Local Heart, Global Soul

October 31, 2015

El Barrio, Sadly A Posthumous Post…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yesterday I heard from our date-night baby-sitting buddies that one of our favourite restaurants has closed.

I’ve been in and out of hospital having pain treatments recently, kids have had various school events, Oma has needed extra attention and life in general has been busy so our date-night schedule got more than a little behind over the last three months.

This had been a restaurant recommended by our friends so of course they are as disappointed as we are that it’s gone out of business.

My first reaction to the news was one of stunned shock: Himself have rocked up without reservations on more than one occasion for a last minute meal appointment and been turned away because the place has been packed out all night, so I thought it had been doing well.

This is the place where the garlic aioli was to die for (even better than La Flamenca in my humble opinion) and we had started to become “regulars”. El Barrio 1b (Small)

Mostly we would eat early, but even though the place was empty when we arrived it would be full by the time we left… We never bothered with the larger meals, the delight of Tappa  is that you get to try and share lots of little dishes and find new favourites.

Obviously this isn’t a post where I can recommend locals to come here, but rather an archive one for my own album so that Himself and I can reminisce on lovely meals we have enjoyed here.

I suppose that the economic crisis, even what’s left of it is really difficult on the hospitality and catering trades: eating out is a luxury rather than a necessity.

Add to that seasonal trends, getting and retaining good staff, food costs, the beaucracy of calculating taxes, ingredients, staff wages and holidays etc, not to mention the long hours, this isn’t a vocation that I’d be jumping to take up, even as much as I love cooking and food.

The establishment used to be called El Barrio, and was located at Laan van Meedervoort 543 (on the corner of Valkenboskade on the Scheveningen side of the road).

The food was good although I do have to add a caveat: we usually went on weekends and then the food was brilliantly excellent, once we went during the week and the food was not up to the standard we expected at all, so probably it was a different chef on duty.

I do have to say that garlic was very much in evidence: Himself and I both adore garlic so this was right up our street but I you liked it less then you’d have to adjust your order a little bit.

I have photographs from multiple visits: here is a selection of the things we tried. Both of us are disappointed that this place has closed, it’s such a shame when the food was good and the place was apparently popular. R.I.P. El Barrio of the Laan van Meerdervoort… we will miss you!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The main part of the restaurant literally minutes before a party of more than twenty people walked in (and the rest of the tables filled up fast too)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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