Barcelona, a photo a day

restaurants

Obama and me

SONY DSC

Well, this is Barcelona, not Washington! Guess the president of some country over there is preparing for the… after.
Anyway, a place out of this world and time (1950es Kenya), with the best english breakfast money can get you in BCN!

SONY DSC

And now ladies and gents, for the first time ever in the loooooong history of mankind and of this blog, a photo of myself with the overdude himself, Mr Barak Obama, President of the United States of America!

DSC07142

Aren’t we evah so stylish!!!!! And so shiny!!!

Advertisements

El bar rojo

SONY DSC

A 5 years old Jpeg photo, from a non-DSLR, 3 MP camera. The so-called red bar, just behind the city hall. Nothing that a few tweakings can’t save from Jpeg hell, with the help of Saint Lightroom and Saint Photoshop, alleluia!


Queuing…

Queuing… The 3rd national sport in Spain, just after bullfighting (not in Catalunya anymore, yeah!) and football (aka soccer in some countries).

This is the queue at the Hard Rock Cafe on Plaza Catalunya. I never managed to enter the place. And I don’t really bother, it is really overpriced. And I mean: really overpriced!


Shalom!

A very welcome newcomer on the Rambla, the Shalom kosher grill. And oh look, it’s close to Egypt!


The Grill Room

One of the better looking restaurants in town.


Elton John’s old bathtub

Well… Last Friday after work, we went out for dinner, to a place called the Happy Rock Grill. Had a nice dinner, paid, and then I went to the bathroom before leaving. Well, on the way back, I noticed this massive golden thing in the back of the restaurant. Strange, I said to myself, it looks like a golden bathtub, under a glass plate, with chairs around it.
Had a closer look, and the tag at the corner said, in English, Spanish and Catalan: Elton John’s personal bathtub, 1994.

It seems to be what’s left of the Museum of Rock, which used to be next door, and is closed now.

Not quite sure who had this strange idea, putting someone’s old bathtub in a restaurant, basically in a dining room. But I don’t think we will go back there. And it definitely is one of the weirdest things I ever saw in a restaurant. What about you, what is the weirdest thing you saw in a restaurant or foodie place?


Waiting…

Waiting for all of you to come down here to visit us!


The waiter is waiting…

…for his last customers to finish their drinks. And so is the lady behind the bar. It’s a hard life.


Problems with your kids? Here is the solution:

eat them! Maybe with some hot spicy potatoes, locally known as patatas bravas.

I will give the name and address of the place (in Barcelona) to all interested parties -)


Peggy Sue’s American Diner

Discovered this new place nearby, Peggy Sue’s American Diner, with some fabulous burgers and dogs! Had a James Brown, and it was great! Now I just have to learn to be JB. And you know what? I feel good!
Oh, and the wall-boxes, they work! The hottest hits of the 60es!


The place to be

Wouldn’t you agree?


20 miles to Baile Atha Cliath

A relative newcomer on the Irish pub scene in  Barcelona  is Dunnes, on Via Laietana. We went to try it out yesterday. The food was OK, the music great (a mix of early 70es and early 90es), the decoration a kind of Irish theme park, full of the usual cliches. The usual rugby flags, Leinster, Munster, Connacht. Not sure about any of the staff being Irish though. At least they have the Irish Times, and Sky Sport. And some of the good stuff as well, Guinness…


Zanahoria…

… means carrot. Enjoy today’s special: carrot cupcakes!

The weekend is black and white!

Photo courtesy of Mandy.

And here are the same in colors.


Tapas!

Guess almost everybody knows what tapas are. If you don’t: tapas are a wide variety of smacks, appetizers in Spanish cuisine. The name tapas come from the verb tapar, to cover. There are several explanations for why it has come to denote a type of food:

  • A commonly cited explanation is that an item, be it bread or a flat card, etc., would often be placed on top of a drink to protect it from fruit flies; at some point it became a habit to top this “cover” with a snack.
  • It is also commonly said that since one would be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, they would need to place their plates on top of their drinks to eat, making it a top.
  • Some believe the name originated sometime around the 16th century when tavern owners from Castilla-La Mancha found out that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine, thus “covering” it, and started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine.
  • Another popular explanation says that the king Alfonso XIII stopped by a famous tavern in Cádiz (Andalusia) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine “with the cover”.
  • The origin of tapas was most likely with Felipe the 3rd (1578-1621 and reigned from 1598 until his death), who passed a law in an effort to curb rowdy drunken behavior, particularly among soldiers and sailors. The law stated that when one purchased a drink, the bartender was to place over the mouth of the mug or goblet a cover or lid containing some small quantity of food as part of the purchase of the beverage. The hope being that the food would slow the effects of the alcohol, and fill the stomach to prevent over imbibing.

Some tapas…

  • Aceitunas – olives, sometimes with a filling of anchovies or red bell pepper
  • Albóndigas – meatballs with sauce
  • Alioli – “garlic and oil” in Catalan, the classic ingredients are only garlic, oil and salt, but the most common form of it includes mayonnaise and garlic, served on bread or with boiled or grilled potatoes, fish, meat or vegetables.
  • Bacalao – salted cod loin sliced very thinly, usually served with bread and tomatoes
  • Banderillas, or pinchos de encurtidos, are cold tapas made from small food items pickled in vinegar and skewered together. They are also known as gildas or piparras and consist of pickled items, like olives, baby onions, baby cucumbers, chiles (guindilla) with pieces of pepper and other vegetables. Sometimes they include an anchovy.
  • Boquerones – white anchovies served in vinegar (boquerones en vinagre) or deep fried
  • Calamares or rabas – rings of battered squid
  • Carne mechada – slow-cooked, tender beef
  • Chopitos – battered and fried tiny squid, also known as puntillitas
  • Cojonuda (superb female)- a kind of pincho, it consists of a slice of Spanish morcilla with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread. It is very common in Burgos, because the most well-known and widespread Spanish morcilla is from there. It can also be prepared with a little strip of red, spicy pepper.
  • Cojonudo (superb male) – a kind of pincho, it consists of a slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread.
  • Chorizo al vino – chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine
  • Chorizo a la sidra – chorizo sausage slowly cooked in cider
  • Croquetas – a common sight in bar counters and homes across Spain, served as a tapa, a light lunch, or a dinner along with a salad
  • Empanadillas – large or small turnovers filled with meats and vegetables
  • Ensaladilla rusa – “(little) Russian salad”, made with mixed boiled vegetables with tuna, olives and mayonnaise
  • Gambas – prawns sauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers)
  • Mejillones rellenos – stuffed mussels, called tigres (“tigers”) in Navarre because of the spicy taste
  • Papas arrugadas or papas con mojo (see Canarian wrinkly potatoes) (Canary Islands) – very small, new potatoes boiled in salt water similar to sea water, then drained, slightly roasted and served with mojo sauce, a garlic, Spanish paprika, red pepper, cumin seed, olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and bread miga (fresh bread crumbs without the crust) to thicken it
  • Patatas bravas or papas bravas – fried potato dices (sometimes parboiled and then fried, or simply boiled) served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes served also with mayo or aioli
  • Pimientos de Padrón – small green peppers originally from Padrón (a municipality in the province of A Coruña, Galicia) that are fried in olive oil or served raw, most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy.
  • Pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus) or polbo á feira (octopus in the trade fair style) in Galicia, is cooked in boiling water (preferably in a copper cauldron or pan) and served hot in olive or vegetable oil. The octopus pieces are seasoned with substantial amounts of paprika, giving it its recognisable red color, and sea salt for texture and flavour.
  • Pincho moruno (Moorish spike) – a stick with spicy meat, made of pork, lamb or chicken
  • Puntillitas (Andalusia) or chopitos (central Spain) – battered and fried tiny squid
  • Queso con anchoas – Castilla or Manchego cured cheese with anchovies on top
  • Rajo – pork seasoned with garlic and parsley, with added paprika, called zorza
  • Setas al Ajillo – fresh mushrooms sauteed with olive oil and garlic.
  • Solomillo a la castellana – fried pork scallops, served with an onion and/or Cabrales cheese sauce
  • Solomillo al whisky – fried pork scallops, marinated using whisky, brandy or white wine and olive oil
  • Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) or tortilla española – a type of omelet containing fried chunks of potatoes and sometimes onion
  • Tortilla paisana – a tortilla containing vegetables and chorizo 
  • Tortillitas de camarones (Andalusia) – battered prawn fritters
  • Zamburiñas – renowned Galician scallops, often served in a marinera, tomato-based sauce

Bom profit, and thanks, Wiki! We tasted a lot of them, but with many more to go!


Our world Tuesday, post 1111

Pudding… A restaurant with a difference. And an internet cafe.
 Our World Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Mandy


Variety

Even after almost 4 years in Barcelona, I’m always amazed by the sheer variety of food on offer. And often amused: there is a restaurant in town with barbecued Korean on the menu…

Our world Tuesday.


Our irish pub

Having both lived in Ireland, now and then we feel the urge for a nice Sunday roast, complete with roast potatoes, carrots, beans, parsnip, mash, and a nice piece of beef. And some Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy, which is not that Irish. So, this is where we go, Paddy Flaherty’s, probably the best of the many many Irish pubs in town.
And here’s what you get:

And a Guinness to get it down, of course! Or some uisce beatha, whiskey.


Pasta!

Linguini with lobster and cherry tomatoes.

What nice things did you eat lately?

Our World Tuesday, right here.


Carpe Diem

We came across them a few weeks ago. Happy people. And here is their website. See for yourselves.


My World Tuesday

So I went to France this weekend, on a family matter, alone. Took the usual 3-400 photos, ate well, and came back 3 hours ago, 2 PM on Monday, after 36 hours by train… forgetting my camera 1300 km from here. So, photos from France will have to wait a few days.
Meanwhile, I really like these lamps in one of the local luxury Chinese restaurants. My world on Tuesday, right here!


My World Tuesday

Someone forgot his sandals? Shoe shop? A beach feature???

No! Just a decoration on the wall of a really nice Mexican restaurant in town! Why not.

This is for My World Tuesday.


Bun Bo

Slowly but steadily, we’re working our way through Barcelona’s Vietnamese restaurants. This one is called Bun Bo, situated 2 streets away from the cathedral. Nice place, good food, excellent decoration. Judge for yourselves…

A stone tree…

And I suppose that’s how they get their food from Vietnam…

The 4 Cats

This is one of the better places to eat in Barcelona: els 4 Gats, the 4 cats. It is the place where Pablo Picasso had his first exhibition, as a 17 years old teenager. A restaurant, opened on june 12th 1897 by a former waiter of the famous “le chat noir”, the black cat restaurant in Paris. Other famous people used to hang around here as well, the ubiquitous Gaudi, Isaac Albeniz, and so many more.
It was too early, and therefore not open yet when I passed it, but I will most definitely go back and show you the fabulous interior. Meanwhile, have a virtual visit on their website, it is a WOW kind of place!


Obama Barcelona

Ok, let’s see. Barak Obama’s roots are in Kenya, right?
Kenya is former British Africa, right?
So, what’s this? Mr Obama’s secret life in Barcelona, as a restaurant owner? Or some kind of retirement plan???

I could not find a lot of info about this place, on Google or elsewhere. They have a website, but it has been hacked by some idiot. Some bloggers are raging against the celebration of british rule in Africa they perceive in this place. Anyway, it is around the corner from where we live.
And this is inside. Very popular place!

OK, little game: spot the President of the United States of America!

Map picture

Barcelona at night

Barcelona at night…. A few restaurants in the Born area of the old town.