After playing golf at Club de Golf Barcelona, Michael (my playing partner) told me about a nearby restaurant which is famous for calçots. I didn’t know what calçots were but was certainly keen to try anything new and as it is a specialty in Catalonia this time of year, I had to try them.
Calçots are similar to leeks and are char grilled on a bbq out the back of the restaurant, where they also grow them.
The restaurant is literally a sixty second drive from the golf course and the stone and timber interior immediately made me feel at home. The place smelt amazing and I keenly looked at everyone’s plates as we were seated. The food looked delicious and my mouth was watering.
It was 3pm and I had only had a glass of orange juice, banana oatmeal slice, some fruit and nut mix and I was famished.
I let Michael decide what I should eat as he comes here all the time and while I could have eaten a side of lamb, we were there for the calçots.
After eating some char grilled bread, garlic and tomato as a starter, two plates of calçots and some tomato sauce were delivered. We were also given side plates napkins, wet naps and a bib – similar to a bib you would wear eating lobster but not plastic.
Michael advised me to open the wet nap ready for when I was finished as eating these things is a messy business. I donned my bib, peeled the chargrilled outer layer off, dipped it in the sauce, held it above my head and dragged my teeth along the sweet white flesh.
They are certainly messy and after the first one I had sweet juice running down my fingers, black charcoal under my nails and no doubt black pieces of deliciousness stuck to my face.
They are so good you can’t stop eating them. I looked at the pile in front of me deciding I wouldn’t be able to eat it all but once started I couldn’t stop until they were all gone. Like when I eat popcorn.
When the waiter asked if we wanted more (they are unlimited) I had to decline, I was so full of calçots and was so caught up talking about food and travel with Michael I had forgotten this was only the first dish.
The empty plates were whisked away and replaced with this massive feast of vegetables. Michael kept insisting it was all vegetables and no calories but that was not my problem. I was so full.
I was wondering if I had enough room for any more food. Turns out I did and I gave this plate a good nudge only leaving a few bits and pieces.
I did confirm that there was nothing else coming out after this – there was, but it was only desert, which I decided I would skip.
Michael told me the story of the restaurant which was started by José Vidal Porcar who raced in the Tour de France in 1953. His bike, along with a lot of photos and memorabilia are on display in the restaurant which is now run by his children.
There are different dining rooms for different occasions (some with paper table cloths and some with linen) we were eating in the messy paper table cloth room.
I always love eating out in Spain as it is such a noisy affair and everyone was having a wonderful feast laughing and drinking – well except for the little girl curled up sobbing on the floor after being told she is to stop running around the place.
After eating as many vegetables as I could, I had to drink some water and have a little rest yet when the waiter asked if we wanted dessert I nodded my agreement (my body screamed no but my mouth said yes) and ordered helado de limón which was the perfect palate cleanser.
A fantastic post golf meal after what was a pretty good round of golf.
If you play at Club de Golf Barcelona it is well worth stopping in for a meal at Restaurant Can Vidal-Ramos.