I was very excited to see that the Charleston food scene was expanding beyond the very typical Southern Cuisine and offering more variety. We found a Spanish Tapas Restaurant called Barsa, slang for Barcelona our waiter explained. We arrived and were immediately seated and brought the menus and specialty cocktails. As I do at every restaurant, I asked Lisa, our server, what she recommended for a signature cocktail. She was rude and short and didn’t have a suggestion at all even after I explained that I am a vodka drinker and prefer a drink that isn’t too sweet. This was our first disappointment. I ordered the Housemade Sangria which was absolutely amazing! She should be recommending that to everyone!
Then as we looked at the menu I knew we would want the Paella, which was noted to take a minimum of 30 minutes to prepare. Not a problem, we ordered in the beginning and also ordered some tapas as we waited. Again, I asked Lisa what her favorite tapas were, and again with an attitude she had no recommendations.
We ordered Pan con Tomate, homemade ciabatta with fresh tomato and garlic at $4, these were good but burnt on the edges. Rated: 6/10
Empanidillas with braised pork and vegetable patties and a spicy red pepper sauce. The sauce was delicious and had the perfect amount of heat, but at $9 I was expecting a little more than 5 small Empanadillas. Rated 6/10
Serano Ham and Potato Croquettes at $7 were perfectly fried and had a good flavor but they were a little dry. Rated: 6/10
The Seafood Paella at $34 for 3 people really could have served 5 hungry people. The portions were huge! One of my favorite things about the Paella was that they used fresh local shrimp and redfish and you could taste the freshness. Then there were clams and fried smelt along with fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions. It tasted good! It wasn't the best Paella I have ever had but it was fresh and filling and I would order it again.
By the end of our meal we were asked about dessert and I requested a dessert menu. Again, with an attitude, Lisa said that she already told us the desserts earlier in the meal. That was the last straw for me, I have low tolerance for rude or disrespectful people especially in the service industry. I have worked in restaurants and understand the difficulties and still do not excuse a server for a poor attitude. We asked for our check and waited over 20 minutes for her to return, then another 15 minutes for her to bring back our cards to sign. There was never an apology or reason as to why she took her time.
Service can make or break a restaurant and unfortunately this experience would cause me NOT to return.