Arepas at La Taguara – Barcelona.
We walked past La Taguera half a dozen times, curious what was going on.. Always full, people perched from ten or so high tables or along railings on one side of the shop. A taco shop, maybe?
Carrer del Rec, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Some words looked familiar to our limited Spanish vocabulary: Carne, queso, well that’s a good start. Maybe the menu is written in Catalan? Each time we walked by La Taguera, there were so many customers we couldn’t see what was actually being eaten. Finally on a rainy afternoon, while searching for a cure from a late Saturday night, we made the plunge.
So what’s to eat?
Still not exactly sure what we were about to eat, Krissy and I both ordered the #5 or Pabellon. The chalkboard menu described Pabellon as Carne Michada, Frijoles Negros, Plantans y Queso. Hey, we know what this stuff is! At this point, we thought to have ordered some type of tacos, but just to cover our bases we also ordered the Tequenos.
As we waited for our order, it became apparent that La Taguara is a Venezuelan eating establishment. Cool and kitschy items adorned the walls, including a 50’s-ish dress complete with Venezuelan Miss World sash, and the story of La Reina Pepiada, the namesake of La Taguara’s specialty. The Venezuelan family who invented and served the original Arepa from their corner store in the 1950’s, named their specialty “La Reina,” in homage to a teen beauty queen, and so the legend was born.
Our Arepas, not tacos, arrived and were exactly what we needed on this particular Sunday. Initially looking like some kind of a stuffed English muffin, further inspection revealed that Arepas at La Taguara are oh, so much more. Thick, soft, grilled flatbread made of maize, was folded to encapsulate an incredible combination of roast pork, shredded cheese, black beans, and plantains. The melty, savory, yet sweet combo is something that should reside on every foodie’s bucket list. Add the tequenos, which were dough-wrapped cheese sticks, a choice of sweet corn, coriander, or habanero salsas, and an ice cold cervesa, this meal was one that will be first on our list when returning to Barcelona.