January 5, 2008

Barcelona Food Feast

Barcelona is a super vacation destination for its history, culture, geography and also its cuisine. We ate our way through the holiday. Of course we started with the traditional (touristy) choices of tapas and paella. But towards the end we found some amazing quality eats. Here are a few highlights.

Taxidermista Cafe - located in the Placa Reial off of La Rambla in Barcelona's Gothic quarter close to the heart of the ancient Roman city. Sounds like a strange place but actually it is in an old Taxadermist's shop but there are no stuffed animals watching you eat. The service was top notch, the wine excellent, food yummy, clean and simple, modern and the price wasn't bad. Plus, it was just a hop, skip and jump from Julie's favorite cafe (good golly we don't even remember the name) where she discovered chocolat con nata (follow link to 22 second YouTube video posted by aromafrisch, that says it all.)
Photo: Taxidermista located to center right and Julie's cafe to the far left.

Cuines Santa Caterina - our biggest gastronomical surprise both in concept, location and yum-factor. Located in a farmers' market that sells the freshest of the fresh the restaurant takes full advantage of its location to create inventive and delectable menu items. The menu is setup like a spreadsheet/grid with the left column being the style of cuisine (Asian, French, Spanish) and the top row displaying content (veg, meat, fish, pasta, rice). We had Gorgonzola risotto, ahi tuna tar tar with guacamole, pumpkin soup, chicken curry and tempura vegetables. How's that for a strange combo. Each was superb. They also have interesting fresh fruit squeezes such as apple/carrot/mint and the one I chose apple/ginger/cinnamon.

Photo: Gorgonzola risotto, ahi tuna tar tar pumpkin soup. Yum.

Here I am making my happy yummy food face.

On the last day we had a mid-day snack in a lovely tiny cafe within the Roman walls. Sorry to say that I forgot the name. The best feature was the window displaying all their sweets. Because the cafe is located at the center of an intersection you walk directly into the window and are lured in by the scene. So clever. Here's a shot of a soon-to-be customer looking in the window.

For our final meal we had Chinese food. Oh so not yummy.