Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eating in Barcelona

Here’s compilation of some of the stuff we ate during out 4 days 3 nights stay in Barcelona, Spain. We could definitely live here….permanently!

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This was the best sit down meal we had in Barcelona. I’m not 100% sure how authentic everything was (we realized despite the Spanish name, everyone working there was Indian), but they were definitely delicious. The best thing was we paid Euro 10 per person, and even though I think we had to pay VAt of 7%, it was still worth it.

Restaurant L’oficina is located near Port Vell. There were many other restaurants on the same strip as the one we picked to have our meal. For Euro 10, you get an appetizer, bread, paella, sangria and dessert. Who could ask for better deal?? Seyda picked Calamari Rings (Top Left) which although was a little heavy on the batter, the calamari were thick and yummy. Hubby and Rob picked Fish Balls (Top Right), which was totally different from the Chinese version of Fish Balls. It was light, fluffy, slightly fishy, yummy but was a tad salty.

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I ordered Salted Shrimp with Salas (Top Left). The shrimp was a hassle to peel, but it was so good! Naturally sweet! Yums!! Our yummy Seafood Paella (Top Right) came soon after we polished our generous portions of appetizers. They were again very generous with the serving and the seafood! There were tons of mussels, clams, langoustines, and shrimps. I definitely fell in love with Paella that day. It was my first time having it and I’m glad it was a pleasant experience! =)

On top of the yummy food, their Sangria was delicious too. You could really taste the wine, and the alcohol and it’s definitely not watered down! Dessert was a cuppa ice cream each. Nothing too special, but it was definitely appreciated!!


And here’s the expensive cup of coffee we had as mentioned in my post HERE. Euro 3.50 for cafe + milk + big mug = Rip Off Latte!! =) As I mentioned, if you order cafe/coffee in Spain or Italy…expect to get a small cup of espresso shot! If you want the regular large cup of coffee, my friend said to order “Caffe Americano” = Espresso + Water.

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We got ripped off twice in a day. This time it was at a cafe (Top Left) near Park Guell. We got hungry after walking around the park exploring Gaudi’s work and decided to rest our tired legs and fill up our rumbling tummy! We stopped by this cafe (which unfortunately I forgot the name) on our way to catch the Metra. The Cafe is a small place probably a mom and pop business.

Hubby ordered Cannelloni (Top Right) which looked better in the menu than the actual stuff cost about Euro 4-5. It was probably some commercial frozen food and baked before serving. I hated the smell of it……don’t get me wrong,..I love cheese, but hubby’s meal was a turn off…the smell and the look!

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Rob ordered Bacon sandwich/baguette (Top Left)…. it was just as it said it was on a menu..and was about Euro 3-4. My Omelet with Ham, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich(Top Right) was about Euro 3-4. Now, here’s the kicker…… there wasn’t any Omelet! I tried to ask the wait staff (who speaks some English)if my order was right and she said yes. I decided not to argue.. but where’s my omelet?

We ordered coke with our meal to save some money and later found out that a can of coke was Euro 2.30…. A can of beer was Euro 2.80. Should have drank beer instead! When we paid too, we found out that there were a service charge of Euro 1 per person and the stale bread which was served to us wasn’t free! =P Lesson learnt!

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I’ve had Tapas in Boston before and I love it. But this was better!!! You enter the Pintxo/Pincho bar, grab a plate and pick whatever Pincho you like. The only difference between Pintxo/Pincho and Tapas is that Tapas comes in a small portion for sharing. Pintxo/Pincho on the other hand are arranged on slices of bread.There were so many different kinds of Pinchos to choose from, we don’t know where to start!!

At this Sagardi (Top) which I finally found the name after relentlessly googling for it online, they practice honor system. I bet it’s the same with many other Pintxo/Pincho Bars in the area. We got in there, grab a plate, picked the Pinchos we wanted to try and instead of paying for it there and then……they ask us to eat them first. Take more if we like and order drinks from the bar tender if we want to. After we’re done, bring the empty ate and the toothpicks to the staff. They will then count how many toothpicks you did not throw away or chew up on your plate, ask if you drank anything and tell you how much you owe them. At Sagardi, every toothpick was Euro 1.80. No frills, no tax, no surprise. We paid the exact amount of toothpick we had! One little note, we ate standing or you could choose to sit at the bar. There were also outdoor sittings with ala carte menus and well dressed wait staff to take your order.

Some other bars charges about Euro 2-2.20 per Pincho and did not have as much choices and the ones we went to. I’m glad we stumbled upon this one and gave it a try! IMG_0573 (Large)

We had such a wonderful dinner the first nite, we decided to hunt down more Paella meals. This time we looked on Las Ramblas. We soon found out that the outdoor restaurants on the pedestrian strip on Las Ramblas where there are souvenir stands and street performers were pricey and did not have great deals on meals. That’s what you pay for the atmosphere and people watching. These outdoor restaurants have a indoor seating which were across the street and in the building, still on Las Ramblas. If you choose to forgo the bustling scene dining outside, there are better deals to lure customers to seat indoors.

We picked this restaurant which if you sit outdoor, prices were higher and you would expect to pay about Euro 20 per person. If you sit indoor, there was a set meal for Euro 11 – Euro 13. We Paid Euro 13 for portions of Tapas, Paella, and Sangria. Euro 11 if you chose the Pizza instead of Paella. The portion of the Tapas (Top Left) were tiny, but delicious. The tuna pasta was yum! We ate so much tuna in Europe! The anchovy and red pepper was ok. The potatoes with hot sauce was also YUMS!!!

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When the Paella (Top Left) came, I was a little disappointed. It did not look as good as the ones we had the day before, and they were a little stingy with the seafood. Maybe coz it was Chicken and Seafood Paella. The taste was also average, definitely not as good as the first one we had. The Pizza (Top Right) did not look very special and I did not try it. A huge disappointment especially since this restaurant on the popular, touristy Las Ramblas…. I guess it was a Tourist Trap and we were surely one of them! =p.

The one thing that we never really got to try was Chocolate dipped Churros. The closest thing I could get was Churros from a pastry shop and that wasn’t fresh. =(. I’m not sure if we did not look hard enough, but we surely did not see any shops at Chocolate dipped Churros to-go as we did not want to sit down in a cafe just to have Churros! There were many places selling gelatos, waffles, kebabs and other food on the go……. But no one was selling those yummy Churros to-go! I see a business plan here! Haha!! =)

1 comment:

Adeline said...

oooh... i would love to try seafood paella! I've seen it on food network and they look super delicious!

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