The best thing about finding new places to eat is being surprised against common norms. When I read the word ‘tavern’, I think of a noisy place with rowdy people drinking and eating to their heart’s content.
Which it was to some extent. The restaurant’s exterior is downright deceiving to the noise level I realized I’m not used to anymore. There goes my good younger years. Stepping in through revolving doors, it was an onslaught of conversations, music, and as expected, alcohol. Big screen TV’s showing the sports channels, tapas abundance, the clinking of glasses, and laughter from each table. It became obvious Barcelona Tavern is the hangout for corporate people to end the day with beer and finger foods.
I expected a quieter ambiance, but it was okay. I considered the noise a type of relaxation to unwind after a hard day’s work and enjoying the $1 oyster deal, which happens every Wednesday.
Their menu consists of lots of finger foods that are good for sharing, beer, cocktails, and desserts that go well with everything else. We were also graced by a superbly attentive server, who often checked up on us despite her constant moving around in that sexy dress and heels. Might I say, I love the sassiness of the servers. I observed them moving around tables and being the perfect hostess to their clientele.
STK and Frites. AAA Alberta Butchers Cut, Kennebec Potato, Horseradish Chimichurri.
The beef was so oh-deliciously juicy I wanted rice to go along with it. But no, we had to respect the cuisine and we ended up still hungry after finishing the plate together with a bucket of West Coast Oysters. Thus, we ordered this next item below.
Spanish Slammer. Brioche bun, Braised Pork, Apple Stew, Avocado Salsa Verde. It’s not always I find a dish that has fruit, vegetables and pork and still tastes divine. If there is anything that sets this bun apart from similar dishes, it was the juicy pork. Each chew felt like the pork is melting into your mouth, simmering its juices into the other ingredients. I easily finished my Spanish Slammer in a few bites, but it was very filling I couldn’t ask for more.
Classic Churros. Barcelona Doughnut, Cinnamon Sugar, with Hazelnut Chocolate and Dulce De Leche dips. Churros has always been a welcome treat for me because it is a dessert I rarely get access to. A subtly sweet deep-friend pastry is the perfect enter for our tavern experience.
When we stepped out into the sun after having our early dinner, we welcomed the breeze and noise of downtown settling at the end of the day. People going home from offices, lines forming at bus stops and train stations, and some winding down with some cool beer and snacks. We like Barcelona Tavern. Though we might have grown too old for the kind of noise a tavern brings, we believe we will come back to this place bringing our friends along for a short get together.
Besides, I think Barcelona Tavern is the perfect place to be yourself, not minding noise level protocol and just to unwind. Be ready to be pampered by pretty servers, dine on the Mediterranean inspired dishes, and most of all, soak up into the day-ender afternoon vibe to prepare for the evening ahead.
501 8 Ave SW, Calgary,