Called Happy Cafe simply because we first nicknamed another bar on the street the Sad Cafe after the unsmiling staff, the Happy Cafe always satisfies!
It’s called Bar Celona by the cheerful family which runs it. Walk in and shout hello to the three brothers who work the bar – a pair of ginger twins and a lovely older brother. You may also spot the hot blond aunty (T claims she is the aunty, I just don’t know) and the mother who runs the kitchen.
The eating space will open at around 1:30 pm. Take a seat, smile at your old Catalan neighbours, return the greetings and join in the jokes. Giggle with the old man on the table next to you who is throwing bread pellets at the old man behind you until he’s rewarded by an exasperated shout of ‘Jodere!’
For a menu price of 8.90 Euros, you get (for example)-
1. Half a bottle of cheap wine with a bottle of fizzy water
2. A basekt of bread
3. For a starter Cuban style rice served with a tomato sauce and fried egg (T had the bean stew)
4. The most heavenly Catalan beef stew in the world (Recipe)
5. For pudding, Crema Catalana (crème brulée)
On other days I have had Canneloni esk starters, raw fish marinated in lemon juice served with fresh vegetables, chunks of fish baked and served with a herb and tomato sauce and an array of meat and potato combinations. Each dish cooked and flavoured to perfection and served in belly filling proportions.
Fortified by my own bellyfull and half a bottle of cheap wine, I tried to get the familly dynamics straight in my head again. ‘So the oldest man isn’t the father, he’s the older brother?’
T: Yeah he’s the older brother and the old lady in the kitchen is their mother, not grandmother
Me: And the younger blond lady?
T: She’s an aunty…
Me: She’s not married to any of them?
Me: Didn’t we see one of the younger guys with his hand on her bum once?
(….deep thinking silence…)
Me: Maybe its a cultural thing. Y´kno how in some countries its ok for men to hold hands maybe in Spain…
T: …Its ok to feel your aunty’s bum?!
Err….come solve the mystery
Time: Bar open early. Lunch served from 1:30 to 3:30
Price: 8.90 Euros on weekdays
Address: 32 Calle Poeta Cabanyes, just off Parallel