A quick glitch in the space time continuum here as I jump back to Barcelona for the last time. Someone had recommended Txapela to me and I also wanted to try Cerveceria Catalana after reading about it on trip advisor. There was only one meal left though so the names went in hands behind my back (have to choose somehow) and the gf chose right, which turned out to be Txapela. We were borderline busy time, at around 8.30pm, so rushed from the Metro to Txapela and luckily grabbed a table for 2. The waitress acknowledged us then proceeded to ignore us for ten minutes so we got up and left.
Unluckily for us the walk to Txapela and back, along with 10 minutes of invisibility, had left Ceveceria Catalana absolutely heaving so our names were put on the list with a suggested wait of 30-40 minutes. About 5 minutes later I went to ask the hostess if we could buy a glass of sangria and got the reply 'Come, I think I can squeeze you on a table now' and we were promptly whisked away to a lovely table for 2, completely jumping the queue. Score!
Compared to Tapas24 this place is huge, with bars down each side as you walk in were folk noisily order the tapas from glass displays in front of them, the staff pouring cerveza after cerveza and handing them over diners to slake the thirsts of the masses waiting in the queue I just jumped. The menu was more ordinary, which isn't a bad thing, covering all your standard tapas along with lots of grilled seafood and a large section of filled flautas, the thin baguettes that I had breakfasted on that morning in Matamala.
We ordered our first jar of sangria (a very reasonable €11 euro for a litre) and settled down to order and eat. Grilled sepia were fantastic, a favourite of mine when in Spain and these were fine examples - charred and smoky whilst remaining juicy and tender. The truita (tortilla in Spanish) was filled with melt in the mouth oily potato and onion and the middle was still runny. Padron peppers, a huge portion compared to Tapas24, were good but didn't throw up any hotties. Manchego was, for want of a better description, manchego like. Our first flauta was butifarra blanc, which was a shame as I'd ordered butifarra negra. On the plus side I've never had the blanc before and it was tasty enough, in a haslet sort of way.
By this point we were getting full enough but one dish on the menu had caught our eye and had to be ordered, flauta with foie gras and Roquefort (served hot). When it turned up it wasn't foie gras, just normal pate (lost in translation?) that was warm to the point of nearing separation and topped with lumps of melted Roquefort. As you can probably imagine it was a tad on the rich and full on side, the Roquefort somewhat overpowering. As the gf said in a John Torrode accent 'We've got lovely crusty bread, smooth rich pate then - WHAM! - the Roquefort hits you like a train and overpowers them both'. It was definitely an experience but I couldn't decide if it was a good or bad one.
All told this was another €20-€25 meal and train of Roquefort aside I really enjoyed Ceveceria Catalana and was glad that we had to leave Txapela, which whilst probably serving good food (it comes highly recommended) did feel like we were sat on Leicester Sq eating. Ceveceria Catalana on the other hand felt more local, even though with so many reviews on trip advisor it must be frequented by lots of tourists too.