Tartela @ C/ Llançà, 32 • Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample • Barcelona

An old man shuffles past to the last table towards the back of the buzzing café. We exchange bon dias as he sits carefully. I order a cafè amb llet and a flauta de manchego. A waiter shouts across the floor, “Hola, Jordi.” Regulars, always a good sign. But there’s no response. He tries again, louder. “Jordi! Uns xurrets?” A feeble but audible “Sí” parts my elderly neighbour’s lips and the deal is done; a deal likely done day after day after day, unnoticed by the world. Much like Tartela itself, actually. Sandwiched between Arenas and the Parc de Joan Miró, not many of you consider this your stomping grounds. But that’s often the best part about the Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample. Gems can pass unnoticed for years and, even with considerable tourist traffic, remain del barrio. Then I come and ruin it. On second thought, don’t come here. It’s not for you. And the flauta was fucking top.

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