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Barcelona: What Have I Missed?


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Barcelona: What Have I Missed?

Mark P | | Nov 17, 2008 10:34 AM

I'm beginning the last week of a three-week trip to Barcelona. I need some advice on what I need to eat to properly finish this trip.

I made my culinary choices by mining this board. Here's the main things I've had / where I visited so far:

[Sorry for all this background, but it puts my questions into necessary context.]

* Tapas: Santa Ciudad Condal, Caterina Cuines (at the tapas bar, not in the restaurant), Taller de Tapas, Paco Meralgo.
- ham croquettes
- montadillos of various types: hamburguesa, eggplant (= aubergine) (with and without anchovies), sausage ("de butiffaras con judios de ganxe"), foie gras.
- cuttlefish (sepia) both fried ("Andaluz style) and grilled (much better grilled I think)
- grilled razor clams (oh so simple yet delicious)
- suquet de dorada (traditional Catalan fish stew)
- salt cod salad
- grilled vegetables, with or without Romesco
- roasted vegetables (escalivada, sometimes on toast with anchovies)
- mushrooms sauteed in or marinated in olive oil and garlic
- patatas bravas (not really my thing; I prefer both ordinary roasted potatoes and French fries to this)
- pimientos de padron
- chorizos ("de Navarra") cooked in cider
- veal with mushrooms
- crema cataluna
= Incidentally, although all these places were respectable, and I've been to them most at least twice each, my vote is for Ciudad Condal. However, I'm willing to (and have, for most) return to any of them.
* Avant garde: I tried Comerc 24 (and definitely enjoyed it).
* Paella (at 7 Portes) (very good).
* Arros negre (black rice) (at Merendero de la Mari) (good, just like any quality seafood paella).
* Snails (at Los Caracoles) (liked and glad I tried them, but wouldn't order them again)
* I tried the Origens 99.9% near the Sagrada Familia. I don't know what category this food falls into, but I had:
- fried bacon & garlic salad ("Amanida dels “Traginers de Bràfim”)
- broad beans, peas, sausage, and green spring garlic
- duck with pears
- rice pudding
= Incidentally, I was generally disappointed with Origens 99.9%. The food was merely decent. (I'm not sure, however, if this is because I don't like the type of food or because it was executed poorly. It just didn't excite me.)
* I had a pretty tasty shwarma from one of the many places on Rambla de Raval.
* I've also eaten countless croissants (plain, chocolate, cream filled=canya), sandwiches / bocadillos (pernil, york, longaniza, with and without cheeses), and tomato bread (pa amb tomaquet / pan con tomate).
* Horchata / orxata. I tried this at a specialist shop "Orxateria Caferteria Brest" (at least that's what the sign says) in L'Eixample (right) at the intersection of Passeig de San Joan and c/ Valencia, one block south of the Diagonal. I definitely prefer this version to the Mexican rice-based version. It's so much lighter and more refreshing.

I have some questions for the Barcelona gurus on this board:

(1) I still want to try "mel i mato" (cheese and honey) dessert. I think I saw it on the menu one place I visited, but I can't remember where. Do you know where I can try it?

(2) I still haven't had a tortilla espanola. I've seen them everywhere. Most of the time they looked like they were cooked hours ago, somewhat sad. Where can I get one that will definitively be fresh/good?

(3) This isn't a question: Churros is on my list. I plan to get them freshly made from either a place on c/ Petritxol or Churreria Laietana, at Via Laietana 46.

(4) What local specialties (dishes or even simply ingredients (e.g., types of seafood, cured meats, vegetables)) have I missed?

(5) Or, worse yet, is there a type of cuisine special to this region that I've missed?
- It's not clear to me that I've hit "traditional Catalan". Have I? The places most often mentioned on this board for traditional Catalan are 7 Portes., Goliard (though its web page makes me think tits modern takes on traditional dishes), and Senyor Parellada (which generally doesn't get very good reviews). If you think I haven't covered this category of food, where should I go and, importantly, what should I order? (I dine alone, so I can't simply go with a group and try most of a menu.)
- Are pintxos different enough from tapas that I need go out of my way to try them? i.e., should I make a trip to Taktika Berri, which is easily the joint most well-regarded on this board for pintxos? If so, what should I order?
- any other type of cuisine I've omitted?


P.S. I tried a very good dessert at Escriba on Las Ramblas. It tasted like something soaked in honey and coated with roasted pine nuts. Does anyone know the name of this?