At the start of the East End, not a hundred yards from the towering buildings of the City, you find yourself amongst the market stalls of Petticoat Lane and Middlesex Street. This is one of London's best tapas bars, producing a range of snacks that wouldn't be sniffed at in Barcelona or Madrid and including a fair few Catalan specialties and trademarks - such as the classic tomato- and garlic-rubbed bread, a good accompaniment to any tapas session. You'll find a number of tapas lined up in typical Spanish style along the back half of the bar - but these are only a few of the selections on offer. The Barcelona has a vast (in more ways than one) menu many written in a mixture of Spanish and Catalan, with English translations. Many are simple like pa amb pernil - Serrano ham on the aforementioned garlic and tomato bread, or queso Manchego or aceitunas and rely on the excellent quality of the raw ingredients. More skill is involved in creating the paellas, and the paella Valenciana is particularly good. Unusually for such a small place with a huge choice of food, there's no need to worry about freshness.
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