El Xampanyet Tapas bar in Barcelona was a terrible experience for me. Choosing a proper tapas bar in Barcelona is always a challenge for me. How to eat tapas, how to pay for the food, what to order?
These are the three main questions that made me puzzled. And so far I have had quite negative tapas experiences, unfortunately. One of them took place in a very famous bar in El Born neighborhood.
To find El Xampanyet Tapas bar in Barcelona I used the Foursquare application and saw, that lots of my friends used to check in there. Moreover, the rating about 9 points made me absolutely sure, that I found a good place to eat tapas.
Entering the bar I was surprised to see it packed with people. At first I could not even understand if they eat or just stay and talk to the neighbors. But getting closer to the bar I spotted a vacant gap between two local families happily eating their meal.
My experience was telling me that I am going to eat well and have good time, because the barmen looked very friendly, talking to guests, blowing horns and ringing the bells, when another dish arrived from the kitchen.
Being so inspired with the atmosphere of El Xampanyet I absolutely sincerely told the barman that I am for the first time in their bar and would love to eat well. And to cut a long story short, it was my first mistake.
My tapas evening began with a selection of bread + something at the top (3 pieces) and tiny red paprikas filled with cheese. Everything was quite good: fresh bread covered with tasty mixtures and pickles.
It took me some 5 minutes to finish the portion (cause I was very hungry) and looking through my right shoulder at the plate of mashed potatoes with grilled octopus I ordered the same. The middle size portion was as tasty as well cooked mashed potatoes with proper grilled octopus can taste.
Eating with popular in Catalonia tomato bread I killed my huge hunger and refused a plate of some seafood the barmen offered me (it looked like the plate was traveling from table to table).
I completed my tapas dinner within some 30 minutes. It was the moment to ask for the bill. The barmen asked me if I liked the food and if I was happy with it. Well, till that very moment, I was. He was pushing the buttons on the desk, turned to me and said “25 Euros”. Whaat?! 25 Euros, really?
The price was quite higher than I expected it to be for 3 piece of bread, 3 tiny peppers with cheese, the tiniest bottle of Fanta lemon and a plate of mashed potatoes with octopus. And that was my second mistake: I gave him the money without seeing the bill. Frankly speaking quite an unusual behavior for me.
I payed and left the bar El Xampanyet. But how terrible is the feeling of being screwed up. It sits inside you and bites. You acknowledge that you are a complete looser.
This terrible feeling made me come back and have a look at the menu. The barman (in the picture above) who served me by that time had already forgotten how to speak or understand English. To my request to give me the bill he was just shaking his head making the signs that he understood nothing from the situation. My third mistake was to rely on the barman and order food without looking in to the menu.
El Xampanyet Review
The worth thing is that he cheated not only on me, but on the owner of the Tapas Bar El Xampanyet and his colleagues, because giving me no bill he could have put the 25 Euros into his pocket. Or maybe it is the way this bar works? Anyway I can sincerely recommend the place as it gives amazing food experience, but to avoid negative emotions do not follow my mistakes:
- Never say that you are for the first time in the bar;
- Look at the price in the menu;
- Always ask for the bill.
I have looked through the menu and got the following calculations:
- Octopus – 9 Euro
- 3 pieces of bread with something on the top – 4-5 Euros max
- Bread with stomate – 1 Euro (3 pieces)
- Pimiento con queso (pickled paprika with cheese) – 3 Euros (3 pieces)
- Total: 18 Euros
So I guess it was my 0,25 bottle of Fanta Lemon that made another 7-8 Euros of the bill? I sincerely hope that you will come to El Xampanyet one day to taste their tapas, but you will be much wiser than I. And you won’t repeat my mistakes.
- Address: Carrer de Montcada, 22, Barcelona, Spain;
- Open: 12–15; 19–23;
- Phone: +34 933 19 70 03.