Sunday, October 4, 2009
Spain Food Round Up
I was really excited for the food in Spain (obviously), but unfortunately we missed out on a lot of good restaurants for various reasons (mostly because Steve doesn't seem to care much about food, and often we had to eat where ever he managed to drag us). But, I did experience plenty of good food, even if it's not as much as I expected. One thing that I found really bizarre that I couldn't manage to get my mind around was the Prix Fix menus. I usually expect those menus to be over priced and lower quality than A La Carte ordering, but this was not the case at all. For example, at one place we went, I ordered a bowl of soup, and my Mom and Steve got the Prix Fix, which included wine, water, and coffee, soup or salad, an entree, and a dessert. My soup was more than their meal, and the soup was the same soup that I ordered! It was baffling!
The best place we ate in Barcelona, hands down, was Can Majo. It is right on the boulevard on the beach, and has the freshest, simply prepared seafood I have ever tasted. We started with muscles, and I don't think there was any sauce on them at all... just plain ol' muscles - and they were SUPERB! So fresh!
Clams, Muscles, and Conch at Can Majo.
In Bilbao, we ate at a place called El Perro Chico, which is the most famous restaurant in the city. I really wanted to experience some Basque style food, and this was pretty authentic, I think. It was hard to eat because it was so hot outside, and Basque food is made for surviving cold, mountain winters, but it was still really good. We also had a FANTASTIC bottle of wine on the chef's recommendation. We were one of 3 tables in the dining room that night, and the chef came out and took our order and personally took care of us. It was really awesome.
I had high hopes of going to some of the most famous restaurants in Spain, even though they were cost prohibitive. Luckily for the wallet, most of those places were closed for the month of August (for summer vacation I guess? I sort of wish my restaurant gave us a month of summer vacay!).
Back in Barcelona, my mom and I went to La Bouqueria, which is said to be one of the best food markets in all of Europe. I'm SOOO glad we went! One of my favorite parts was watching a fish monger break down a whole fish in about 45 seconds! It was awesome.
The ham all the way to the left is $92/pound!
This is only about 1/8th of how much seafood there was!
Beef Heart & Tongue! Ick!
Tripe Tripe Tripe.
I got a lot of inspiration from the food there, and have had a good time trying to play with the flavors here at home. So much in fact that I ended up with four pounds of the Padron peppers and have been eating them almost every day for a few weeks. Yum.