So, back in May when we were traveling around Turkey, we did the Istanbul Eats tour. It was fantastic- just a great way to get a little bit of insider knowledge in a really huge overwhelming city filled with culinary gems.
While Barcelona wasn't quite so crazy exotic, it did make for a pretty good culinary walk, all things considered. Plus, this time around I had the foresight to pace myself a bit better. Again, Culinary Backstreets does a great off the beaten track tour. I'm starting to think that I should only be eating and visiting in cities where they have set up shop.
Our guide was the lovely Paula, who introduced us to all sorts of new foods and cultural insights and a walk through the Gràcia neighborhood. We were the only tourist we saw all day.
Or, if we did see tourist, they were so hip and cool they blended right in.
The best thing I tried was an egg dish at a tiny hip bistro called La Pubilla. If I lived here, this is where I would eat every day.
Along with the calf's muzzle on a bed of greens we tried here, the spicy chorizo with perfectly fried eggs, with their obscenely orange yolks and a drizzle of rosemary honey...well. I never want my eggs any other way again. It's ruined me.
So much for pacing myself.
There was horchata, which I just can't seem to get into. I'm not a huge fan of overly sweet things.
The markets were fun to go through, and Paula picked out some cheese and sausages that were quite unusual, and mostly good.
I'm an adventurous eater, and there isn't too much I won't try at least a few times.
The pale eggy sausage on the left was indeed egg sausage, something I had never encountered before. It was oddly addictive.
And then...more food! Escargots, washed down with a really nice red and an onion salad that made me rethink onion salads.
and then a stop at a local dive vermouth bar, where I promptly overcarbonated my vermouth and left a sticky vermouth mess that is probably still haunting the bar.
Finally, a stop at a local bar for some cava, with friendly bar-dogs to cheer us.
We asked Paula for a final recommendation for getting some real ham to take back with us. She pointed us to a place run by, "a real ham freak". I happily forked over an obscene amount of euros for a vac-pac of carefully cut Iberian ham that had been feasting on acorns the last few weeks of its life. It melted in your mouth, and tasted of the woods, and it has ruined me for all other hams for life.