Barcelona: Paella and Tapas for Dinner

One of the quest we had coming to Barcelona is to dine at El Bulli.  No, we were not one of the lucky 8000 diners selected this year (out of 2,000,000 reservation requests!) to have the privilege to dine at the world’s best restaurant.  I thought since I am here I give my best shot.  Who knows right?  I could get lucky that someone with reservation might all of the sudden cancel their reservation.

So, our quest starts on day two in Spain.  We made phone call and sent email begging them if there is anyway they could accomodate us.  After all, we came all the way from Canada … pretty far, please?  This to and fro with El Bulli went on for THREE days.  I am gonna tell you if we got a table … not now … in a few days.  I got to post this in sequence.  LOL!

For now, we’ll share about the traditional Spanish food we had.

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Dinner for the second day were simple affair.  We had been snacking way too much too.  We were not too hungry but we had already decided exactly what we wanted to eat.  We have a list of Spanish cuisine dishes that we have to check off — so that we know what else we are missing.

We quite randomly went into one that we thought is frequented by Spanish and not tourists.  Heavens, I don’t even know where this restaurant is.  There are so many in Barcelona that you will not go hungry.  Most of them are small outlets.

And most of them are filled with SMOKE too.  This one is, much to Suanne’s disappointment.  She does not have much choice.

Also many of the restaurants in Barcelona also has a jackpot machine or two at the entrance.  Gosh — gambling, smoking and drinking is something you don’t see a lot of in Vancouver.  Wait till these Spaniards come to Vancouver … they’ll suffer.

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Did you know that Sangria is Spanish?  I read somewhere that this red wine punch originates from this part of Spain and very popular during the hot summer months.  The restaurant did not serve their Sangria (€3.90) in a pitcher like how it should be traditionally.

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Suanne obliged my suggestion to pose with the Sangria.  You know, it is kind of obligatory to pose with the food we eat, like the way you pose at the sights you visited.  That is chowtimes for you.

That was solely for show only.  She took a sip and declared she did not like it.

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She had tea with lemon (€1.35) instead because she was beginning to develop a sore throat from all the travelling and lack of sleep.

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We ordered a small personal sized Paella.  This is called Paella Mixta.  As you know, I am a fast learner when it comes to languages.  Mixta means “mix” — and I remembered it the first time I heard of the word.  I think I have a natural knack for languages, particularly Spanish don’t you think?

This one is €11.40.  It was the FIRST time … I had paella in my life.  It looked great and delightful.  But it is also soggy.  I don’t particularly like soggy rice.  I think all Chinese don’t like soggy rice.  Maybe my expectations were all hyped up but I was underwhelmed.  It was not bad but it was not what I expected.

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We also ordered a couple of tapas.  The pepper stuffed with tuna and shrimp (€5.25) was enjoyable.  The fiercely red pepper looked hot but it was anything but hot.

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The Chorizo is the Spanish version of pork sausages.  It was salty and hard.  Takes quite a bit of chewing to down this.  We should not have ordered this.

We ordered this because we had the word “Chorizo” on our list of to-eat dish but did not have a description what it was.

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While we have ketchup on Canadian tables, Spanish tables always have balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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Did you notice how oddly they price their dishes?  Some of the dishes we saw on the menu (not above) are odd numbers like $4.35.  In Vancouver, dishes ends with “.95”.  I was thinking that Spanish are more honest in pricing their dishes.

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  1. We have had a Basque/Spanish exchange student and I will tell you that paella does not look very good. I hope you tried it again at a better restaurant. You can get better looking paella in Seattle!

  2. I agree – you should try paella again!

  3. Paella is quite easy to make…use a flat based wide pan and just put it onto the BBQ grill…no mess in the kitchen and no heating up the house! President’s Choice has a version of chorizo…pretty good.

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