Monday, October 17, 2011

Barcelona: The food post!

 Casa Delfin: This place was the first spot I ate on recommendation from my great hosts I stayed with. After looking at the daily specials, and not seeing any lamb as recommended by my hosts, I asked, "What is good?" The waiter pointed to "Fish soup". Well, being from the desert.... it did not at all sound good. But I said, when in Rome, oh I was in Barcelona, so when in Barcelona do as the locals do. I did, and it was fantastic!
 Winding around the Market in the Gothic quarter I saw fish stalls, fruit stands and meat stands. Just walking around made me hungry. The quality of the food was apparent, as was the pride and enthusiasm  of each of the vendors. Smiling at me as I walked by, I became more and more accustomed to the strong fish and meat smells. I had enough, I had to eat at this place!  Again with recommendations by my hosts, I tried to find a restaurant they suggested. Well on the corner with a large, u shaped wooden bar, and many small wooden tables I sat down and started to order. My limited spanish was very little help, as I did not need to find the bathroom, or describe where I was from as I would normally do when speaking my adopted language. I started with vino tinto, or red wine. That was easy, but now for some food. I decided on a tactic of pointing at different tapa's on the menu. The bartender sent my order to the kitchen, and then started to carve some cured ham. What I ended up with was the picture above. The ham is on the right, with bread spread with olive oil and tomato sauce in the middle, with grilled squid in olive oil and sea salt on the left. What a great meal, and three very different tastes.
Do you like chocolate? Well I do and another recommendation was Cacao Sampaka. In the upper Ramblas area it was beyond belief. Rows of chocolate bars, drops, and a wide assortment of chocolate with different percentages of coco. In the back was the real surprise. A small restaurant with a bar that served the most amazing thing, hot, thick, drinkable chocolate! The intense smell and taste as the "Cocao Azteca" hit my taste buds was overwhelming, and satisfying. It truly was a one of a kind treat!

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