My boyfriend and I decided to check out Bar Carrera last Friday night, due in part to the recent hype but moreso to the extreme convenience of it to our apartment. We went around 8pm, both of us coming from holiday parties where we'd had a little finger food so neither of us were excruciatingly hungry. Our wait was short, however, which was nice given the tiny size of the place. Word of warning is thats theres no hostess and I believe there were only 3 people behind the bar, so in order to snag a seat the best way is just to wait behind parties that seem like they may leave soon (an annoying issue later into our meal).
Once seated though, we decided to section out our meal into 3 courses, given the tiny size of the plates and also the tiny size a space we had at the bar. For our first course we had the poached egg with chorizo yogurt, which was just alright. The egg seemed undercooked and the whites were a little runny, making it difficult to scoop up along with the chorizo puree. It also seemed pretty bland, although a slight sprinkly of salt did the trick. An interesting dish, but we both concluded that it seemed like something you'd be more likely to find in a nursing home. We also ordered the chorizo and mustard, very good chorizo, but definitely a dish my bf preferred over me. Last was the carmelized pork and white bean puree.... omg, soooo delicious. The right amout of creamy and salty and the combined textures of the pork and bean puree was heaven in my mouth. To drink we had a nice cava that my bf chose.
Second course started with the patatas bravas. They were the perfect size and crispy, just the way I like them, but it was the dipping sauce that made the dish. I found myself dipping some of the jamon from our jamon plate into and it made a delightful combination. And the jamon plate was just that... very nice and salty, but definitely nothing spectacular. Again a dish my bf preferred over me. Our big plate was the chorizo bocadillo, and while it sounded and looked like a plain bagette with a hefty chunk of chorizo in it, it was delicious. The crusty bread and the spicy chorizo was just simply amazing. And last was the egg & shrimp, and like the previous egg dish before it pretty bland and unmemorable. The lesson from this would probably be to steer clear of all egg dishes in the future as none of them can begin to compete with Tia Pol's deviled eggs. We had a nice glass of Spanish red my bf picked out again which was a nice compliment to the meal and I wish I could remmeber so I could recommend it.
As we're stacking up empty dishes for the waitstaff to take away a group who had been standing impatiently behind us and giving us the occasional dirty look that I suppose was meant to inspire us to scarf down our food and get out, came up and asked if we were done. This annoyed me a great deal as we had waitied our turn politely to get a table and this was a new restaurant on a Friday night that had a lot of buzz surrounding it, so if you come expecting a seat right away then you're crazy. What was even more obnoxious is that it happened again, different couple, shortly after we had ordered our dessert. If we were in fact done, we would've paid as quickly as possible and left, but we weren't and I wasn't about to be guilted into hastily finishing my meal because someone else was impatient to eat.
That said, for dessert I had the strawberry con crema and the strawberry sangria. My bf had the cheese and what looked like a roasted red pepper. I didn't try any, being fully satisfied with my meal thus far, but he claimed it was one of the best tapas of the evening. My strawberry con crema was served on a little bagette and was light and creamy, similar to a strawberry shortcake with heavier cream and a crustier bread. The sangria was delicious and and the sweet fruitness went perfectly with my dessert. My bf had a sherry and while I usually don't like sherry, the heavy almond flavor would have paired perfectly with some of the earlier tapas. All in all it was a good meal, the service was as attentive as can be expected and the food was delicious, although a little hit or miss. But for $3.50 a plate, it's not such a tragedy to order a "miss" and next time we'll come prepared as I'm certain more people will review the place. I'd definitely go back, if anything for the bar atmosphere and convenience, but only on a quiet week night or after the hype has died down some.
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