Thursday, December 17, 2009

Set Portes - Barcelona, Spain

Surprisingly enough, we had yet to try some paella while in Spain so we asked the concierge at our hotel for some recommendations. He referred us to Set Portes, or “seven doors” near the waterfront. It's hidden under a colonnade of archways, but most likely you will see a long line if you come during dinner time. Apparently it was founded in 1836 and is the second oldest restaurant in Barcelona.

After you get past the long line, you'll find yourself inside a surprisingly big restaurant. On my way to the restroom, I spotted a second dining area and even a second level, so this place is huge. The pink ceiling lamps were cute, so I had to take a pic.

We started off with some bread and little olives.
Even the dishes have their name on them. Here's a chicken croquette cozying up to the dish.

We got their classic Paella Parellada, called the "Rich Man's Paella" because the meat is de-boned and the shellfish taken out of its shells for you. When we got the dish, Pete and I both noted how brown it looked. I thought paella was supposed to be more yellow. It was tasty but it didn't knock my socks off. We had food envy when we saw that one table had ordered arroz caldoso, similar to a paella but more soupy. On the menu they also had a version with noodles instead of rice. We probably should have tried that too. Darn!

I tried the crema catalana, basically creme brulee, but a bit lighter.
Pete got the fruit salad. Note the presence of the sugar packet. They like to put sugar in everything.

We came here specifically for paella so we were expecting it to be amazing. It wasn't the best paella ever, but it was ok. I think next time, I'd definitely try the soupy paella and the squid ink paella with noodles.

Set Portes

Passeig de Isabell II, 14

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