Bar Celta “Pulpería” in Barrio Gótico.
Another very traditional aspect of Barcelonian food culture is their relationship with food at night. The bars with a food offer that is an inseparable part of the drinking experience reflects the close relationship between food and drink and the preference of gathering after office hours and having very late informal dinners that can start as late as midnight.
While walking through Barrio Gótico, one of the most famous areas of Barcelona, looking for a place to eat at night I notice a discrete place in an dark street. With not more publicity than an announcement board describing the name of the bar an a very powerful adjective that can’t go without notice for the food lovers: “Pulpería” which came from the word “pulpo” which means octopus and literally means of a place where octopus is the specialty.
Through one single word your mind starts to image what’s going on behind the kitchen and the cooks that everyday are cooking this delicious seafood classic and the many spices and ingredients involved in it.
People with a beer in hand are outside this half iluminated place with an interior design that probably hasn’t changed in the last 20 years, the colors of the walls and wood objects reveal the passing of time.
A counter that runs along all the place with individual seats and all the food just behind a crystal clear glass is the heart of the spirit of this place where the clients seat or stand when no chairs are available and order directly to the cashier man whose job goes from pouring beer or wine and passing the uncooked or unheated food to the kitchen to charging the clients.
Only two people are in front of this counter, serving almost 40 people requests at once, at the back of Bar Celta you will find a table if you need to be seated with a group, but one thing should be said, its rather hot due to the heat from the kitchen that wraps all the place.
After ordering some food, the meaning of “Pulpería” arrived straight to me in the form of several dishes and the “Pulpo a feira” (Feira Octopuss) is the one that caught my eye, the cooking with herbs, olive oil and paprika makes this dish the specialty of the house.
More than 40 different options can be found in the menu from Padrón peppers, tortilla de patatas, prawns, chistorra to catalan cream.