There are just a few venues in Barcelona capable enough to make me recall goods memories everytime I go. Among them, the bar Quimet-Quimet, at Poble Sec, is my favourite.
I have been frequenting it for years, but not as often as I would like to. It seems quite miraculous that this small family run business specialized in good wines, spirits and selected tapas still survives -despite the influence of Internet in our lives and the lives of millions of tourists that visit Barcelona every year-. Wines, beers, spirits, canned food and some more delicatessen dress the four walls and cater the costumers in this tiny bar directed by Quim.
I use to repeat some tapas quite often, specially the cod’s liver, and two delicious montaditos. One is made of salmon, honey scented with aroma of truffle and fresh cheese; and the another one is made of pâté with boletus. But I am always open to any suggestion of the owner. My last two discoveries have been the following ones: first, the zamburiñas (Chlamys Varia) en su agua (no need of any sauce, nor lemon, nor pepper, rien de rien). They are absolutly indispensable, soft and delicious. Second, the langostillos (Cardium Tuberculatum or Acanthocardia Tuberculata), also known as «corruco» in the province of Cadiz, a bivalve quite similar to a common cockle (Cerastoderma Edule) but bigger in size, and featured for a harden and rough texture than its homologous. It recalls me the texture and taste of a barnacle.
I use to end up my personal symphony with a plate of assorted cheese, being Stilton my favourite among them.
Do I drink anything meanwhile? Yes, I do. I use to drink some wines selected following my particular choice based on typology, geographical area and price. Are there a lot of wines to choose at? Yes, indeed. I always look to the shelves looking for a new interesting reference. Having done it, I ask Quim if he recommends anything special, and then he -being a good wine connoisseur- offers one or another. And last, a caprice: an Islay single malt, an iced sider, a Tokaji Aszú 5 puttonyos or an aged rum, just to mention some.
It is highly praiseworthy the number of fortified wines, sparckling wines, sweet ones and spirits that one can enjoy in this bar. In fact, there are plenty of them. I wish that just 5% of the bars and restaurants in Barcelona would have the same care selecting their stuff, because it would boost Barcelona as an oenological destination for any gourmet by heart!
Another uniqueness: beer. Despite they do not have a lot of references, the ones they have are really good. They have two draft beers, the Czech Pilsner Urquell and Master. Besides these ones, Quim serves a delicious 75 cl. beer bottle under the brandname Quimet-Quimet. It is classified as a dubbel type, with 16% proof. I do not use to drink it at the bar, but at my friends’ houses.
In short: a symphony for the senses, from the beginning to the end.
Perhaps, the reason why Quimet-Quimet do not suffer of large bee queues at the door is because of the high density of costumers indoors -it has no chair at all, by the way-. I wish it will continue as it is for years! (and I hope my feet will last as well).