The lunch special for Dine Originals at Barcelona this week gives diners a great opportunity to sample something from one of Columbus' top restaurants for a roll of quarters. A small sandwich, choice of side dishes, bread with olive oil and drink is cheaper than the esteemed half-priced tapas Mondays.
I've previously raved about Barcelona's Dine Originals dinner and an a la carte dinner. Barcelona doesn't feature a fully vegetarian menu, but they always offer delicious choices to vegetarian diners.
All of the sides for Dine Originals week are vegetarian. They include patatas bravas, a pasta salad, samafaina (a stewed eggplant and zucchini dish in the ratatouille family), tomato garlic soup and Spanish potato salad. The patatas bravas are a Spanish classic that is always well executed by Paul Yow's kitchen.
The pasta salad (called ensalada de fideau) is bow tie pasta tossed with olive oil, shallots and piquillo peppers. The peppers give the dish a nice sweet and spicy taste that along with subtle shallot notes gets delivered through the olive oil.
The vegetarian bocadillo, a Spanish sandwich served in crusty bread, is stuffed with grilled portobello mushrooms, peppers and spinach. The top of the sandwich is slathered in a thick layer of flavorful romesco sauce, a Catalan condiment made with almonds, olive oil, garlic and red bell peppers. It gives savory, garlic-driven support to the earthy, smokey 'shrooms.
The lunch special also comes with a choice of non-alcoholic drink. While it might take shelling out a few extra bucks for dessert in order to eat until stuffed, the $10 special is a great introduction to how much fun Spanish food (and particularly Spanish food from Barcelona) can be.