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The staff were rushed off their feet. Tuesday night is happy hour for pinchos at Lizarran, one of a chain of small atmospheric restaurant/bars celebrating Catalan food in Barcelona among other world cities.

The pinchos on Tuesday are 1 euro per shot; you just pick which ones grab your fancy, either from the bar as you enter, or from the colourful platters of hot and cold pinchos carried in relays by the over-pressed staff from the busy kitchen around the crowded gangway that runs through the restaurant.

Drinks include Estrella beer, vino tinto (red wine) or sangria. I was staying at the nearby Doubletree hotel on Carrer Mallorca just down from the metro at Passeo de Gracia. This is a bustling slice of Barcelona, which seems to reel through night and day with a good natured but frantic charm. The staff at Lizarran  were no different: always smiling but always in motion.

Would I like some cangrejo (crab) with peppers? A refill of my vino tinto? I was on my own, so I watched the football on the TV at the back of the restaurant, dimly aware of Barca, Real, Athletico in games with teams from across Europe. I seemed to spend most of the evening saying yes to the various offers of food and wine, but at the end the bill was less than 15 Euros.

As I left, I felt sure that the waitress had made a mistake, so I slipped an extra large tip on the table and hoped it would not come out of her wages.

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