with food, there’s always something new


Oringinally published on

I said I wasn’t going to do restaurant reviews. I changed my mind. 

WB and I were supposed to go to Al Green’s Indy Jazz Fest concert. For a myriad of reasons, it didn’t happen. Being the wise, prudent man he is, he sensed danger and set about to repair the potential damage to the relationship. 

We spent an entire day doing what I wanted to do. 

BARcelona Tapas, a St. Louis based restaurant, opened a second restaurant at the corner of Ohio and Delaware. I wanted to find out if all the buzz is warranted. 

I warned WB the restaurant was new and initial impressions were mixed. 

We walked into a long, narrow space. Outside seating wasn’t available, so we dined indoors. Décor was warm and cheery. Although BARcelona has a lunch menu of soups, salad and sandwiches, we wanted tapas.  

We ordered four dishes: Champinon con Mahon (chilled marinated mushrooms in Mahon cheese); Bacalao (crispy codfish and potato cakes with lemon garlic sauce); Callifor al Azafran (roasted cauliflower with saffron, raisins and pine nuts); and Plato de Embutides (assorted grilled Spanish sausages). 

Service, as others noticed, was spotty. They were out of artichokes, the first dish we ordered. Instead of Campinon con Mahon, we were served another mushroom tapas. WB ordered coke; I ordered diet coke. The waiter repeated two diet cokes. WB carefully explained he wanted coke not diet coke, but the waiter brought him a diet coke.  

We ate, paid the bill and left the restaurant to drive over to the Indiana Historical Society. 

As we walked to the car, we shared our opinion of the food. We both agreed: the dishes were greasy, pasty and unseasoned. The Bacalao was passable. I’d love to peek into the kitchen. I suspect the dishes are bagged at a commissary and shipped to the restaurant, then “assembled” rather than cooked. That would explain why the food was unseasoned. 

We don’t want to go back, but we wish the restaurant well.  The fact that it’s not a steakhouse is a step up for Indianapolis dining. Lunch customers and the evening bar scene should keep BARcelona in business. 

At the historical society, we located archives and found Little League All-Star pictures of WB’s brothers. We flipped through microfiche newspapers until we found an article about his All-Star team. We laughed at the fashions and gasped at the grocery food prices. 

It’s a beautiful facility, with friendly, helpful staff. After we were done, we took the spiral staircase past the conference center, to the canal level. We strolled along the canal to the parking lot.  

Hoaglin to Go is the museum’s new caterer and they manage the restaurant. Another reason to revisit the museum. 

When you eat food that doesn’t satisfy you, you may be full initially, but you’re soon hungry. We had an early supper.

I picked up some eggs earlier in the day at the City’s Farmers Market, so I whisked up an omelet mixture. As the liquid hit the heated pan, the eggs puffed up into golden clouds. I chopped some herbs, vegetables and leftover roasted chicken, quickly sautéed the mixture and sprinkled them over the omelets. My version of comfort food. 

WB set the table and poured glasses of honeyed iced tea. We savored the food and our conversation. 

Relationship repaired.  

BARcelona Tapas Restaurant

201 N. Delaware

Indianapolis IN 46204


Lunch Hours


Dinner Hours


Indiana Historical Society

Stardust Terrace Café

By Hoaglin to Go




Susan Gillie is a professional cook and freelance food writer. You can email her at

Written by Susan Gillie

July 9, 2007 at 2:30 am

%d bloggers like this: