Monday, May 11, 2015

Barcelona ~ Part Four

Everywhere you look in Barcelona is an interesting photo waiting to happen...

The first market we visited was Mercat Santa Catarina but La Boquería is the BIG market, right off of Las Ramblas.  I usually don't like to shop for "stuff" on vacations, but food markets are another story.  I could happily spend many mornings or afternoons here shopping for fresh food for tonight's dinner.

Pinotxo Bar (pronounced like wine 'pinot', with 'choo' at the end, 'pinot-choo') has about 12 bar stools and we had 4 and a half people.  The chances of sitting down were pretty slim.  So Andy and I ventured off to find a place I heard about from a 21-year-old former coworker (huge mistake), while James, Ariel and Daniel stood their ground waiting for a bar stool.

Their patience paid off and I heard about a crazy good meal.

Our patience on the other hand, paid nothing but sore feet.  We made the 20 minute walk to Quimet y Quimet and there were no chairs.  The walk seemed like a LOT longer than that since we had been walking all over prior to this stop, our dogs were barkin'!  It was, I supposed, a traditional tapas bar, you stand, you have a snack, you leave.  Almost everything was from a jar, pickled.  This place has rave reviews but it was not for me.  Hence the grouchy face...

^^ Potato chips drizzled with balsamic (?!)

Oh well, you can't win them all!

^^ There was an egg spinning and twirling on top of this water spout!

One of the last nights we were in Barcelona, 'the parents' offered to watch the Bear while 'the kids' went out for a night in the city.  What sounded like a pretty typical evening turned into a very strange and somewhat sketchy adventure for the four kids.  The parents went out to an early dinner while we stayed back, Daniel had dinner and went to bed.  We decided to take shots of vodka and OJ with strawberries for chasers, danced to Daft Punk ("We're up all night to get ta-pas..."), Daniel slept and we waited...and waited...

The parents were off on an adventure of their own.  They were dining nearby at Tras Paso and they met a nice couple who lived in the apartment complex we were renting in.  While the kids were getting hangry, the parents went back for a drink at their new friends' place.  We had no clue where they were but then...we hear Andy's dad shouting for Ariel from the balcony!

They eventually came back to maybe not the most warm welcome and we rushed out to get a cab to take us somewhere to get some FOOD!  It was about 11pm and we had heard that Catalonians eat late so this wouldn't be a problem but were were finding otherwise.  Everything seemed to be closed or closing.

James knows some Spanish so was able to asked our cab driver if he knew anywhere we could go for dinner this late.  I'm not sure the cab driver ever answered or offered a response, instead he whisked us off to this random restaurant where, upon our arrival, a handful of hostesses came out to the street, opened the cab door, then shuffled us all through this packed restaurant full of families and huge parties.

There was a table all the way upstairs in the back ready for us, the waiter set down some bread with tomatoes immediately.  It all happened so fast and no one was speaking to us in English, you can imagine we're all a bit confused!  We later found out the restaurant was called Salamanca.  It was good enough food, really expensive but not special or 'fancy' and not the type of atmosphere we would have chosen under normal circumstances!

It was late by the time dinner was over so we had one drink at a bar down the street - the hostess walked us there when we asked for a recommendation - then we went home.

After that night, it was a total beach day the next day...

"Get a picture of me climbing this tree!"

Or not...not quite as easy as I thought!

We learned our lesson and we stayed together for dinner too...

We went to the very popular Cuidad Condal for dinner.  The wait was over an hour long but we managed to tough it out!  We were all ravenous by the time they seated us in a cozy booth in the back.  Since everything was tapas style and we shared everything, I held back on photographing any of the food and stayed focus on scooping up my piece as the dishes passed by!

The most memorable dish for me from this meal were the razor clams, meaty and salty.  I have an amazing picture of us slurping them up but it isn't the best angle so I'll save that for another time ;)

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