November 2, 2008
restaurant set portes
this restaurant is well-known among locals and tourists alike for its catalan cuisine and its famous clientele. in the past, celebrities and political figures such as che guevara, errol flynn, joan miró, pele, loud reed, pablo picasso, and salvador dalí have dined beneath the restaurant's frilly peach lampshades. now very popular with tourists, the restaurant serves up paellas and other classic spanish fare, often with waits out the door. i don't like paella, it's generally too salty for my taste with too many little mysterious fish-related pieces in it, but set portes has a "paella parellada" which has all the meat and seafood deboned and shelled, which is convenient for those people who are creeped out by antennae and shell bits. i still was not too much of a fan (take that with a grain of salt as i rarely am when it comes to paella), but what i did love were the seafood canelons (canelloni) and the "espinacs amb panses i pinyons
a la catalana," catalan style spinach with pine nuts and sultanas (turkish white raisins). they were both delightful, and were much less expensive than a large paella. the restaurant is open from 13:00 to 1:00 without interruption (that's 1pm to 1am) and does have a line out the door during peak hours. definitely not my favorite restaurant in all of barcelona, but if you are looking for an old time catalan experience in a slightly frilly environment, i would call this the place.