Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

Remembering each day in Barcelona

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A different way to celebrate food each day. Go on, click on the photos one by one and enjoy the vicarious ride.

Day 1: Bait fry, first meal

Day 2: Found the perfect cocktail

Day 3: What a ham!

Day 4: A dessert that may well worth be dying for

Day 5: And the machu-picchu flight takes off…

Day 6: The famous Spanish tortilla

Day 7: Seafood paella by the sea

Day 8: A local pub

Day 9: An icecream in Girona

Day 10: A sweet eggplant

Day 11: Carme’s childhood memories

Day 12: A tale of two sticks

Day 13: Street food at farmer’s market

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February 18, 2014 at 3:24 am

Posted in Barcelona, Europe, Spain

Saving the best of Barcelona for the last

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What else but Gaudi’s Segrada Familia! Being there surrounded by the beautiful lights coming in through the stained glass windows and the marvelous architecture inside, evokes an amble through woods. On an everyday basis, I might miss CalPep or L’ascensor, but Segrada Familia is what will take me back to Barcelona.

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January 2, 2014 at 5:30 am

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Mercat de Mercats

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Last day in Barcelona, we were in for a pleasant surprise – start of market of markets festival  in front of Barcelona Cathedral and Santa Caterina market. Some of the well known catalan chefs had set up food stalls along with dozens of local producers and market stalls.

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January 2, 2014 at 4:26 am

Two sticks, chopstick and toothpick

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What is in a name? Restaurant/bar Dos Palillos, presents a Japanese influenced tapas menu. They talk about two sticks as their inspiration. Toothpick for tapas and chopsticks for the asian influence.

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January 1, 2014 at 12:30 am

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Stars of Restaurant Sant Pau

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Unusually balmy weather of Barcelona made the train trip to Sant Pol De Mar a memorable experience. View from the train is the blue water of the Mediterranean sea. On our way, we met an older couple who were on a quest to eat at every Michelin starred restaurant on the planet which made the train trip back and forth go by in a jiffy.

A glass of champaign to start of this celebration of food.

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December 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Gaudi’s homes, the one to gawk at

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Casa Milà, is popularly known as ‘La Pedrera’. Apparently because during Gaudi’s construction, the building looked like a quarry i.e., pedrera and the name stuck. Two aspects of interest at La Pedrera are a well put together Gaudi museum in the attic space and the stunning rooftop. There is also an apartment on display decked up in the bourgeois style of early 20th century.

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December 28, 2013 at 8:23 am

La Biblioteca Gourmande, a lazy catalan lunch

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Fried eggplant appetizer with cumin and honey

It has been a few months since we have been back from the Barcelona vacation. Not surprisingly I have been caught up with the  business of life. However, I am still clinging to a few things from Barcelona. In particular, I have been on a quest to perfect gin martini. Thanks to my local alcohol purveyor, K&L wines, getting hold of a good bottle of gin is not that difficult. My last bottle was Faultline and the current one is Citadelle. Both excellent but the martini is still missing the romance of L’Ascensor. Husband says I need some grey hair before I can arrive at the perfect martini and perhaps he is right.
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December 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

Gaudi’s homes, the one to live in

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Casa Batlló, a small castle submerged in the sea

Physically being inside Casa Batlló came as a surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, perhaps a smaller version of Hearst Castle? Instead what you get is a poetry of light and shades, buttery wood,  organic shapes and strangely enough, nothing superfluous. There is no other option but to be acutely aware of the attention to detail. Even the presence of other tourists, do not manage to the take away the sense of intimacy the space provides. The rooftop and chimneys are built to awe but the living space inside is built to comfort and soothe. Management has put together an animation that interprets Gaudi’s vision for Casa Batlló and it is definitely worth seeing, I can only wish for its public release.

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November 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm

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Ice cream at Rocambolesc gelateria

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All the major restaurants are going to be closed during the day time so just plan on eating icecreams at Roca if you are planning a day trip to Girona. Ice cream calories don’t count on a holiday, do they?

Town of Girona. The river is flanked by the old town on both sides.

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October 25, 2013 at 6:38 am

La Tieta, a very local pub

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Biker on a break with a bottle of beer and crisps

We wound up here looking for Quimet y Quimet which was closed in spite of the promise of being open. That is perhaps the one and only irritating thing about Barcelona, the websites of businesses and reality are hardly ever in sync including train time tables. At least for restaurants, it is worthwhile to call and check, something we learnt to do after a few mishaps.

We would never know how good QyQ is but we were awfully glad that we ended up at La Tieta. This is a modern bodega as opposed to a traditional one like Quimet (not to be confused with QyQ). We don’t know any Spanish or Catalan and the proprietress didn’t know any English but we managed an order of beer, a tin of razor clams, Galician ham with potatoes, and foie gras over breadcrumbs marinated in sausage juices.

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October 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm

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Paella by the sea

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Paella is not quite the Barcelona thing. Our personal food advisor from Aborigens had steered clear of paella suggestions in Barcelona. However, sea food is so brilliant there that not eating sea food paella would have felt like a gap in the trip.  And give a Bengali a break, how can I say no to fish and rice, my dietary staple! We managed to coax a few recommendations out of our sidecar tour guide and picked one among them, Can Majó by the sea.

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October 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Dos cafés y chocolate caliente

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Interior of Lilipep

I am not sure why good coffee is hard to find in Barcelona. Ditto for chocolate. Perhaps the Cava is so cheap, seafood so exceptional and cheese so plentiful that people never get around to the coffee and chocolate part of the day.
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October 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Santa Maria Del Mar Church in El Born

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After lunching at CalPep, we headed to Santa Maria Del Mar Church in El Born which is only  a block away. Built in the traditional style of gothic churches around 1300s, this one burnt for 10 days during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. It was never restored to its original interior design resulting in a very bare and spacious feel inside, a visit to MNAC’s gothic collection and Barcelona Cathedral can be used for typical gothic church reference. This lightness inside is in complete contrast to the outside, where nearby buildings seem to encroach the church space causing a claustrophobic sensation.

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October 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Want to buy sneakers in Barcelona?

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October 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm

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CalPep in El Born

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Street art of El Born

Yes, you have to queue up for food at CalPep. Tapas is by no means fast food. We chose a 5 course tapas to share and it took an hour and a half. So yes, a half hour queue is preferable to a one and half hour one. Our waiter chose for us. We were served a plate of mussels and clams, razor clams, tortilla, langoustines with fried onions, and plate of fried sea food (shrimps, baby squids).
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October 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm

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Machu Picchu flight at Pakta

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Pakta serves Nikkei cuisine, which is a combination of Peruvian and Japanese dishes, flavors, and techniques. While we are unfamiliar with Peruvian food and somewhat familiar with Japanese food, even we could see that the meal was technically superbly executed. The meal was complex enough that it will repay multiple visits. We had indicated gluten sensitivity which resulted is several substitutions for us.

Whisky sour, cocktail recommendation of the day for their Nikkei Chilcano

Five different starter courses, eaten in the clockwise direction starting from the leftmost dish…

Scallop with chalaca sauce, a refreshing Peruvian sauce with lime juice, tomatoes and peppers

Soy milk yuba with salmon roe and avocado

Olluco with huancaina sauce, a spicy Peruvian cream and cheese sauce

Sweet corn cream with caviar

Eggplant with kimizu sauce, a Japanese egg yolk and vinegar sauce

Fried tofu with carrots and fish broth. You have to eat this tofu to believe that tofu can melt in your mouth!

Mackerel sashimi with …

…seaweed salad. There were these tiny green peppercorn like seaweeds that would have need a macro lens to capture

Fried chicken causa served with ocopa sauce, a huacatay, pepper and cheese sauce

Octopus causa served with olive spheres, served with a delightful roasted/puffed quinoa

Sea Bass Ceviche with kumquats and fresh onions in “leche de tigre”, a citrus-y milk that was stunning combination of flavors

Tuna with shichimi togarashi served with crispy nori chip

Nigiris – tuna with wasabi, squid with hucatay salt/leaf, mahi-mahi with umeboshi sauce, a pickled plum sauce

Tofu with mushrooms (substituted a soba dish for us)

Langoustine nigiri with grilled head …

…with soy foam

Grilled suckling pig sashimi …

… the sashimi substituted gyoza for us

Prawn with pine smoke …

… served with prawn salt

Fried rockfish in tamarillo, “escabeche” sauce, a fruit with taste of passion fruit and tomato in a freshly pickled sauce

Iberian pork ribs “Juane”, a traditional leaf wrapped rice preparation with bits of Iberian pig

Tenderloin with potato puffs, baby corn and quail eggs

Playful marshmallow with a Japanese citrus called Shikwasa

Multiple desserts, eaten in a clockwise manner starting with the iced mango rose, followed by chocolate coated physalis that substituted sweet potato picarones/doughnuts, and …

… banana bombon with umeshu gel, a Japanese liqueur

Meringues …

…served with “dulce de leche” ice cream and a dash a pisco

Figs and ginger soup with almond tofu

White chocolate and tea wafer with yuzu gummy

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October 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Barcelona, Europe, Spain

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Highlights from MNAC

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Palau Nacional houses the Museu d’Art de Catalunya. There are two major highlights of this collection. One is the Gothic art collection, particularly church art from 1300s and 1400s. The other is Romanesque collection from rural churches in the Pyrenees. The collections are spectacular, in great condition and available via Google art project. Site of the museum on Montjuïc allows for fantastic city views. The main restaurant is beautiful although the food is nondescript.
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October 20, 2013 at 5:26 am

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Pinotxo Bar in La Boqueria Market

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Pinotxo counter, it is busy all times of the day

Breaded cutlets ready for frying, rabbit possibly?

Breaded beef croquettes, ready for frying …

…croquettes were more like fast food taste

Perfectly fried fresh fish

Stew with rabbit ribs and mushrooms, a home cooked style rendition albeit somewhat oily

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October 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

Negroni cocktail bar near MACBA

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A hip bar in a hipster neighborhood. Bartender makes cocktails based on customer’s taste profile. Round 1 was a whisky sour and a gin cocktail. Served with a bowl of chips.


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October 15, 2013 at 7:47 am

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MACBA and its neighborhood

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MACBA is in the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. A mix of locals, immigrants and hipsters form the overall fabric of the area. Skateboarding enthusiasts get together outside the MACBA building thereby presenting a very vibrant slice of social life.

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October 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

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Hisop, contemporary Catalan

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October 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

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Oriol Balaguer Pastry

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Patisseries are not much of a common sight in Barcelona as they are in Paris. Oriol balaguer is one of Barcelona’s own.

Chocolate lollies

Traditional pastries

Pastries with marshmallows

Pastries with stablilized foam

Chocolates with pop rocks inside

Mango, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut, apples and chocolate

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October 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Miniature food at Farga

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If you are watching your figure, try a tiny sandwich, a full salad and a tiny dessert. Otherwise, try a plateful or two of small bites – pine nut/pumpkin pastry, hazelnut chocolate cup cake, strawberry shortcake, creme brulee, …

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October 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

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Lunch at Llibertat Market

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Tripe in tomato sauce

Spinach frittata

Bread smeared with fresh tomato and drizzled with olive oil

Mushrooms and sausage

Pan fried mussles

Cava

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October 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm

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Galvany 180

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Galvany market has not been renovated since its early construction about a hundred odd years ago. So you can still find some of the original construction including stained window glasses. The market has a very neighborhood feel with mostly locals shopping here.

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October 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

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