The Pubbelly people really have a little restaurant empire over in South Beach that seems to be full of winners (Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, Pubbelly Steak, two Barceloneta locations, and now a Italian restaurant planned at the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach). However since the original Pubbelly is heavily Asian-influenced I am a bit unsure of it’s menu as a gluten-free. There are a lot of things that could go either way depending on if soy sauce is used and if it is that greatly limits the options. I should still make a visit to know more definitively, but that’s why I haven’t checked out yet what seems to be a really popular place in South Beach.
However the reputation of all their restaurants is a reason Barceloneta, their Spanish tapas restaurant, has been at the top of my list for awhile. I love Spanish tapas in general. Plus the Sunset Harbour neighborhood is my favorite neighborhood in South Beach (along with South of Fifth). Last week my aunt and I were going to go out to dinner and she really liked the Spanish tapas idea to try and share a lot of different things.
We grabbed a table outside because it was beautiful weather, but I also liked the inside aesthetically a lot too (wish I had snapped some pics). The menu has a lot of options but I had some favorites I definitely wanted to get and also saw several new ones I wanted to try. They also brought little bowls of some kind of olives. Always a fan of immediate starters, no matter how small (at least when it isn’t bread).
From past Spanish tapas experiences I love the tortilla Espanola. It’s sort of like a egg-potato quiche and all the ones I’ve tried before have been served cold. At Barceloneta it’s listed as the tortilla de patata and was a bit fluffier like an omelet and was hot. There was one piece leftover towards the end of the meal and I liked it better once it had cooled down, but I definitely prefer the ones that start cold.
We also got orders of chorizo because that’s one of my favorite types of sausage. We got two orders- one came with a spicy aioli sauce and the other came with a black pepper sauce (we didn’t ask for different ones it just came like that). Always love me an aioli sauce (and liked the spicy kick). The black pepper was interesting, almost sweet though, but liked being able to try it. I would get this again with the spicy aioli sauce for sure.
We also got an order of huevos estrellados, which was fried organic hen eggs over a mix of potatoes, chorizo, salt, and onions. The potatoes were super cruncy, which I liked, and the chorizo was delicious (similar “crunch” and adding flavor and a bit of grease). It was all topped off with the fried egg that added texture (fluffy in some parts, gooey in others) and more flavor. One of my favorites!
A new thing that caught my eye was their list of rice dishes. The one we ended up ordering was the arroz del campo, which was country paella, baby back ribs, baby chicken, rabbit sausage, rice, and aioli. It had a creamy texture, but wasn’t overly rich. I found it filling and wholesome. Flavor was good and pieces of chicken and sausage were tender. The only part I slightly didn’t like was the baby back ribs surprisingly. They were just kind of plopped in and even when you separated the meat from the bone it was a bit tough.
Between the two of us that food filled us up pretty well. One other thing I like from other Spanish tapas restaurants are the potatoes bravas (potatoes in a spicy red aioli sauce). We went to order that and some brussel sprouts (my grandfather’s favorite), but the waitress suggested that what we already ordered would be a lot. We ended up not getting the last two things and she was pretty right because we were pretty full (although would have been nice to have some leftovers and try a few more thing).
Spanish tapas have a lot of variety- meat, vegetables, rices, cheeses, and more prepared in a lot of different ways so I think it’s always a great choice. It’s definitely getting to the top of my list for favorite type of food/restaurant. We loved everything we had at Barceloneta and there were other options to try on future visits. Sunset Harbor is a great spot in South Beach and Barceloneta is one in a row of Pubbelly restaurants. Barceloneta is recommended for locals and visitors alike!
Barceloneta- 1400 20th St Miami Beach, FL (also a location on Sunset Drive in South Miami)