Wednesday 28 June 2017

Cachitos, Rambla de Catalunya, Barcelona: a Review

On my fourth day in Barcelona, with the wonderful heat, I felt sufficiently well to leave the barrio of Poble Sec and explore the city; although, admittedly, pushed in my wheelchair by my ever sturdy assistant.

Initially we thought of dining in the restaurant of El Corte Inglés at Plaça de Catalunya; but on arrival on their top storey, we discovered that only a self-serve cafeteria was available, requiring one to queue for each and every course and drinks separately. For a chap in a wheelchair, even with an assistant, this would have been an arduous experience. It was a no-no.

So, we set off to explore Eixample, the shopping area of the city. It is also nicknamed Geixample (pronounced gay-shample) due to the concentration of LGBTI businesses and residents. Obviously any eatery we selected had to be wheelchair-accessible in the first instant, but also it had to appeal to the tastes of two different individuals. After a wonderful amble, we stumbled across Rambla de Catalunya. This had covered terrace eateries up and down its length. My pusher pushed and we scoured menus. We spotted a lovely fish restaurant and held it in reserve. However, there was a table on the edge of the covered - thus shady - terrace, which meant I could tuck under the wheelchair and transfer to an ordinary dining-chair, so Cachitos it was.

[Image description: the writer, his wheelchair at his side, at table with a glass of cava rosé]

The maître d' was warm and welcoming. Funnily he assumed I was French and my chum English. Not the first time my Spanish has been assumed to be spoken by a Frenchman. Richard glanced through the wine list and made his selection. Alas, the poor waiter had to return to inform us they had run out. Rico opted for a Juvé y Camps Cava rosé. This was priced at €22, approximately double its price in a Spanish wine-merchant's.

We were not so hungry that we wanted a three-course repast. I selected tuna tartare on an avocado base (below, top left). My companion opted for lamb cutlets with potatoes (below, bottom). Both meals cost €24 each. To share we chose a goat's cheese & pomegranate salad at €10.90 (below, top right), which was very tasty and priced about right for a city centre.

My plate was delicious, the quality good; but was definitely not worth the price paid. This was no cordon-bleu dish. My companion ate all his ration; but, similarly, it was the kind of dish that can be bought for far less in many a Spanish eatery.

For dessert I had to try crema catalana (image above). The vanilla custard was exquisitely light. The sugar-toffee topping ultra-fine. By far the best example I have ever had in Spain or anywhere for that matter. At €5.30 completely worth the price.

Richard chose cheesecake with a blackcurrant coulis (image above). At €6.00 this is more expensive than pâtisserie prices. It was good - but again, not that good, so did not represent value for money.

Service was very good and both our waiter and the maître d' were extremely enthusiastic about their offerings: we were made very welcome. The service level was spot-on, neither too lax nor too fussy.

The total bill with gratuity came to €100. Admittedly we were sitting in a wonderful location and really enjoyed our meal; but the price compared to the standard & quality of cuisine, with hindsight, was far too high.

We had a lovely time and do not regret the experience. However, I cannot recommend Cachitos to you, unless of course money is no object to the reader.

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