5/12/10

FINISH IT!

Ok, I am wrapping up the Spain posts this week - a month has passed since I arrived home and I feel ridiculous writing about stuff that happened forever and ever ago.

Here we go:

BARCELONA!

Mary and I left Granada in the evening and (after an extremely awful encounter with the train-ticket-guy/MAJOR ASSHOLE!!!) rode the night train to Barcelona. Our shared, four-bed car was cramped as all get out but it managed to be one of the most refreshing, relaxing sleeps of our trip. I highly recommend train sleeps to anyone who has the opportunity - just make sure you're not crossing the Bulgarian border at 3am (but that's another story).

We arrived in Barcelona at 9 in the morning and immediately went to our hostel to drop off our bags. I'd heard of a little patisserie called 'Caelum' that serves coffee and chocolate and all manner of tiny cakes and cookies handmade by Spanish nuns. We headed there for a sweet breakfast and, presto!, decided we liked Barcelona very much. Funny how a cup of hot chocolate so thick and deep and rich it doubles as pudding, paired with perfect, fresh madelines and melindros for dipping can erase all bad memories of the night before and return one to a state of pure wonder, excitement & pleasure.

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Will it taste good?

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Indeed it will!

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Somehow in Barcelona we finally started eating right. Quick, fortifying breakfasts of apples, yougurt and tea early in the morning followed by an 11am snack of pastries and coffee. Early on we discovered Bubo, a cafe overlooking the Santa Maria del Mar, which became a favorite spot for lunch, cake, dinner, wine and everything in-between. Favorites included their bacon and date grilled cheese and the most amazing eggplant-tahini-feta-honey & edible flower salad. Afternoons were reserved for sightseeing and perhaps a snack of croquetas de bacalao (salt cod croquettes) from la Boqueria. Dinner was at nine or ten and made up of various delicious bites and tapas from one of many restaurants in El Born. We ate the fattiest-pure fat slice of pork belly I've ever seen, which took some effort as, traditionally, Mary and I shy away from both pure pork and pure fat. Somehow it was still delicious.

Barcelona food? GOOD! I think that almost everything we ate was memorable. The small portions, endless variety and many mealtimes were perfect for our picky sensibilities, smallish appetites and fast metabolisms. Barcelona is worth a visit for the food alone. I'm craving Bubo immensely as I write this. Another note on Bubo? The cafe is actually just an extension of the patisserie run by master pastry chef Carles Mampel. Just down from the cafe you can stop into the most delightful cake shop for some seriously decadent desserts and espresso with a side of croissant and macarons. I brought some home for RB and I and managed to eat most of them myself.

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Also, le Boqueria? Amazing. It must be the largest (and, seriously, most delectable) food market I've ever been to. Stall after stall of chocolate, nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruits & juices, eggs, fish, ham, lambs heads, crepes, croquettes, chicken, caviar, doughy sweets, Spanish wines and anything else you might dream up. I wish I'd taken more photos - Mary did, I think, but I was feeling wimpy and overwhelmed. Also, hungry. Sweet, salty, fatty, savory, crisp, fresh, smoky, meaty, deep, dark, light, dreamy, creamy and sharp, sour and fresh, green and striking, tantalizing, tastifying, food heaven - Barcelona.

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3 comments:

mary. said...

nice sunburn-part/greasy train hair, Mary.

elizabeth said...

awwwww mary, i think you look so pretty.

Genevieve said...

you look as beautiful as those desserts