02 July 2007

"You're going to a TOPLESS bar?"

…this is what every friend and co-worker asked me when I said I was heading to BARcelona Tapas for the next installment of the Knights of the Beer Roundtable.

Not topless. TAPAS.

Simply put, the American version of tapas (tä'päs) is just a fancy term for shared “small dishes”, or appetizer-like courses meant to be split among a group of friends. Our Roundtable outing at BARcelona was no different – we walked in to find a group of strangers and fans eager to discuss good beer with us. The more the merrier, I say! The dishes at BARcelona range from tomatoes in spicy tomato sauce, to goat cheese on crusty garlic bread, to smoky garlic chicken wings with jalapeno mayonnaise . Everything we sampled was good, and there was a LOT to go around.

Typically, topless tapas bars aren’t known for their stellar beer selection – most of the attention is on the wine and sangria. But since BARcelona is headed up by the illustrious Dean Wilson (the “Deano” in Deano’s Vino), we knew we stood a good chance of some above-average beer choices. Even though most of the draft beers had a decidedly domestic tilt, we did find Bell's Oberon on tap for a warm-up in addition to a listing of more adventurous bottled beers. (Here’s hoping that the lists grows and stabilizes as the restaurant settles in.)

Our reviewed beer of the evening was Delirium Tremens, a pretty well-known Belgian ale (and the one that was featured in the first-ever HBG photo shoot). Like Jim mentioned, this beer is definitely one that gets better the longer it warms up, so I took my time with this one (due in part to the fact that I accidentally poured the biggest head on my beer that I have ever seen.)

This beer starts out with a big carmel apple nose, and follows up with a cotton candy finish and sneaky ABV that reaches out and punks you in no time flat. A thoroughly enjoyable beer, but Belgian ales have stiff competition in the land of the Beer Geeks – so while I give this one a solid 4 mug rating, it’s not at the top of my list.

I didn’t do as much socializing as I wanted to do with the group, so I’ll belatedly thank the following: the groupies and guests who were wholly unexpected but welcome back any time; our server, who handled a somewhat rambunctious group with relative ease; Gina and Mike, for being such good hosts to the newbies; Jim, for not taking my picture; and Deano, who brings the party with him wherever he goes.

Even to a topless tapas bar.

No comments:

Post a Comment