Sabtu, 14 Januari 2017

Tapas Walking Tour- Barcelona

So many little dishes around the world, yummy small plates to share over drinks with friends. What a terrific way to sample a country's cuisine!

We'd just left Venice and enjoyed cicchetti at a bunch of great places (you can read about that here).  So, as we continued our trip disembarking our cruise ship in Barcelona, we were excited to eat a bunch of tapas too.

We spent the morning strolling the city, the "hangries" started to hit about 11:30am.  It's important to ensure that group stays amiable when traveling with friends.
Lunch was in order, stat!
We had walked the Gothic Quarter for hours, it seemed. Looking at all the shops and restaurants.  We kept talking about one place that seemed to be some sort of chain restaurant tapas place.  It was bright, and open, and just opening for the day when we walked by. It seemed like a cop-out to go to a chain, but as we wandered the area looking for places to eat, this one really seemed like the best selection, the best price and the easiest for our crowd.  We needed to sit and decompress, we'd had a very busy morning walking miles in the city before Noon.  

Here's the place. Why yes, we were the first ones through the door.

Meatballs in a spicy red sauce.  These inspired my recipe here.

I cannot remember this one... some sort of meat croquette with a slice of cheese and a pine nut!

Fresh and beautiful seafood paella

Spanish tortilla (Eggs and potatoes) stacked on bread and speared with a hot pepper.

Just barely showing in the far upper right of the photo below is a wonderful tuna and garbanzo bean salad.  It was divine, and I intend to recreate it at home.  That recipe is here.

Fun shops of Spanish candies and cookies are everywhere.  Here's a selection of Catalonian nougats in some many varieties.

Cookie Store- These were very expensive and beautiful cookies.

The next night, we'd planned ahead and booked an evening tapas walking tour.  It was the six of us, and our guide.  We had a blast, nibbling, sipping and learning about the city and great food and wine.

This stuff was amazing... dry cured tuna! Delicious and different, with a drizzle of olive oil and some marcona almonds. It tasted like fresh and light ham, in a way.

Local cheeses, fig jam and crostini bread slices

Potatoes Brava-  Spicy sauce, creamy aioli on fried potatoes?  
Why, YES, what a delightful idea! 
Every place we went had them, and I think we tried them everywhere we went.
My new favorite thing.

This is a peasant communal wine drinking vessel, it is not any kind of smoking device.  

There are photos of each of us drinking from this high above our head.  Not the prettiest photos, but a lot of fun.

 This place was our favorite! Interestingly enough, this one is also part of a small chain in Barcelona.  This one is in the Gothic district.

The place was massively busy and the bar was packed with diners, and platters of serve yourself tapas.  You show your skewers to get charged correctly when you are finished dining, kind of like the stack of plates when dining at a conveyor belt sushi place...  It seemed like a nice way to do it.

Look for a place to perch, we'd suggest getting one of the stand up bars near the kitchen door. 

Hahaha, it was a primo spot to get the best selection as the servers came out of the kitchen.  
The service here was really nice too.
People totally didn't mind when you reached between them to grab a tasty morsel from the platter.  A laugh and a smile are always a great way to connect.

I think the bartenders have their eyes on the hungry tourists in the corner... I promise we are not misbehaving! Hahaha.

Onto our last stop for some Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and some of the prettiest and tastiest cakes I have seen in a long time. The shop is renowned for traditional cookies and ultra fancy cakes.  We visited on Halloween, where they were handing one of these to each of the kids.  We had to buy ours...

While it looks like they are charging 49 euros for a kilo of cookies, I am pretty darn sure that it does say 4.9 euros in stead!

This was the most beautiful dessert.  
I chose it because two others of my nearest and dearest buddies chose the lemon dessert before I could speak up!
Hahaha, really, I didn't answer as my eyes were stunned by the beauty of this orange and red of this one.

It was....

Here's the six of our dessert choices, lucky they were small, we were so full!

Jorge, our tour guide was so nice and charming.  We had a needed stroll back to our hotel to help all this food and drink hit bottom.  It was a terrific last day to our European adventure, early the next morning we were off to the airport.

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