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Miami-Fort Lauderdale

Cafe Barcelona - South Beach


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Restaurants & Bars Miami-Fort Lauderdale

Cafe Barcelona - South Beach

lax2mia | | Sep 7, 2008 01:34 PM

Went after seeing writeups on local "places to go, things to do" sites. It was bad. Horribly bad. Avoid it at all costs bad.

The concept is pintxos, tasty canapes which originated in the Basque country. So why the place was given the name of the capital of Catalonia should've made me suspicious (Bad omen #1). We gave the place the benefit of the doubt and opted to give it a shot. Given it's a tapas bar you'd figure a wide selection of wines, beers cocktails etc. There was a selection of 5 beers, a full bar, yet only 1 red wine by the glass (a cabernet sav. from Spain) and 2 whites (albarino and verdejo). Only 1 red from Spain, and it's a cabernet, not a tempranillo or other Spain-centric grape (Bad omen #2).

Ordered two beers as we looked thru the menu which in design looked like one you'd get at a dim sum restaurant (pictures with descriptions of the dish). The menu had promise. The majority of the menu was pintxos followed by some larger plates and other specialties. We ordered the jamon iberico pintxo with tomato, a plate of padron peppers, and huevos estrallados (a classic dish of fried potatoes topped by chopped fried eggs). The pintxo was pathetic in every way. The bread was soft and mealy, tomatoes were both underripe and mealy, and the it had two of the tiniest slices of ham imaginable (about 1.5 inches by 1 inch). The order of peppers was $7.50 and came with 7 peppers. For those not familiar with padron peppers, they're about the size of jalapenos but not as hot. They're sauteed in olive oil and topped with sea salt (which these lacked). So basically we paid over $1 for each pepper. You get a full plate a Xixon for the same price. Lastly came the huevos. The well done huevos. No runny yolk to dip the potatoes in. And again no salt.

It's the only time in my life that when asked by a server how everything was I said "Bad". Their response? "Would you like another beer?" This place is lost and it's focus is on helping resident Euros get their drink on. We were there fairly early but by the time we left the flow of Spanfranitalos was making its way in with cigarettes in hand (I thought if a place made over a certain % of its revenue from food then smoking was prohibited. Bad omen #3).

I usually give a place a second chance, especially if it'd just opened, but I felt so ripped off by this place that I've written it off entirely and wanted to pass on the warning. What a week, some of us got to go to Paradigm, others got ripped off at this sh-thole. Shows the depth of breadth of Miami dining!