In a sheltered spot on a large square (Placa de la Merced) at the side of the main university building you'll find this busy tapas bar. It's got covered outdoor seating where you can shelter from the unforgiving afternoon sun and a brightly lit interior dominated by the bar counter topped with displays of inviting tapas. Wine barrels outside the entrance greet you.
The menu covers many typical tapas, familiar to those who seek out the good stuff. All the basics are represented and more importantly they are done well and at prices that are very fair. I had the Pulpo (Octopus) in garlic and olive oil and a deliciously creamy Mariscos (Seafood) salad. This was laden with crab sticks, not a favoourite of mine, but nonetheless a fresh and exceptionally tasty version of this tapas mainstay. Patatas con ajo (Cold garlic potato salad) were delicious.
Staff were friendly, attentive, and interested to hear what I thought of the food; often unusual in this neck of the woods. It’s not awe-inspiring but is far removed from the stodgy tired fare on offer in many tapas eateries, particularly those in touristy or commercial districts of Spanish towns and cities. I spotted a promo video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37GsE-SdRi4); while a bit too long, does provide sufficient visual stimuli to whet the appetite. If tapas and Montaditos (flavourful topping "riding" on a small slice of baguette) are your thing then this is definitely recommended, a very good little bar/restaurant doing quality tapas and Spanish dishes at very reasonable prices.
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