Report Card: Barcelona



Barcelona on Urbanspoon

Overall GrubGrade A


The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade A:  There’s something to be said for a nice classical look.  Barcelona is located in what looks like a pretty old building in downtown Columbus.  But from the outside to the inside, the restaurant looks like it might have been teleported from Spain to Ohio’s capital city.  The slightly dinged and nicked furniture doesn’t make the place look shabby…instead it imparts a nice authentic feel to the restaurant.  The place was jumping when we went there on a Friday evening, but most of the business was being done at the bar at the time of our visit.  The restaurant was clean and the most of the tables were nicely spaced.  So why not an A+, you ask?  If you’ve read our treatment of The Cheesecake Factory, then you know we hate the long bench seat with the bunch of mini tables set up right next to each other.  Unfortunately, Barcelona’s has the same setup.  It wasn’t really a problem until diners were sat on both sides of us, but that didn’t happen until near the end of our meal.  However, with lots of open tables around, we shouldn’t have been seated there in the first place.

High marks:  Clean, nice décor, authentic feel

Low marks:  The horrible bench seat


Service:  Grade A:  Our server during our visit was Mara.  Unless you skipped over the bold Grade A, you should have a pretty good idea of how she did with the service.  All of our needs were met promptly, and the timing of the food was impeccable.  We didn’t feel rushed, yet we weren’t sitting there wondering how much longer we’d have to wait.  There were no errors with the service and our orders, and any special requests we made were attended to with a smile and a nod.  The only complaint, and it’s minor and more of a point of personal preference, the service was a little too stiff.  Everything was done correctly, but the service almost had a choreographed feel to it, if that makes any sense.  We prefer a little ad-libbing with our service.

High marks:  Very near perfect

Low marks:   Just a tad stiff and choreographed


Food/Spirits:  Grade A:  We had a midday snack, so we decided to skip the appetizer at Barcelona.  For her drink, Katina ordered the Sun City, which was very refreshing with a nice, fruity base and minimal alcohol bite.  One could easily sit there and drink one after another of these and find themselves on the floor.  I ordered a couple of Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss’s, which is one of my favorite hefeweiss beers because instead of a citrus note on the back end, this particular wheat beer has a banana-like flavor to it.  For her entrée, Katina ordered the salmon, which she requested be cooked well done.  The salmon came out perfectly prepared and complimented nicely with angel hair pasta.  I selected the lamb chops cooked medium well.  The strange thing about the lamb chops was that I wasn’t that impressed with them on my first bite.  But somehow, each subsequent bite was better than the previous one, and by the end of the entrée I had to fight the urge to sop up the juice with my napkin and wring it out in my mouth (I refrained out of respect for my lovely wife).  The chops ended up being excellent, and I’ve never had a dish be able to turn on the flavor mid-course like that.  Because we had some time to kill, we both ordered the chocolate pudding cake for dessert.  It looked and tasted exactly like the name suggests, and we enjoyed it immensely.

High marks:  Good salmon, drinks and dessert  

Low marks:  Lamb chops started shaky but pulled through


Value:  Grade B:  I generally detest using coupons at restaurants, but Katina has no issue with it.  She was armed with a $10 off coupon on our visit, but Barcelona was running a special where they took off 25% from each food item, saving us about $20.  For the superior quality and the fact we had drinks and dessert, we felt like we’d robbed someone.  This would have been a solid A or A+ if we could have had the same feel without the discount.

High marks:   Pretty reasonable price considering the quality of food

Low marks:   We shudder to think of the price without the special


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