Txacolín & Helado Italiano

May 3, 2006 at 12:32 pm 5 comments

In the basque language (Euskera),txacolín is a fizzy, dry white wine poured from a great height. Here in Barcelona it is also the name of a very popular (among locals) tapas bar where the order of the day is pinchos and montaditos. A pincho (pinxo) is a little tapas served on a small slice of bread. Almost like a canape. A montadito is a little something on a skewer (a toothpick or a larger skewer). 


Everybody sits around a very long horseshoe bar and the barman gives you a small plate. You can then take whatever you like on the counter and at the end of the night, the barman counts how many toothpicks were left and charges you accordingly. A small toothpick costs less than a larger one. 


Alan's class decided to meet at Txacolín one evening and I joined them. The two of us had about 15 pinxos/montaditos and 7 glasses of wine for 30 euros. The glasses of wine (txacolin) were small but the tapas were very filling. I thought it was a bargain since we sampled a mix of shrimp, salmon, bacallao, really nice beef & sausage to name a few of the things we had.

A few days later, we went for helado near our place. At pl. de la Revolucion (Gracia) there is a little Italian ice cream shop that is reputed to be the best in Barcelona. Everything is homemade and very fresh. The old Italian lady that serves the ice cream took a shine to Alan and always gives him a wafer with his helado ;

Last time we went, we arrived at the square at around 4 pm to find out the place only opened at 5. Oh well… We went for a walk in nearby C/ Verdi, a very picturesque street running north in the middle of Gracia and were back to the square at around 4:30.


We noticed plenty of people sitting around near the ice cream place so Alan lined up early. He was the first one into the shop and this time I let him go on his own. He wanted me to go with him to help with the language but I said "you have to know how to order ice cream on your own!" Of course, I didn't complain when he came out with the wrong flavour for me 😉

Entry filed under: Barcelona, Restaurants.

A Blading Problem

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanbell  |  May 3, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Hey Sweety
    They didn’t have what you wanted so I substituted. I thought I substituted very nicely.

  • 2. HD  |  May 3, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    …or you could say the old Italian lady just didn’t understand Spanish very well!? 😉 Love the food stories. That pooring wine from a height reminds me of the good cider(sidra)in Cantabria, hmm. Best, HD

  • 3. guerson  |  May 3, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Oh yes – they had cider there as well and it was poured from much higher than the wine! Most of it seemed to end up on the floor though 😉

    Alan indeed substituted very nicely althought neither of us have any idea what was the flavour he ended up ordering…

  • 4. Christian  |  May 7, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Hmmm, I wonder if i can get txacolín at the liquor store here in Ontario? Sounds good. Does the counter move along so you can sample different things?

    If you’re curious I posted this year’s Latin exam at my site.

  • 5. guerson  |  May 7, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen basque wine in ontario… the counter didn’t move but there was a similar selection of cold tapas on both sides of the bar. Every few minutes new hot tapas would come out and the waiter would serve them around the bar.
    I think my latin is a bit too rusty to attempt to do the exams… tomorrow I begin work at the archives. wish me good luck!


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May 2006

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