Pinotxo Bar

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 11:28 am

I loved Pinotxo Bar so much that I went back three times.  I don’t usually make repeat visits to restaurants when I travel because there are so many other places to explore, but Pinotxo is special.

Pinotxo Bar

The food there is as fresh, simple, and flavorful as it gets.  Toasted bread with grated tomato pulp.  Clams with flecks of scrambled eggs.  Razor clams which burst open on the grill.  Perfectly fried croquetas, creamy on the inside.  Chickpeas, heightened by bits of morcilla sausage, pine nuts, and a few golden raisins.  Escargot, served in its own shell, cooked with sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, and plenty of olive oil.  (In the States, escargot often comes in cans.  Some restaurants actually buy bags of empty, sterilized shells and stuff the canned snails inside them for show.  At Pinotxo, there was a peculiar pleasure in pulling the snail out of its own home, seeing it uncurl, and then giving a little tug at the end to finally wrench it free.)

Pan con Tomate at Pinotxo Bar Razor Clams at Pinotxo Bar

the chickpeas at Pinotxo Bar Escargot at Pinotxo Bar

Pinotxo’s draw is as much about the feeling as it is about the food.  Juanito Bayen, the legendary owner, exudes joy as he presides over the place.  Like at Cal Pep, there is limited countertop at Pinotxo.  Ten lucky people get to sit at a time.  This one doesn’t have a formal line so you have to eye your spot and scoot in when you can.  Once perched, you’re part of the family.  At the end of each visit, wanting to stay but knowing that someone else was waiting to take my place, I would reluctantly give up my seat.  On the last day of my too-short time in Barcelona, I was sad to leave Pinotxo.  I don’t often revisit places, but I’ve resolved that I will be back there someday.

Pinotxo Bar in Barcelona

Pinotxo Bar in Barcelona

Pinotxo Bar in Barcelona

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