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2 Days in Barcelona


BryanZ
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Hey Bryan, a non-food-related travel tip: roughly 75% of my trips through Paris involve having luggage lost at Charles de Gaulle airport. On the upside, it's always made it's way back to me, but still: anything you can't bear being without, keep close at hand.

Good luck!

mark

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Bar Pinotxo is more of a place for plates rather than tapas. As are Universal, Quim and Central, also in the Boqueria. Go there for breakfast.

What is the difference between plates and tapas?

Jamonisimo has a sit-down tasting room (tiny though) offering a tasting of three hams from the different DOs (Guijuelo, Huelva, Extremadura) and another of ham from the three parts of the same leg which I describe using the technical terms  :hmmm:  of 'top' (from the front of the leg, 'maza'), 'bottom' (the back of the leg, 'mazilla', which is where you usually start cutting a leg first) and 'stump' ('punta', the top of the thigh). I would think they should have enough English to understand what you want. But I'll happily come translate in exchange for some ham! As Silly points out, it is pricey.

How pricey is pricey? WIll one tasting be enough to serve two people, and are there any accompaniments? Is there a menu?

Oh, and Silly, I don't think Plaza de la Revolucio de Setembre de 1868 is the kind of numbered street Bryan was thinking of  :biggrin:

Im a big boy, and I can probably figure it out, but I'm more used to 14th St. between 3rd and 4th Aves. I only know downtown NY decently because I spend some time there, but if I was visiting for just a couple days I wouldn't want to have to find something in that area. I suppose that's where the sense of adventure comes in.

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How pricey is pricey?  WIll one tasting be enough to serve two people, and are there any accompaniments?  Is there a menu?

Last time I stopped by the kg went for 160 EUR or so. So each plate is in the ballpark of EUR 35 if memory serves.

Edited by Silly Disciple (log)

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Wow, that is expensive, not that I have any barometer to base that statement off of. Nothing so far in Spain has struck me as particularly expensive (420 Euro meals at Arpege in Paris on the other hand...), but I must say that is more than I was expecting.

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You can always go to a market stall and get a 100 grams or so of the very best stuff. But ibérico de bellota is pricey for a reason. These pigs live the good life... and a taste of the good life isn't cheap.

Personally I would want all of mine cut from the maza or the punta if I was paying top euro.

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You can always go to a market stall and get a 100 grams or so of the very best stuff. But ibérico de bellota is pricey for a reason. These pigs live the good life... and a taste of the good life isn't cheap.

Personally I would want all of mine cut from the maza or the punta if I was paying top euro.

FWIW, I don't think you can get the quality of Jamonisimo at the market. But indeed you could go to Jamonisimo and get 150 grams or so to get an idea, so at least you get a benchmark point.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Agreed, being able to try three of the best at one sitting is a coup and worth the price, in my opinion. Do you know which Extremeño ham they use for the sampling? (We're working our way through a formidable one that we got in Montánchez.)

And I like how you upped my 100 grams to 150... and here I was trying to show a little restraint (not easy when it comes to the pata negra).

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P.S. LuisHorta--you must mean jamón ibérico (de bellota). Jamón serrano is to jamón ibérico as chicken livers are to fois gras... Don't get me wrong, I like jamón serrano (and chicken livers) but the two products represent entirely different levels of quality (from the breed, care, environment, feeding to the production process). You have to see the lives of the Iberian "bellota" pigs and the way these hams are produced to believe it. Or maybe not... maybe you just have to taste them.

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You can always go to a market stall and get a 100 grams or so of the very best stuff. But ibérico de bellota is pricey for a reason. These pigs live the good life... and a taste of the good life isn't cheap.

Personally I would want all of mine cut from the maza or the punta if I was paying top euro.

FWIW, I don't think you can get the quality of Jamonisimo at the market. But indeed you could go to Jamonisimo and get 150 grams or so to get an idea, so at least you get a benchmark point.

Besides Jamonissimo, Con Ravell (I have tried) and Casa Pepe ( I rely on expert advice) are places to buy Jamon Iberico bellota.

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Besides Jamonissimo,  Con Ravell (I have tried) and Casa Pepe ( I rely on expert advice) are places to buy Jamon Iberico bellota.

Vedat,

indeed, these are two good options to get iberico (and if you get to Can Ravell and leave without trying their foie gras and eggs you deserve to be punished :biggrin: ). Can Ravell also has an interesting scotch (and other beverages) selection. I think their wine list is not bad either, but I'm not the right person to ask.

However both are a bit more upscale than the usual.

Casa Pepe has excellent Navajas and a very decent morcilla de Burgos also, which you can get either with eggs and cepes or raf tomato (my choice by far).

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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What is the difference between plates and tapas?

Sorry, Spanglish! Well, the edges are rather fuzzy but, to me, tapas are small portions of snacky dishes (pintxos, pimientos padron, cheese, charcuterie, small dishes of fried fish, or small portions of dishes such as stews, paella, etc), often eaten standing up, with a few glasses, and probably with friends.

Whereas what Pinotxo dishes out are the equivalent of a 'main course', eating sitting down. Having said that, however, you could share a plate of clams and beans or cap i pota between a few people, and they do indeed do sandwiches, plates of seafood a la plancha etc. So, like I say, the distinctions can be a bit blurred!

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Bryan,

I stopped by Jamonisimo today (I live about a block away so why not :biggrin: ?). The textures degustation is 27 euros, the regions degustation is 24.

But: the lady said given we are in low season they only keep 2 ibericos "open" instead of 3, so you won't get to try them all.

Also, they have a roasted Presa Iberica (not sure what the translation is, but basically a section of the neck next to the front legs, lots of marbling, mouth-watering), so you might want to consider it too.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Cool, thanks so much for that information.

Just for my own education, you can get all three textures (cuts) from the one individual ham, but for the regions degustation they are only serving hams from two of the three popular regions?

So maybe I'll get one textures degustation, a slice or two from the ham of the other region, and a small order of the roasted ham? Does that sound feasible for two people?

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Cool, thanks so much for that information.

Just for my own education, you can get all three textures (cuts) from the one individual ham, but for the regions degustation they are only serving hams from two of the three popular regions?

Correcto.

So maybe I'll get one textures degustation, a slice or two from the ham of the other region, and a small order of the roasted ham?  Does that sound feasible for two people?

I think that, given the amount of food you're planning on consuming in Barcelona, you can get one of each (there's no small order) and it will be fine for two people.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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By the way, Bryan, when exactly are you coming over? Because it it's this weekend, I don't think you'll be able to find a place at Can Roca. There's a gastronomic fair in Girona beginning on Friday, so I should imagine that's where everyone will be heading for dinner...

Edited by Mar Calpena (log)

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Before I leave for Europe at the end of the week, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for one remaining dinner I have yet to lock in stone. For next Saturday evening I have a dinner reservation at Cinc Sentits as a back-up but am willing to consider other options. Perhaps something more traditional and not super expensive, like around 75ish Euro for a full meal or tasting menu. Abac seems really interesting, so should I consider that? Any other suggestions for this last dinner?

Thanks.

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I was in Barcelona two weeks ago and followed in the footsteps of food friends and recommendations of chefs at Spanish restaurants in Washington, DC. I was not disappointed. I strongly recommend you go to the Boqueria, the large market just off las Ramblas. It has hundreds of vendors selling seafood, hams and pork products, other meats, fruits, vegetables, candy, and mushrooms. What's more, there is a small bar called Pinotxo where they will cook you seafood fresh from the market and have already prepared a large array of dishes that require long cooking, such as beans with xipperones (small squid). Pinotxo is great for breakfast and lunch. You can get pa amb tomaquet i pernil (bread rubbed with tomato and olive oil served with jamon) there. Good bread, good tomatoes, great olive oil: nothing can be better or more difficult to duplicate here in Washington.

At Cinc Sentits we had the tasting menu with in pairings. It was a fabulous meal and they chose wines that harmonized beautifully with each course.

Even better than Cinc Sentits, for me, was dinner at Ca L'Isidre. Isidre's menu is based on the best ingredients available that day and traditional Catalan ways with food. (I went to Catalunya to learn about traditonal cooking.) We had, for example, an "amuse" of creamy mashed potatoes with octopus carpaccio, a starter of fresh, young green peas braised with lettuce and bacon, a purée of chick peas with black truffles, grilled prawns with course salt, grilled tuna with a tomato coulis, and braised baby goat with braised onions. All of the dishes highlighted the flavors of the main ingredients, which were fresh and intensely flavorful.

You have some tough choices to make. And please report back when you return home.

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Before I leave for Europe at the end of the week, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for one remaining dinner I have yet to lock in stone.  For next Saturday evening I have a dinner reservation at Cinc Sentits as a back-up but am willing to consider other options.  Perhaps something more traditional and not super expensive, like around 75ish Euro for a full meal or tasting menu.  Abac seems really interesting, so should I consider that?  Any other suggestions for this last dinner?

Thanks.

If it's a little more traditional you're after then Abac would definitely fit the bill. Ate there the night before a trip to El Bulli a couple of years back and it was the perfect counterpoint. They pretty changed half the tasting menu for us - nothing was too much trouble. And the suckling pig was something else. The tasting (7-8 courses, if I remember) might nudge above 75 euro, though.

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Before I leave for Europe at the end of the week, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for one remaining dinner I have yet to lock in stone.  For next Saturday evening I have a dinner reservation at Cinc Sentits as a back-up but am willing to consider other options.  Perhaps something more traditional and not super expensive, like around 75ish Euro for a full meal or tasting menu.  Abac seems really interesting, so should I consider that?  Any other suggestions for this last dinner?

Thanks.

If it's a little more traditional you're after then Abac would definitely fit the bill. Ate there the night before a trip to El Bulli a couple of years back and it was the perfect counterpoint. They pretty changed half the tasting menu for us - nothing was too much trouble. And the suckling pig was something else. The tasting (7-8 courses, if I remember) might nudge above 75 euro, though.

I'll second the suckling pig at Abac - awesome! Not to confuse you, but another restaurant to throw into the mix is Gaig, for original takes on traditional catalan cuisine. Carles Gaig's cannelons are simply delicious.

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

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Abac or Gaig, which is cheaper? I will be coming from a lunch at Can Roca that afternoon and this will be at the end of my trip (meaning I will be broke), so even a few euro difference in price could be significant. Both restaurants really seem to be what I'm looking for: classy but not stodgy.

Are there any other alternatives that others might suggest.?

Edited by BryanZ (log)
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