Friends recommended “Casa Labra”:http://www.casalabra.es/en/ extolling its cod fritters which they’d eaten stood in the bar.
Co-incidentally, the bar was very near our hotel, “Hotel Liabeny”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/158833-review-hotel-liabeny, and so we headed there on our first night. At 8.45pm in the middle of July it was still 30+ degrees and all the outside seats were taken. We wandered into the bar, where people were stood around eating (there are no tables and chairs), and accepted it would have to be a quick bite before moving on.
However, just as we were deliberating about whether to order drinks first or the fish from a hatch, we were asked if we wanted to go into the restaurant. We said no, and the waiter suggested we might prefer the tapas bar at the back. Now this was a surprise, as our friends had discovered neither the taperia or restaurant.
The taperia was manic and loud with around 10 marble topped tables squashed in. It had a simple menu and we ordered one of each tapas – Tajada de bacalao (piece of fried cod) €1.40, Croqueta de bacalao (cod croquette) €0.90, Banderilla de Atún en Escabeche (a square of fresh tuna marinated in vinegar) €1.25 and a Empanadilla de Carne (meat pastry) €1.25. A botella of reasonable tasting vino blanco was a remarkable €8.50.
There were no white-gloved waiters as suggested in our rather ancient copy of Time Out, but the waiters were smart in black and white and provided excellent service. The wine and food arrived virtually immediately. The tapas was delicious: the fish tasty and fresh and the batter on the fritters, golden and crisp. We both splashed out with another or our favourite whilst we finished the bottle of vino blanco from tiny, tiny tumblers.
This gave us chance to take in our surroundings. It is obviously a place where locals come to re-fuel after a day in the office (many were suited and booted) or a shopping trip (others had huge carrier bags). Not many stay long and turnover is very high adding to the wonderfully chaotic atmosphere.
The total bill was €12 – an absolute bargain.
As I friends commended it to us, I will commend it to you and look forward to hearing your thoughts on Casa Labra.