
Close to La Rambla was the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia), also more simply known as the Barcelona Cathedral. This prominent landmark has very impressive architecture and imposes a commanding presence in the city. It was spectacular to look at, if one can ignore the scaffolding around the top and the huge crane in front of it. Ah well, it needs to be refurbished at some point I guess.
Now it’s time for lunch. The restaurant of our choice was Restaurant Etapes. We decided to have lunch here as it ranked rather high on Tripadvisor’s restaurant list for Barcelona.
Both indoor and outdoor seating were available. We opted to sit inside as it looked comfortable (it was!) and it was more cooling than being outside. The interior of the restaurant was not big, but it was not uncomfortably small. The design was simplicity at its finest.
When we were seated, we were given a choice between complimentary white or tomato bread. We opted for the tomato bread as it sounded more exciting. We were not disappointed. It tasted of fresh tomato and garlic and was a great way to start off the meal.
The lunch menu from Tuesdays to Fridays is divided into three courses; a starter, a main course and dessert. The total per person for lunch was €15.50. There was a selection of 3 items for the starter and 4 items to choose from for the main course. For our starters, we had the green salad with salmon mousse, buffalo cheese and vinaigrette Chardonnay (pictured). This was a good salad with slightly sour dressing was really appetising. My better half enjoyed the salad very much.
We also had the pumpkin cream with shavings of dried tuna, dried fruit and reduction of Modena. The best and simplest way to describe this would be to say that it was a thick pumpkin soup. It was sweet and was a contrast to the salad. I really liked the pumpkin cream and would love to have more.
For the mains we had the Planxa fish market fish with marinara sauce and peas. The name refers to the fish market as the fish used changes depending on what’s fresh and available from the fish market. It was lightly salted and not cooked with many different flavours, but in this instance that was exactly why it was good. We were able to taste the natural flavour and freshness of the fish.
The second main was the rump steak with port sauce, caramelised onions and mashed potatoes. The steak was good, but not great. It was nice and pink on the inside with a trace of blood. I enjoy my steaks that way, but some might not fancy it too much. Even so, the steak was a bit chewy which can get tiring after a while. On its own it would not be a very good steak, but it was redeemed by the sweet port sauce and caramelised onions. The sauce was an excellent accompaniment to the steak.
There were two items to choose from for dessert that day; banana cake and chocolate cake. In the interests of expanding our food horizons, we had one of each. The banana cake (pictured) was not the light and fluffy variation, but more dense. Even so, it was very enjoyable. It was not too sweet and did well as a light after-meal snack.
All in all, it was a good lunch and we were glad to have followed the recommendations of Tripadvisor. The restaurant has a website with a map of their location here.
We had something light for dinner that night, watch this space to find out what it was!
Enric Granados, 10
Tel: +34 93 323 6914