Passing by El Barral one afternoon I noticed a sign outside announcing 'flamenco night tonight'. This had some appeal so I went in and asked for a reservation for 1 (I was staying in Envigado by myself). I was told that there were no available tables but that I could sit in the bar. This was fine by me. Later, when I returned for dinner, I took my seat at a high table and chair from which I could peer into the main dining room and possibly catch some of the flamenco show. The other restaurant guests, a lively, well-dressed crowd, streamed in. The menu mainly offered various versions of paella. I ordered a classic paella Valenciana and a glass of white wine. I sipped my wine, guests continued to come in, greet one another and socialize. My paella arrived. It was just okay: dry-ish chunks of chicken; pieces of bone attached to mystery meat; rather oily rice. There was no 'socarrat', the crunchy rice that lines the bottom of the pan when a paella is properly made (it's really the best part of a paella). So, the meal was disappointing. I ate, waiting for the show to begin. Alas, there were no tell-tale signs that it was going to and, ultimately, it never did, as long as I was there. Finally, I simply gave up, finished my wine, paid the cuenta and left. I wish anybody who wants to try El Barral better luck than I had.
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