Londonist asks that most pressing of daily concerns: where to go on your lunch break.
Meson Los Barriles
55-63 Goswell Road EC1V 7EN
Nearest Tube: Barbican
8 Lamb Street, Spitalfields Market E1 6EA
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Expect to Pay: Tapas start around £4
Rating: 7 out of 10Reviews at London-eating.co.uk for Meson Los Barriles, a tapas bar with locations in Clerkenwell and Spitalfieds, run the gamut from “excellent service, fantastic food and great value for money” to “absolutely dreadful”. Similarly mixed experiences are recorded at LondonEats.com. A brief peruse of the Blogosphere finds Stephan Install bemoaning Meson, stating that Meson Los Barriles (Spitalfields location) “is on my blacklist.”
For our part, we can’t really complain about our couple of visits to Meson’s Clerkenwell location. Although, we can see how one LondonEats reviewer concludes that the “manager is a cross between Basil Fawlty and Wayne Slob.” The atmosphere is cosy with an authentic feel, and we found the selection of tapas, especially with the inclusion of Galician regional favourite pulpo a al Gallega (steamed octopus on a bed of boiled potatoes with olive oil and paprika) to be good. During our last visit, the alubias con chorizo (traditional bean stew with chorizo, Serrano ham and vegetables) was enjoyed and will be kept in mind for cooler weather months yet to come. The selection of Spanish-only wines impressed us, and we were pleased to find Catalan pilsner, Estrella Damm, on tap.
Not on the top of our list, we still plan to keep Meson Los Barriles in mind and can recommend it as a decent standby.
Photography by Tiki Chris © 2007