Let's just say this, the food in Spain ruined all food for us for a long time. When we got home, we actually had trouble feeding ourselves because nothing sounded as good as the tapas that we ate in Barcelona. Almost everywhere we went, we ate tapas. I realize that there are many other foods to eat in Barcelona, but the price and portion, not to mention all the different varieties to choose from of tapas are pretty much perfect. They're even more perfect when paired with a sangria (for Aaron) or a virgin mojito (for me). So wanna see some of the amazing food we consumed?
But before we get to food pictures, a little story first :) One of our friends from Spain explained Tapas to me. Historically, they are supposed to be free, and served when you order a drink at the bar. Therefore, you have no choice in what you get. This came from the time of when kings would goon hunting trips. They would often stop to quench their thirst with some wine since the water wasn't really safe to drink, but bugs would often fly into the kings drink. Not wanting to drink bugs (not that I blame him), they started serving his wine to him with a small plate over the opening of the container. However, it's bad luck to present a king with an empty plate, so small snacks were added. These were often a slice of bread with cheese, meat or something else served on top. How they got from that to the amazing tapas today is quite a mystery to me, but, I'm sure glad they did! So there's your little history lesson for the day. Don't say you never learned anything by reading blogs ;)
The first place we ate had both a selection of tapas on the bar to choose from, and ones you could order hot. We did a mixture of both. And bonus, this place had slushies and craft beer (but not craft beer slushies, although I wonder how those would taste...). And they were delicious.
Another place we went to around the corner from our hotel was probably one of the most interesting places I've ever been in. It was a long, super skinny bar called Bodega Biarritz 1881. After we entered, since we took the last two seats, they actually put a rope across the door until more people left. From any seat in the bar, you get a view of the kitchen and can watch the various tapas being made. On the bar, there were probably 25 different tapas to choose from - vegetarian, meat, traditional Catalan specialties. Aaron made me choose because if he went, we would have ended up with one of each. After we made our choice, they were heated up and served hot to us. I think our favorite was the chorizo sandwich, which was even more delicious than it sounds. But the wings, veggie quiche, spicy chicken skewers (of glorious spicy food!), and potato souffle were just as good. As an added bonus, this place had delicious sangria (which I was super bummed I drink nearly as much of as I wanted to), but they also had really good virgin mojitos.
While our hotel did offer breakfast, it was kind bland, and not that good. Think, tough, mass produced croissants, room temperature yogurt, and over ripe fruit. We ate there one morning, but the following morning we found some place better. We chose a small cafe not too far off of Las Ramblas called El Mos which did not disappoint. Tip: don't eat ON Las Ramblas, it's super touristy, over priced, and the food, which may be good, is not nearly as good as the smaller places away from the touristy parts of town.
For our final lunch, can you guess what we ate? More Tapas! Really, these ''small plates'' as they are commonly known in the States, are so incredibly versatile. This place was called _. I ordered a plate of mussels and Aaron ordered this meat platter thing that came with tomato bread. At first, we weren't quite sure what tomato bread was, but we soon discovered it was sliced baguette with tomato rubbed on it. Combined with the different, local varieties of sausage, it was delicious. But a lot of meat to eat.
Like I said, the food was amazing in Barcelona :)
We also made sure to stop at the famous market on Las Ramblas - La Boqueria. It's behind a bunch of buildings, but the tourists streaming in and out make it easy to spot. There is stall after stall of vendors selling everything you can imagine - vegetables, fruit, ice cream, ready made salads and gazpacho (which I made sure to buy since I was on a gazpacho kick there), nuts, fish, and pretty much every variety of meat you could ever think of, most of which I would never in my life eat. True story, we watch a lady select the perfect lungs to buy, and presumably consume. It was unnerving, until we saw the lambs WITH THEIR FACES for sale, right next to the brains. I seriously debated becoming a vegetarian after seeing all that. We quickly hurried on, to other, more pleasant sights (and smells). We wandered by a nut vendor giving out free samples. We tasted, decided it was good, and decided to buy some. It was only after she had gotten a big scoop in a bag for us that I realized those suckers were 55€/kg, which is essentially $28/lb. Thankfully, it wasn't a giant scoop, but we still dropped 15€ on nuts. They are good, but not quite that good.
So yea, Barcelona was pretty much food heaven for us. We got to eat tons of amazing tapas, spicy food (which is hard to come by in Germany), and try some fantastic sangria and mojitos. Just writing this post makes me want to go back and gorge on their food. Good thing I have gazpacho on the menu for tonight!