Can Ganassa – Barcelona, Spain
While in Barcelona, I spent much of my time either in the Barri Gotic area or on the beach. However, on one adventurous day my friend Tina and I walked around Barceloneta, which is the port area just south of Port Olimpica.
Barcelona is known for having great seafood, and within the city Barceloneta is the place to be. This area is packed with restaurants and tapas bars offering a wide range of seafood.
My Rough Guides book suggested eating at Can Ganassa. This unassuming restaurant is located in a little square just off of Passeig De Borbo (the street that runs along the south side of the port area). Walking up to it, I felt a little hesitant because the exterior reminded more of a bar-b-que restaurant that I would find in Alabama rather than a Spanish eatery. However, we were pushed for time (we had to watch England play Paraguay in the World Cup!) so we went with it.
Can Ganassa is a casual restaurant that offers a wide selection of tapas, as well as, entrée dishes. Also like most other Spanish restaurants, it also offers a menu del dia (“menu of the day” which affords you a three course meal for a very reasonable price). On this occasion, Tina and I opted for a selection of tapas.
We asked the waiter for his recommendations, and as a result we ended up ordering everything he suggested. We received baby octopus in tomato sauce, fried calamari, grilled green peppers with sea salt, and fried potatoes with cream sauce.
The baby octopus in the tomato sauce was me and Tina’s favorite. The tomato sauce was very flavorful having been simmered with garlic, capers, and anchovies. Now, the idea of baby octopus may be a bit weird for some of you, but it tastes just like squid. Also, the tentacles held the sauce really well so that every bite included that fabulous flavor.
The fried calamari was similar to what I find here in New York, but the pieces were gigantic. Tina and I were also interested to see that the fried calamari was not served with marinara sauce like what you find in the States. (I am soooo sorry for the black and white photos, my camera switched to this setting without me realizing it).
I must admit that I was not excited for the grilled green peppers, but this dish ended up being really good! The peppers were grilled and marinated in olive oil, then topped off with sea salt. Remember my post about Salt? This dish was a great example of when to use the chunkier sea salt. Each bite included a few granules of this salt, which afforded a nice, bold salt flavor to compliment the subtler taste of the pepper.
Lastly, we had the fried potatoes that were served with a crème sauce that I believe was seasoned with paprika. As simple as this dish was, it was a nice accompaniment to the other dishes.
Tina and I both agreed that Can Ganassa was an excellent stop for lunch. The dishes were fabulous and, although there were a few tourists, the crowd was primarily local—always a good sign.
Can Ganassa, Pl. de Barceloneta 4-6, Phone: 932 216 739