Hola Barcelona! Eating in Barcelona, Spain.

I’m living in the countryside outside Barcelona for a few weeks while I work on a project and had the pleasure of a weekend in the city to stroll around and be delighted. Delighted we were!

Highlights:

Quimet y Quimet reminded me that because something is “touristy” doesn’t meant that I should automatically discount it as bad. 80% of the visitors during my two visits were non-Spanish speakers dutifully eating the salmon, truffle honey and yogurt montadito that was recommended in some guide. But that montadito was in fact very good, as was everything else we tried here–my favorite was the artichoke, goat cheese and caviar montadito, so creamy and luscious that my face advertised my pleasure enough that neighbors to both sides then ordered the same. Other pleasures: leek and caviar tapas, everything with boquerones and anchovies, the blue cheese and red pepper montadito. We stayed in this neighborhood (Poble Sec) and grazed on tapas on Carrer de Blai but nothing matched the quality of Quimet y Quimet. It was also the only place everything was freshly prepared from a deli-counter-like set-up of ingredients being spooned onto plates or toasts to order.

Forn Boix was a better than average bakery; I liked the sweet apple empanada and adored this short, eggy pastry (kind of like a cannele but not caramelized?) that didn’t have a label.

Lliberia Calders, behind Bar Calders, is a lovely independent bookshop with a small bar and tables in the back of its main room–a delightful place for readers or writers to stop for a drink while strolling in the Sant Antoni neighborhood.

Petit Comite de Nandu Jubany was the first of our two booked restaurants. We arrived after a day of exploring Barcelona in normal-people clothes, and the other guest waiting outside was wearing a ball gown, so: dress up for this one. Service was a bit weird. I wanted a glass of wine, for which there is no list (bottles only on the printed menu) and had trouble getting the waiter to acknowledge the question (not a language problem–he just didn’t know what the wines by the glass were and didn’t seem interested in investigating). Grilled artichokes with romesco were good and straightforward. Egg at low temperature with sobrassada crumbles was silky and elegant, set alongside a puree of potato. I had the roasted suckling pig with caramelized fruit; he had the veal filet. Both were impressive, portion-wise, and regretfully so–the dessert cart looked incredible, but we weren’t up to it. We saw the half portion notice at the bottom of the menu too late–you can order a half portion of most dishes at 60% of the price–and if I were to return, I’d probably take advantage of that, eat smaller portions, and save room for dessert!

I have no idea what the name of the second restaurant is, which is the only disappointing thing about the experience. We ate on the first floor restaurant of the Ohla Hotel, in the space that used to be called Sauc restaurant. My husband booked the table a couple months back and apparently got a response that the name had changed, but a restaurant was still operating there, would we like to eat there? So we ate at the Ohla hotel first floor restaurant (not even mentioned on the hotel website!) and had a really lovely experience. Charming service, great food. The amuse of tomato macaron, pig ear, and a bursting truffle-flavored truffle was a lovely start. Good bread and olive oil. The main courses of lamb and pork were punishingly large, but we had learned our lesson and saved room for dessert. The banana/walnut option, with pureed and dehydrated banana set against tiny walnut cakes, was good; the hazelnut souffle must have been because I wasn’t allowed a bite.

Now vegetable soup for a month!

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Thanks for the report! My sweetheart and I are thinking about Barcelona for our next trip (not until 2017, but it’s never too early to plan), so I’ll bookmark this.

It looks like the restaurant is now named La Plassohla.

I had a great time eating in Barcelona and would recommend it! We’ve been taking short trips around Continental Europe lately and of Lisbon, Venice, Budapest and Barcelona, I haven’t had a miserable food stop yet.

La Plasshola is the more casual ground-floor tapas restaurant – the one I’m talking about is upstairs (first floor, European) and only about ten tables.

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Two more:

Out by Montserrat, Vinyanova (at the base of the mountain in Bruc/Collbato) is a fabulous stop during a hike up the mountain. It’s calcot season here (runs from January through April) so I ordered from the special menu. The first arrival was a giant plate of calcots (a sort of mild spring onion), which are cooked in an outdoor grill. The outside layer gets burnt and papery, while the inside becomes slippery, mild and sweet. I didn’t notice that the waiter had put an official calcot kit by my side and when he saw me approaching the plate without having installed the proper equipment, he bounded across the room as if I were about to set my hair on fire. The kit included a branded calcotada bib, plastic gloves and a wet wipe. After the calcots came a huge plate of various grilled meats (chicken, lamb and sausage) and a not very interesting dessert. 26.50 (euros) for a satisfying lunch, price included dessert but no drinks.

Up in El Bruc, there’s a small produce store/everything mart on the main street that also sells local, unprocessed wine out of huge vats. Once you select your wine, the shop owner dispenses it into a reused water bottle (there seem to be 2 liter bottles and larger jugs, maybe 5 liters?). I tried the two white wines–one was fairly sweet, so I purchased the drier one, which is a deep amber color, unlike any other white wine I’ve had. It was 3.15 (euros) for a 2 liter bottle.

Also, I figured out the name of the unknown pastries at Forn Boix above–they are bunuelos, a classic Catalan treat during Easter, traditionally only prepared on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent. Delicious.

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We are looking forward to visiting Barcelona later this Spring. For the most part we will just explore the city and go where the day takes us. However we are booking a few things. One night we will do a food walk with Aborigens.

We’d also like to do a nice blow out dinner one evening. We are deciding between Disfrutar and Tickets. I am wondering if anyone has opinions between the two, or would you suggest something else?

Also, any suggestions for Sundays in Barcelona would be welcome.

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Here’s a little write up with photos that I did of Tickets Bar.

It was FANTASTIC! I don’t know if it’s any easier to get res now but back then it booked up quickly two months to the day before.

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The big surprise of Barcelona was an American donut place. Usually “American” places in foreign locales give me second-hand embarrassment; I feel an urge to assure people that Americans don’t eat flavorless hamburgers or soggy fried chicken all the time.

La Donuteria in Sant Antoni was the opposite–creative takes on donuts with quality as the qualifier. The owner is a nice (and busy) American guy using Spanish ingredients to produce flavor-bomb pastries. I had a black sesame-glazed donut with mandarin curd one day and a filled rhubarb compote with sweet vanilla another.

The fillings are prepared in house and it shows in the details–the rhubarb maintained a lovely balanced sharpness and the curd was out of this world.

Not sure if this link will work, but here’s a video posted to facebook of the owner preparing the donuts and fillings: https://www.facebook.com/514804765249057/videos/1045645338831661/?fref=nf

Pictured are the black sesame and a bacon-apple donut.

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Based on our experience at the San Sebastian mother ship, Lasarte is on the to-do list.

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Pane,

Quimet y Quimet is an exceptional marvel …

Amazing.

Lovely reading pleasure.

Next time, you should try his other 3 Restaurants and Bodega 1900 …

Quite remarkable too …

There is a *** Michelin Star Restaurant Lasarte in Barcelona too …

Save room for dessert by Xavi Donnay …

Yes. We savored our lunch at Martín Berasategui in Lasarte/San Sebastian. We have yet to try Lasarte in Barcelona.

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Chef Bersategui is quite a Marvel.

I am extraordinarily fond of his restaurants.

Please tell us your San Sebastian recommendations.

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@Bone Appetite,

Pinxto (Tapas) Bars or Michelin Star Restaurants ?

Founded in 1956, CASA UROLA, located on Calle Fermin Calbeton 20 ( 34. 94. 3 44 1371) is classic Basque Cuisine in a historic bistro ambiance in the historic district. The Chef, Pablo Loureiro, creates evolutionary classics. A true jewel.
Price approx per person: 20.00 Euros
Reservations highly suggested.
Fabulous spot for Lunch.

Sisters Olatz and Garazi Lizarralde are the founders of SWEET ROMA, a cute café which personalises desserts, tarts and cupcakes … Very cute spot to stop for a café and snack.

Sweet Roma
Calle Sánchez Toca 3
San Sebastían
(34) 94 332 5076

My Michelin Recommendations in San Sebastían, Donostia are:

Lasarte ( Martin Bersategui )

Mugaritz ( Andoni Luis Aduriz )

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Restaurant Lasarte
*** Michelin Star Martin Berasategui.

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Barcelona: Chocolate Enthuiasts …

Oriol Balguer …
Barcelona.

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