04 Sep Happy Rock Bar&Grill – Not so happy restaurant in Barcelona
For many years I have been a customer of Happy Bar and Grill in Pyce (Ruse), 70 kilometers away from my hometown, Bucharest.
I always drive there to enjoy some sushi and depending on the season something sweet (I will try to review this place soon because I have been to it countless times and there are many things to be said about it).
Arriving in Barcelona with a friend he suggested we should try eating at Happy Rock Bar and Grill just a short distance from the Magic Fountain and situated in the mall right in Plaça d’Espanya.
I was convinced to go there even though being in Barcelona means many amazing fish restaurants and tapas but I said ok and let it at that.
From what I remember the restaurant is situated on the fourth floor of the “Arenas de Barcelona” shopping Centre and as you’d expect the interior is decorated in a rock way with guitars and posters and collages on the walls of great rock stars.
To my knowledge Happy is Bulgaria’s biggest chain of restaurants with more than 5 places in the country and expanding outside its borders with this location in Barcelona.
From the start I will tell that there is no sushi available like in Ruse or Sofia so that was one of the first minuses of that place.
Bellow you can read my thoughts on the things I consider important when visiting a restaurant:
- Size and looks: the restaurant is medium to big so I can say about 150-170 people could get in (checked later and it has 140 places seated). It is a clean place (did not use the toilet) and the whole setting is nice regardless of the time of day you wish to eat there.
- Location: as I said above right in Plaçad’Espanya close to the metro it can be easily reached since Barcelona’s metro is really amazing.
- The staff:I would have to say decent, the English was a bit hard, kept waiting a bit, mixed some orders but in the end managed to pull it off in a way that I couldn’t get really angry with them.
- Food: since sushi was out of the question I did not care much what I was eating so I ordered one or two tapas and a quesadilla and my friend did the same only to choose some pasta over my quesadilla.
I will say from the beginning that the food is not great. It is bland and boring and from the 5-7 dishes on the table after just 8 months since I was there I can’t remember a single one so you can clearly see how impressed I was by the food.
Having the orders mixed and delayed even though it wasn’t that busy in the restaurant just made things a bit worse even though I manage to keep calm and just smile and wait for things to be over so I could leave.
As usual when I’m in Spain I always try either the wine or the Sangria. And my favorite is Cava even though I love the red one very much.
Cava here was a bubbly pink thing in a small glass that I kept looking for two minutes at it because I was used to white and not this color.
When I finally tasted it felt horrible. No actual connection between this piss and the sangria I enjoyed for so many days at a restaurant near Sagrada Familia (will review it also later).
Since I was thirsty I managed to gulp it down fast then as water arrived I said thanks and cleaned my mouth after definitely the worst sangria attempt I ever tasted.
The food usually at Happy comes very fast and while I won’t comment on how it tastes in Bulgaria, here the food has little taste and you feel robbed in a way because you realize all must be reheated and served not cooked then.
Paying the bill was a bit complicated but when it arrived we managed to pay it by card (after a few moments of not understanding what we wanted).
- The prices: well they are not cheap but neither are they expensive. But frankly I would love to pay more and serve a dish I will remember for a while instead of eating and by the time I reached the subway thinking what a waste of money.
In the end I will say this: eating here is no different than eating at a fast food. You go in, order, pay, eat and leave. Nothing to remember, nothing local, nothing really interesting.
It is not an awful place and some may find the food ok but if you really wish to experience something good don’t eat here.
There are lots of places in Barcelona that serve better food, traditional food, good fish and seafood and it would be a shame to eat here when having those possibilities.
For me, I regret listening to my friend and wasting a good chance to eat in another place.