¡Muchas gracias, El Bar!
El Bar is a little tapas bar attached to the Alba Flamenco dance school. It's quite basic - just a few tables with candles, without the wrought-iron-and-moorish-tiles decor of most tapas places in the city - but the food more than makes up for it. Highlights for me were the salt cod croquettes, a cumin-infused chickpea and spinach stew, some super-tender lamb - and a big bowl of patatas bravas.
Portions are big, so eight dishes between four was more than enough, especially with the continually refreshed free bread basket. The friendly Spanish waiter kept us all laughing and really made the evening. Plus, incredibly, we were full for £15 a head, including wine. I recommend you go there, before everyone else finds it!
Hola y bienvenidos a 'El Bar', one of the better Spanish offerings in Edinburgh. Surprisingly located in between Nicolson Street and The Pleasance, this place is almost impossible to find but well worth it. It is crammed into a side road, and this feeling of claustrophobia is accentuated when you go in, with as many tables as possible being crammed into the limited space. They have the traditional Spanish décor, with bright colours and pictures of flamenco dancers adorning the walls. Actually there is a flamenco school next door to it, and occasionally they pop in for a bit to dance during your meal.
The menu itself is an extensive choice of tapas. They have all the usual suspects - tortilla, iberian ham, cheeses, chorizo and paella, but in addition to this have a few more obscure dishes, including an excellent chicken dish soaked in beer. They have all types of food, with meat, chicken, fish, and vegetarian tapas all available. For bigger parties they also do a set menu to avoid the hassle that inevitably comes along with the bill.
El Bar is pretty good value as well, especially compared to the other Tapas bars in Edinburgh which err on the rip off side, and the service is excellent. If you manage to find it, you'll find that it is definitely a keeper.
Small tapas bar attached to a dance studio. Pleasant muted decor and comfortable atmosphere. Reasonably priced tapas served in bite-sized chunks, squares etc. A more extensive wine menu than one might expect for an establishment of this size. Free pinchos with each drink purchase.
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