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Barcelona, day dos

August 3, 2009

Day begins with a trip to the Boqueria, which is an enormous market bustling with people, curious smells, and spectacular arrays of food:

Spain pictures 057Crustaceans, and someone pointing at me for some reason

Spain pictures 058Fishes! The begloved ladies in the background were doing some pretty amazing, and amazingly fast knife work.

Spain pictures 108Fruit, aka Lauren Heaven

Spain pictures 061Cured meats, aka Ian Heaven. Serrano ham hanging on the right.

I want my own Boqueria.

That night, we stopped in for a quick bite and glass of cava before a Spanish guitar performance at this charming little restaurant tucked along the side of the Gothic Quarter.

Spain pictures 067The Spanish know their olives.

Spain pictures 069Lauren, looking exceedingly charming.

Watched some killer Spanish guitar, then were out for more food. Found a tiny place packed with people, and after some creative pointing and mangled Spanish ended up with:

Spain pictures 078

Wild mushroom medley of sorts, marinated sardines, and bombas (meatballs covered in potato-dumpling, fried, and slathered in spicy red sauce). The mushrooms were tasty, the sardines fishy and delicious, and the bombas were good, but nothing compared with the bombas we would have later in the week. Bombas, along with the price for potatas bravas, became our unofficial yardstick to measure how the good the food was, and how much we were getting ripped off. A perfect bomba at a 3 euro potatas bravas-joint would arrive on our final night. So having had enough of this place, we went back to the place where we had the olives and cava for a fuller meal.

Spain pictures 086

Pa amb tomaquet in the shadows of the upper left, next to a duck-liver pate with pear compote (and pretzel sticks), mini toasts, and three cheeses. Cheeses were super, but that pate was really something special.

Spain pictures 083

We couldn’t figure out what the yellow stuff on the outside was, or if we were supposed to even eat it (I gave it a bite, and it had about the texture of slimy, triple-firm jello) so we munched away at the insides (divine). After I while I decided to give the yellow stuff another go, and this time let it just sit in my mouth as I tried to work out the flavor (we were also wondering what happened to the pear compote). Bingo. After about five seconds, it dissolves into a puddle of succulent pear-hinted fat on the tongue. Still not entirely sure what it was all about, but it was gone quick.

Scorecard:

Cheese: 7

Bacon: 2

Tomato bread: 2

Sea critters: 2

Liver-based foods: 1

Bombas: 1

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