It seems like living not on earth neither on sky, but somewhere in between. Constantly moving from place to place happen to be my world now. After brilliant calmness in Iceland, now I feel a bit overwhelmed by lifestyle where there is no place to call home. So in order to get some balance, I try to find some home in every place I stay.
Recently it happend to be Barcelona, new „home“ for a few days. Watching Anthony Bourdain series on trip to Barcelona, I were convince I can really make it there. Catalonia is a place with the best food, – Anthony claims, and after this trip I feel strong to agree with that.
Really natural yet amazing food, which you don’t have to search for, it’s almost everywhere. And the best part – it looks homemade, something you can find at your grandma’s place, when visiting her.
Happy to share with you some moments and best food places from our trip.
ABOUT TAPAS. Spain is crazy about them. Casually said: it’s a small snack with your drink. Legend says that workers in early industrial age couldn’t afford a meal and a drink, so they chose just the second. Employers weren‘t happy, so the goverment forced bars to add some food to every drink so that people wouldn’t get drunk so easily.
What kind of tapas they ate? Patatas bravas (cubes of fried potatoes); pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomatoes); croquettes, calcots (fried onions) and many more. Here are the places where we found the best:
LA BOQUERIA. One of the nicest market I’ve ever been. And the tastiest. We tried here: fritto misto (fried sea food in a cone); mix of jambon iberico and mantego cheese (also in a cone); mix of fruits; torreznos (fried rashers of bacon). All of them I would strongly recommend to try.
Also, nobody should leave a market without visiting a place called EL QUIM, one of the best casual food spots in Barcelona. It might doesn’t look like restaurant, more like a fast food vendor with a seats around it. But casual suroundings hide something really special.
We tried two fried eggs with baby squids as I heard recomendations about it from so many people. Taste was full of quality yet made so simply. Also, ordered El Quim special Tripes (tripes stands for animal’s stomach lining, but in every coutry it’s a bit different preparation). The one we found here didn’t appeal to us, but who would have know.
LOKAL BAR. First evening we had our tapas and unexpectedly big glasses of sangria filled here. I’m so happy that first Barselona’s tapas I ate at this place as it was the top quality food. Patatas bravas, pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomatoes); croquettes; salmon sashimi exceeded expectations.
SENSI tapas. We were looking for appropriate paella place and accidentally find this tapas place, which had these amazing reviews and god, thank you – paella. Althought it was just a small version of paella, I wouldn’t change anything about this choice as we also tried many other delicious tapas.
All of them, as reviews said, reminded Michellin star restaurant‘s perfection. It’s not a place to eat, it’s a place to taste some extraordinary tapas interpretarions and feed your senses (sadly, the place was so dark, that it was almost impossible to take good pictures).
XURRERIA SAGRADA FAMILIA. From time I’ve lived in Porto, the one thing I missed the most was freshly made churros. It’s crunchy, light and definately not to oily. As we lived near Sagrada Familia I assumed I heard about nice xurreria just near there. Yet as the name suggest It was overly turistic and the quality was quite average.
Happy me, we found very good place for churros at the very last day. XURRERIA MANUEL SAN ROMAN isn’t that popular between tourists, that’s why it‘s a real gem. They make churros freshly, so I finally get that satisfing crispy taste and a nicest hot chocolate. The curiousity made us to grab local popularity – nutella filled churros, yet I would say it‘s too sweet for a normal human being.
CAVA & SANGRIA. The two of them are something you will find at almost every bar. Cava you can call a Spanish cousin of french champagne (made the same way, but with a different grapes). It’s light, little bubly and so so refreshing (althought, don’t choose it over water for hot summer days).
Sangria here is a real wine deal, it’s nothing similar to that juice style drink we find in the shops. One glass and you a ready for the night (of deep sleeping, in my case).
COFFEE. Pass all the Starbucks and Costa café, in simple bakeries here you can find that nice strong coffee bliss. Simple coffee comes with an unusually small cup, but the coffee is just perfect so you cannot be sad.
Being scared of big white clouds on a coffee, I almost always ordered coffee with milk, except some specialty coffee houses. The best of all for me was DIBAR CAFE. The coffee and local people around indeed gave the ultimate satisfaction.
PASTRIES. Pastries are Spanish religion, so many pastries’ shops! Ensaïmada is a Mallorca’s pastry which I saw so many times that I finally couldn’t pass it. Pastry was nothing that special, more like a buttermilk bun, but something I did liked was their palmier cookies (as they call it: palmeritas).
Something I was also happy about, were their sampler size pastries. With this option it was so easy to try them all (we did some sampling at GRANIER bakery, which also has very nice coffee).
For a flight home I’ve finally got some empanada (not that it would be a rare thing, but somehow I hardly find it fresh). I didn’t took a photo, although I must admit it didn’t look so good as it tasted. Or it tasted so good because of a crazy running to the plane ahead of time.
In these new homes I was alive on tapas, churros and drinks. But that’s how all spanish do it. They are so pleasurely relaxed, that you can’t help but try to do anything to be more like them. And once you get in their shoes, life gets so slow and so blissful. That’s what Spain is all about.