maître d’ - La Pepita, Barcelona
Written by Andy Mossack
Barcelona and tapas might not be a traditionally happy relationship, but the locals are in love with La Pepita’s little dishes.
The trendy barrio of Gracia is probably unlike anywhere else in Barcelona. Small wonder really, because it was once an independent town and even today the locals still refer to their home as Gracia and not Barcelona. It has a real bohemian village feel to it, which has attracted many artists and artisans to live there.
Tucked away on the Carrer Còrsega, not far from Gracia’s pretty Plaça del Sol, La Pepita with its arty walls, mirrors, and huge lamps, is one of the most popular restaurants in the barrio. Run by owners Sofia and Sergio, their homemade take on modern tapas dishes is legendary throughout Gracia. The pepita is actually a pumpkin seed, and whilst there are some wonderful creations using pumpkin, in particular their version of gazpacho, you will simply have to try their chicken croquettes, the patatas bravas and salted cod with black tomatoes.
Tapais a small snack or appetiser to be eaten with a drink. There are many cities throughout Spain which lay claim to be the original home of tapas. The truth is, no-one knows for certain where they originated but there is one thing for certain: the types of tapas you get will depend on where you are. In the dry south you will find plenty of olives, olive oil, and fried fish dishes, whilst in the wetter north there will be fresh fish and cheeses on offer.
Tapas means, quite literally, lid or cover, and it’s said by some that the snacks originated as a way of protecting your precious glass of wine from flies by placing a piece of bread on top of the glass.