1st Spanish Meal: Desayunos

We wanted to spend most of our day visiting the area around Montjuic.  Montjuic is the site of the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.

It is also the day we are going to eat-eat-eat-eat-eat-and-eat.  That is going to be a lot of eating.  Contrary to our readers’ impression, we are not big eaters.  Really.  Honest.


We took a leisurely stroll to around the neighborhood where our hotel was.  Our hotel was not in a touristy area and so the restaurants here are very much patronized by the locals.

The one we went to was just around the block.  It was like almost all local restaurants, people are smoking inside.  We only decided to eat here because there were no one smoking outside at the patio.

The folks here does not speak English at all.  But over the last few days, we learned a bit of Spanish … he he he.

Clearing my throat, I confidently say “Hola!”.  The owner replied “Hola!” and proceed to speak Spanish.  Ahh … but I know what he was saying to me.  He said we could either take the tables inside or outside.  I know because he was pointing to the tables inside and the outside.  I smiled and said “Gracias!”.

So far so good.   (more…)

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Barcelona: Our Version of “Savory Breakfast”

On day three in Barcelona, I stole a few hours again from Suanne.  I wanted to be there for the start of Stage 7 of the Tour de France (Barcelona to Andorra).  The race was supposed to start at 9AM and so we thought we be smart and stake our spot at 8AM.

We got ourselves a great spot.  It was the first turn after a 1km ride down the avenue.  I was pretty pleased with the spot except for one problem.

It was the procession and the floats that starts at 9AM.  We had to wait until 10AM before the race started.  It was a long wait … two hours!


The race ended in no time.  All the riders rode past under 1 minute.  Gosh … we waited 2 hours for 1 minute of action.  Oh well … at least I was right there.

Suanne was very patient with me. She was quite hungry because we had not had our breakfast yet that morning.  I know because her stomach gives a mean growl when she is hungry.  LOL!


So we just randomly go into one of the many restaurants along the Paral-lel Avenue.  We selected the one with English menu displayed at the entrance.


We are getting into the habit of getting Cafe Con Leche.  So we had that again.

We learned that Spaniards have a very different meal times that the rest of the world.  For instance, they have TWO breakfasts.  The first one is a simple pastry and coffee and the second one is known as the “savory breakfast”.


I don’t know what “savory breakfast” really mean.  I attempted to ask the waiter about this but he doesn’t speak much English.  So we just made up our own version of “savory breakfast” by selecting items we thought were “savory”.

I told the waiter that we wanted a Pork Loin with Cheese Sandwich.  Lost in translation … instead, we were given an egg sandwich instead.  We had no complain because to our surprise the sandwich has ripe tomato in it.  It was very much like the Pa Amb Tomaquet we had the previous day.   (more…)

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Denny’s on SW Marine Drive, Vancouver

It was kind of quiet at home during the Victoria Day weekend.  Nanzaro was away at camp (again!).  He just enjoys camping.  Home is different without him around bugging everyone.  He has this knack of interrupting people with random chat when everyone is in the middle of doing something … like when his older brother is 4-6 down with 2 minutes remaining on NHL09 on the PS3 … or mum waiting anxiously for Jeff Probst to announce the next elimination of survivor, … or a knock on the bathroom door when Dad’s in there with the notebook.  As annoying as he is, we missed him.


Mum thought that we go out for breakfast instead of making it.  We know Arkensen will like the Slam from Denny’s.  So we went.

The closest one we know of require a drive over the bridge on SW Marine Drive.  It is a really busy stretch of road by amidst all that, the restaurant is located on a nice grassy patch.  The property is well maintained, I say.


It is something about breakfasts in these places like Denny’s.  I never had any problems with service.  Not here too.  It’s something that there is a certain cheerfulness the moment you get greeted as you walk in.  A “good morning” you hear from Denny’s sounded a lot different from the “good mornings” that I get in the office.


A good cup of coffee is absolutely necessary.  In Denny’s the coffee is pretty good.   They have a brand for it — can’t remember what the name was.  Seems like they stand by their coffee and know that a great cuppa is a very important menu item for them.  It was just the way we like it … a detectable bitterness with bold strong taste.  The best thing is certainly the free refills.

I must say that as good as Denny’s coffee is, my favourite is still the Arosta coffee in Shari’s.  Why doesn’t Shari’s open outlets in BC?  WHY?!?


I know what Arkensen wants.  He wants the biggest, meanest Slam breakfast.  He initially chose the All American Slam until I pointed out to him the biggest one is the Lumberjack Slam ($11).  Well, it’s more expensive and therefore it should be bigger.  He agreed with my logic.


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