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My last -- and anyone's best -- shot at elBulli


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Just a wee (okay, another) bit of advice. Steal away from the food group when and if you can, and wander a bit by yourself. Barcelona is such a beautiful city that to see it only from the inside of markets and restaurants would do it an injustice.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I thought for sure the plan would be to go to the hotel, get showered, rest up and then, maybe around noon, go for a stroll and a light snack. But somehow by about 8:30am Johnny Iuzzini had us death-marching toward La Boqueria, where we (Johnny, Dr. Ryan, and I) ate a disgustingly huge dinner (at 9am) at Pinotxo.

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You're killing me and you're only at breakfast *faint*

Those razor clams look so fresh.

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Wow FG… you’re living the dream!

Really enjoying the pics of Boqueria… even the stall with the fruit drinks, nice touch, the perfect hangover cure, if I remember correctly:)

Looking forward to hearing your reports from Can Roca and elBulli, it’s been a while since I’ve been to them, but I’ve wonderful, wonderful memories. BTW, don’t know how you fare on eating overload, but would advise caution if you’re doing Rafas for lunch on the same day as elBulli… the fish is so good there, it will call for a lot of will power to resist trying everything, need to be in top form for dinner. Please say hello to Luis for me at elBulli, he is such a lovely man. I wonder did he ever make it over to Ireland to check out our whiskey, he’s a fan.

Oh, and don’t forget to try some turron blando, it’s a traditional Christmas almond and honey confection which is on sale all year round. If you don’t get a chance in Barcelona, there’s a great place selling it in Girona. Can Roca used to do a very interesting turron dish using foie gras, don’t know if it will still be on the menu.

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You are a lucky lucky guy, Steven. Our trip to elBulli was back in 2005 for our anniversary and it was by far the most memorable dinner ever on so many levels. I do regret not taking some more pictures of the food. You are in for a special treat. I so want to go back to beautiful Barcelona after seeing your pics of Boqueria...

Edited by FoodMan (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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After the exhausting outing with Johnny and Dr. Ryan, during which I was continually made to feel inadequate for feeling the slightest bit fatigued, we returned to our hotel and checked into our rooms. There was email from Nathan M. waiting: he and Max would be back at the hotel in 45 minutes and were planning to go to La Boqueria.

Dr. Ryan declared a siesta for himself and repaired to his room. Johnny claimed to be indefatigable.

But when the time came to rendezvous with Nathan and Max, Johnny was nowhere to be found. I called up to his room. "Hey dude, I think I'm just gonna catch a shower and rest a bit and get with you later." Which just goes to show you that people who live in pork-chop sideburns shouldn't throw stones at fish pants.

So, Nathan, Max and I walked over to La Boqueria. On the way I indicated that I thought it was a little strange that on my first-ever day in Barcelona I'd be dining at Pinotxo twice. Oh no, said Max, we're not going to Pinotxo. We're going to this other place in the market, Kiosko Universal, that's better.

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Now I won't say that this Universal place was categorically better than Pinotxo. Both types of clams were better at Pinotxo. The gambas were better at Universal. The single best dish of the day was the octopus at Universal. Both places are great. I'm glad I got to try both and Johnny didn't.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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We then took a walk through the market and saw, among other things, Silly Disciple and Pedro's pasta shop. If you haven't read the chronicle of its founding, please check out the topic they've maintained. Here's the place:

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We also walked around the whole joint and I took some more photos, as did Nathan M.

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And then we decided to have a little picnic.

I'll try to get those photos up before we head out for dinner. Then there may be a long period of silence because connectivity other than in the hotel has not been fabulous and we have a long drive to dinner, a long dinner, and a long drive back.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Walking around the market, the hams looked so good that Nathan declared: "Let's get 100 grams of a really good ham and eat it outside."

Max quickly took this idea down the slippery slope. He navigated us through the painstaking purchase of three types of ham and a bunch of other stuff: sopressata, idiazabal cheese, three types of almonds, strawberries, wild berries, Diet Coke. Let's eat it down by the water, he suggested.

I don't know the city, but I quickly learned that the waterfront is in the opposite direction of our hotels.

After our picnic/tasting, Max left us and Nathan and I walked for what seemed like about an hour back to the hotel. Along the way we stopped in at the Santa Caterina Market but I was too fried to take any photos. At this point I feel I may be operating at a caloric deficit for the day, though I'm sure dinner will change that.

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Awesome! Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful city while I'm stuck in the office. If you make it back to the market, stop by El Quiem de Boqueria for baby squid and runny eggs. Delicious! I'm going to have to write down pinotxo and universal for my next visit, whenever that might be. Have fun and keep posting!

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This is fantastic. Thanks for documenting your trip so thoroughly with these amazing pictures. This brings back wonderful memories.

I've been to Kiosko Universal a few times (and sat exactly where the lady is sitting in the second picture), and would love to have these beautiful razor clams again.

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It looks like you're having an epic trip.

When I was in Barcelona 3 years ago I was in really bad shape and I was hopped up on so many pain meds that I didn't do anything but sleep and work. These pictures make me so sad thinking of what could have been.

Steven, you deserve it. I am moving my offices this week end and you ain't missing anything. Just do me a favor and thank Dr Ryan for being such a good customer in Hyde Park. We appreciate it.

Regards,

Sean

Edited by Sean (log)
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FG, I've never seen so many pics of such good food as in this thread. Not only the restaurants. The stuff in the markets is so much better, and more, than anything I've ever seen. (Of course, I'm just a country boy...)

Thanks for sharing all this.

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According to the time zone websites I consulted, it is now 2:42 a.m. in Barcelona. I must admit, I was hoping for some updates during dinner (which I'm guessing is, by now, over). Knowing FG, it means that he didn't have the capability to upload and post--or maybe he was having such a wonderful and sumptuous dinner that he couldn't distract himself with "in the field" reporting.

Either way, to put it in perspective I had a salad and plain yogurt with dried mango for dinner. Yes, I'm eagerly awaiting the next update.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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This would be a great experience under any circumstance, but when you can share it with the company you are, it is that much more special. I am thrilled for you! Enjoy! Enjoying your reports and everyone's posts and taking notes. All three of the Boqueria superstars, Pinotxo, Universal & Quim are wonderful.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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PJ and I have just looked through your photos and I am struck by the beautiful waterfront--what a perfect place for a picnic!

There wasn't a lot of shade and it was about 80F in the sun, but Nathan is pretty sneaky and found us a place under what turned out to be a pedestrian drawbridge. It was all fine until two guys in yellow jumpsuits appeared and started operating the bridge, which made a loud alarm-type noise that drove us away. But we were done. Johnny ate the leftovers during the van ride to dinner.

PJ noticed that there is candy in the market photos and would like to know if you bought any?

There's a refrigeration problem. When you leave the hotel room, all the electricity cuts out and the room gets very warm. I'm trying to figure out candy logistics, like whether it's possible to get some Sunday morning on the way out of town.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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