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Can Ganassa – Barcelona, Spain

June 21, 2006

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.

Enjoy!

Can Ganassa, Pl. de Barceloneta 4-6, Phone: 932 216 739

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    June 21, 2006 9:46 am

    Sounds like you had a great time in Barcelona. Makes me want to visit – and eat – there.

  2. Mathew permalink
    July 17, 2006 12:15 pm

    I am thinking about making something Spannish for supper tonight – is there anything you have tried to make yet?

  3. Kristin permalink
    July 22, 2006 6:19 pm

    Mathew, yes, I have actually now made my own version of the baby octupus dish. I will be posting the recipe soon so keep checking in!

  4. Mathew permalink
    July 31, 2006 2:04 pm

    The octopus dish look fab. Where did you get the them from though? Tesco does not really have an octupi counter!!!?

  5. Kristin permalink
    July 31, 2006 10:18 pm

    Mathew, when I tried making this dish myself, I did have trouble finding baby octupus. I suggest going to a seafood shop. As an alternative, you can also cook this dish with squid which is a bit easier to find.

  6. Anonymous permalink
    September 6, 2006 12:21 pm

    Hace unos años era un muy buen restaurente. Hoy en dia es literalmente una puta mierda. La verdad es que la mayoria de la gente que ha ido a comer por primera vez no creo que haya vuelto. Para empezar la cocina es un desastre, se come muy mal y es muy sucio. La presencia de los camareros es patetica, ya que para estar en esta zona y tener la fama que tiene, el que no parece yonqui te saca un moco y luego te sirve el plato. Bueno asqueroso.Que pena el Can Ganassa, lo que ha sido y lo que es. Una ultima sugerencia, podrian cambiarle el nombre y ponerle: CAN GUARRASSA!!!

  7. Anonymous permalink
    September 23, 2007 8:15 am

    Un desastre y una verguenza de restaurante. Pedimos unos chipirones que sabian mal y reclamamos al camarero. Luego,nos trajo unos calamares a la romana hechos con aceite quemado, los probamo y eran incomibles,¡una verdadera verguenza!. Total que decidimos marcharnos a otro restaurante a cenar.

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