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Fondue'ing at Gades in Barcelona

Posted by Slavito in Barcelona + Places on 23/Sep/2006
Gades Bar Fondue in Barcelona? Well, why the hell not? That's what we said when after a five-minute deliberation involving counting dining patrons and talking to a kitchen employee on a cigarette break, we decided to "go for it". Apparently approving of our decision, the ultra-modern glass door slid away automatically, and with that we stepped inside "GADES"...

Right away, we were told that almost all tables, apart from the ones near the entrance, are reserved. Bullshit - we thought - they just want to stick tourists in the worst possible place. The restaurant wasn't even one-quarter filled! But our options were limited - we had to sit down at the indicated "unreserved" table, which, in all fairness, wasn't that bad.

Like at many other fondue restaurants, the Gades fondue is priced "per person", at 11.25€. The minimum order is for two people and we were three. Not wanting to go home hungry, we ordered two types of fondue - one with cava (see p.s.) and truffles, the other with goat cheese (combined, that was already a 4-person order), then added some "extras" (crúdites and patatas, both 4.75€) and two bottles of Spanish white wine for a good measure.

Alban at Gades Fondue (served, as it should be, in a pot) comes with pieces of bread, so even if you don't order "extras", you will still have something to dip in that hot cheese.

Both fondues were very good, although I personally liked the goat cheese flavor better. The truffles promised in the name of the other were represented by miniscule pepper-shaped pieces floating on top of the gooey mass. Tasty as well, but my vote still went to the goats of Catalonia. In line with our expectations, the "crúdites" turned out to be small plates of pickles and other miniature things.

Long story short, it was too much. We had been eating, non-stop, for about an hour and were just about to eat ourselves into a cheese-induced coma when we suddenly realized that the restaurant was completely full. Turns out, the waiters were not lying about each table having been reserved! A las 10 y pico, the last "unreserved" table next to us was given to a party of four and following that, people who came through the sliding door were politely told to go get their dinner somewhere else. The moral here is to arrive early, preferably around 9 pm.

Meanwhile, by mutual agreement, we decided to say 'no' to the remainders of fondue and extras and instead partake of some digestifs. Alban got himself a glass of porto, I got a coffee, and I can't remember what Ree got. Our waitress's suggestion of chocolate fondue from the dessert menu was politely turned down. You've got to know your limits.

The bill? All in all, 85€ (for three). Good deal, no?

C/ L'Esparteria, 10
Barcelona, Spain
(+34) 93 - 310 44 55

P.S. Cava is, for all intents and purposes, the local version of champagne.

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