Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Land of Tapas, Paellas and Sangrias

(I am not sure with the plural forms of these Spanish words)

Filipino cuisine is influenced by Spanish cuisine. Adobo, arrozcaldo, mechado, afritada and a bunch of other viands all sound like Spanish dishes, so I think these are bastardized/ modified Spanish dishes. (Feel free to correct me)

Having a foodie as a travel buddy for this trip, my palate enjoyed a good selection of Spanish cuisine.

Even the local junk food has a Spanish twist. Ruffles has a Jamon and Ham & Cheese flavor - for  1.40.  Now imagine Ruffles Adobo, Dinuguan or Kare-kare.

Ruffles Jamon flavor

After a whole morning of walking and art appreciation, we stopped in this Tripadvisor-stickered restaurant. Decent and tasty course set lunch for  14.25 - appetizer, main course, dessert and a glass of wine.

So I ate the bread before taking a photo. Gutom lang talaga. 
Yummy squash and something soup

We found this swanky looking restaurant very near our hostel. Menu prices were above our usual budget. Marj did her homework and the feedback was exceptional. We decided to give it a try. 

A short menu. A good sign.

A short menu is a good sign. It means that the chef knows his craft with these few choices. More choices means more chances in pleasing the customer. Less choices = winner lahat ng choices. 

Coke pa lang, winner na!

Coke sakto in this side of the world. With a slice of lemon.


Duck with squash and risotto. Both are EXCEPTIONAL (ALL CAPS TALAGA)

That's €38.10/pax worth of goodness. Pricey? Yes. Will I eat here again? Definitely.

We passed by rows and rows of restaurants serving paellas in Barceloneta. One major warning in ordering a paella is to AVOID restaurants with photos of the dish. Those are tourist traps. The thing is, ALL the restaurants in the main street have these paellas and photos. We were too tired to venture off in the less-traveled streets so we relied on the Tripadvisor sticker to guide us. 

One serving of paella is a lot for two hungry Filipinas. A LOT. 

A single serving is a lot

And because we are in Spain...SANGRIA. One pitcher - kami lang umubos nyan. May tama yan. We were a bit high&happy after.
Sangria. During lunch.

I also urge you to use your charms so that the waiters will be extra attentive to your whims, you get travel tips, and you may just get a free dessert. ;P Total lunch for the Sangria and Paella is € 25 for 2 pax. Free bread as appetizer, and free dessert!

We stumbled upon Mercato de St. Josep along La Rambla. This is supposed to be our lunch option, but we were already famished in Barceloneta. The entrance has a map to guide you. Take a photo (it is free!), then move along.

Map of the market
Our supposed to be lunch spot

Lots of interesting stuff in here. Some are affordable, but we were just halfway through this entire trip and I didn't want to haul heavy souvenirs for the rest of the trip. So... PHOTOS.

I also want a photo of the chocolates. Move your camera please. 

Not appetizing. I hope you are not eating when you saw this.
There's "SHUMAI" in this side of the world

Some churros-hunting led us to this cafe at the end of the street. The waiter was Pinoy, and we were enticed to order one serving. Pretty good, actually.

For dinner, we went to the best tapas place: Catalana Cerveseria. The manager in Primavera hostel said that it was a good place, reasonable prices, great food, very popular and always packed. We were lucky there was a table for two available when we got there.

The crowd

The menu

The place was packed. Our waitress was a Filipina who had been living and working in Spain for 20 years - huwaw! She said majority of the staff at Catalana Cerveseria is Filipino - even the cook!

My usual potatoes

Fried green peppers

I cannot recall. But very yummy and filling.

We didn't have enough of Sangria, so here's more. Cheers to getting more drunk. Warning: May tama ang Sangria nila. Don't drink a lot (like what we did during lunch) if you will be covering a lot of ground after.

Total damage for decent tapas and sangria: € 20.35 per pax. Marj was the ordertaker. Don't order all meat or it will all taste the same. You'll need some other texture and taste to balance it out - hence we had potatoes and fried green peppers.

Dessert at Haagen Dazs. Sometimes, you just need something sinfully familiar. € 6.50 for my brownie and vanilla ice cream.

Cheapo wine at the grocery. But such a hassle to bring home.

There's always something interesting in your local supermarket.


But this one is kinda disgusting. Tahong in a box?

This one too. Ewwwww. Think twice before ordering Seafood Paella

Spain is a nice country for your tastebuds! And Barcelona is just the first city!

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