Como Taperia gives you
Barcelona on a plate
Going to Como Taperia for happy hour is not unlike going to the running of the bulls in Pamplona at the San Fermin Festival, for only the determined and fiercely hungry come early to brave the crowds before the doors open at 4 o’clock to get that coveted spot at the bar for free tapas. Free? Yes you heard me right. Free with the purchase of a drink and even a low priced happy hour drink costing a mere $5 will do. There’s vermouth and beer on tap for $5 or wine and cava for $7. And with it a row of free tapas ranging from black squid ink rice with salmon, artichoke and cheese and olives and more.
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Having spent 17 days in Barcelona in 2016, I have to admit that I got a little carried away and wasn’t just happy with my free tapas, so I ordered almost everything on the happy hour menu. I was in my happy place as the Shishitos Peppers arrived blistered with a sprinkling of salt. In Spain, you get the Padron Peppers which are usually mild, but 10-15% of the peppers will scorch your taste buds if you should be unlucky to lose this Russian roulette of peppers. I’ve ordered these about six times in Spain and escaped unscathed.
And should I mention the contentment of a thousand sighs when the Pan Con Boquerones arrived – tiny white fish on top of a crisp toasted bread smeared with garlic and tomato goodness. And of course what Spanish tapas bar is complete without Patatas Bravas, the Spanish version of French fries with chunks of potatoes served with tomato sauce, not ketchup (Heaven forbid), and then drizzled with a healthy dose of garlic aioli. The Croquettes de Jamon was a deep fried ham cube oozing with cheese which I had to forego due to my lactose intolerance. Gilda turned out to be a pintxo with pickled guindilla peppers (anything on a stick is called a pintxo) which I found mild and paired quite nicely with my third free tapa of Spanish ham on toast. The bartenders hand you your free tapas and if you have a food allergy, they will accommodate you.
If you love Spanish tapas, Como Taperia is the place to be as it quintessentially serves Barcelona on a plate claiming that it has modeled itself after one of Barcelona’s oldest tapa bars, Quimet e Quimet which has been around since 1914 which I had the good fortune to visit two years ago. What makes it amazing is that none of the three owners are Spanish (bartender Shaun Layton, Meat & Bread co-founder Frankie Harrington, and chef Justin Witcher) but they managed to make Como Taperia as good as the food I’ve had at any tapa bar during the 17 days that I spent in Barcelona. Como literally means eat in Spanish and here you will eat and enjoy it immensely.
Happy hour is offered daily from 4-5pm. Free tapas are available at the bar, but get here early to line up for a coveted spot.
201 East 7th Avenue