El Parador 1

245 Eversholt Street , London, NW1 1BA

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SquareMeal Review of El Parador

“A lovely tapas restaurant”; “fantastic food at great prices” – you’ll rarely hear a bad word spoken about El Parador, where classic flavours, effervescent vibes and rustic good looks combine to make one seriously seductive Spanish venue. With so much garlic and verdant extra-virgin olive oil on the menu, it’s hardly surprising that everything tastes so good. All the classics are here, alongside a few “interesting extras”: boquerones, calamares and albondigas share the billing with, say, bacalao al piquillo (baked salt cod with piquillo peppers, shrimps, garlic and wine) or panceta con cidra (rolled pork belly braised in cider). Vegetarians are treated to some big, bold flavours too, from textbook tortilla to grilled courgettes with spinach and sunflower seeds, while everyone can indulge in sweet treats of orange crème caramel or Santiago tart. El Parador also boasts a beautiful courtyard garden – “perfect for alfresco lunches in summer”.

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6.3

Food & Drink: 6.5

Service: 6.3

Atmosphere: 6.7

Value: 6.3

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Shirley I. 10 November 2013

The food is excellent and service very friendly. I think because we went on a Saturday evening, it was ‘very’ busy and noisy, but still very good. Every dish we had was terrific.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Graham E. 27 January 2013

I've visited here several times with friends, relatives and work colleagues in varying size groups. We have all loved the food and the atmosphere.It is probably the best Tapas I've had outside of Spain and is as good as Fino (but not as smart) however, it is considerably cheaper. I must admit on my first visit when we were seated in the basement room I was a bit apprehensive, but once the place filled up and the food arrived, all my concerns disappeared. The waiting staff are overstretched at times, but I have always found them to be friendly and there is no attitude if I have to remind them for part of our order. Favourite dishes are the beetroot salad, sweet potatoes, belly pork and octopus. OK it's not the fanciest restaurant in town, but with food like this, who cares.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

ANDREW G. 25 July 2012

El Parador is local to our work and so has become a regular place to take visitors at lunchtime. On each occasion the food has been interesting, tasty, plentiful and value for money Ok, the place doesn't look in the least bit fancy and the staff can get stretched when it is busy, but they are always helpful with recommendations. All in all a great value lunchtime venue – and in the summer, the garden is a really nice place to eat in a sparse part of town for that sort of thing.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Nick D. 01 November 2010

Don't know what planet the other reviewers where on when eating at El Parador but I had a meal there last week and I thought the food was excellent, the hake and cod quite simply out of this world, the Calamares unlike others I have had in some of the more well known Tapas Eateries in London where succulent and melted in my mouth, the meatballs nice and moist in a rich garlicky and tomato sauce, had a few others things and where all spot on. Yes it is very busy and at times noisy but that's the price you pay for eating in a successful and well looked after Restaurant, apparently its been around 20 years …they must be doing something right… will return Nick D

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Massimo F. bronze reviewer 06 May 2010

I am sorry but I would not consider this restaurant for “best tapas” No way!!! I arrived around 18:00 (opening time for dinner) and they looked like upset. I had Grilled Octopus (not fresh at all) and spiced chorizo (extremely salty) No way that I would recommend this restaurant, ever!!! Go to Cigala, barrafina or Tapas brindisa if you want to have a real taste of Spain. Max

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Marie S. 25 October 2009

I visited this place with my husband on a busy Saturday night after having read good reviews about the place. I really feel the urge to add my review in order to balance the much too overrated reviews. We started out with quite high hopes for this small restaurant. The atmosphere was pleasant, but the noise level very high. The service was friendly and quick to seat us, but we several times after this we had to call out loud to get their attention. We ordered five different tapas. The vegetarian ones were OK – patatas bravas and a beetroot salad. Not much to spoil about these uncomplicated dishes. The two fish dishes, bacalao (cod) and grilled squid were almost too disgusting to eat. The cod was soaked in a bowl of cooking oil with a burnt flavor, almost like petrol. The squid was dry, rubbery and tasted very stale. The meat dish (duck) was an absolute disgrace as well. Again, the dish was served in a bowl of “petrol” and is was much too rare. In fact, we only tasted one bite each and then decided to leave it. Admittedly, we should have complained about the food. But the waitresses were too busy drinking tequila shots in the bar and reeling in new customers to bother attending to our table. The table next to ours got their coffees and desserts and looked quite pleased, so we decided to try the “postres” since we were still very hungry after leaving most of the food. We ordered chocolate mousse and coffee. The coffee was very nice and hot, but the chocolate mousse was heavy and much too sweet – almost no dark chocolate taste to it. We quickly started regretting ordering the dessert, since both of us started feeling quite sick. We settled the bill (70 Pounds!!) and quickly left the place to go out for some fresh air. The rest of the night both of us got very sick and needed to run to the bathroom.. a typical case of food poisoning. Don't know whether the raw duck, stale squids or the chocolate mousse caused it, but bottom line is that we both got really sick from eating in this place. Food was far below any resonable standard, the staff was drunk and unattentive, and we ended up having our evening ruined – and at a very high price. Don' t go there. Take your good money elsewhere, this place is not even worth a pence!

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