May 30, 2011

Spain: Barcelona & Madrid

So I've been MIA for a few weeks and had not posted anything, not because I stopped going on food adventures but because I haven't had time to write about them. I've been on many food adventures, most recently Spain. I just got back from a wonderful trip to Spain where I visited Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo.  I thought I would share the culinary highlights of my trip.

The first stop on my trip was Barcelona.  I started my sightseeing at Gaudi's Casa Mila also known as La Pedrera on Passeig de Grácia.  About a block away from the famous Gaudi house, I stumbled upon Costa Gallega. 

I was attracted to Costa Gallega because of the number of "Jamon Ibericos" hanging all over the restaurant. The staff here were super nice, explaining all the different tapas they had layed out on the counter.  It is very common to see this in Spain, there's a variety of tapas at the bar and customers can enjoyed as many tapas as they'd like, usually with a drink.  At Costa Gallega I enjoyed jamon iberico, chorizo and manchego cheese, all super delicious and each about 1,45 €.  I also enjoyed some batatas bravas (roasted potatoes with aioli sauce).  I accompanied this with Limon Granizado (iced lemonade) my favorite treat on such a hot day.

My next favorite restaurant in Barcelona was also on Passeig de Grácia; Tenorio Braseria.  I had a full dinner here, my appetizer was ham croquettes, for the main entree roasted chicken with different herbs and for dessert flan.  The croquettes were very creamy, lots of ham and onion flavors, SOOO good.  But my favorite treat was the Pan con Tomate (bread with tomato).  The bread is toasted and rubbed with garlic, with light flavors of tomatoes and olive oil, served with freshly shaved Parmesan. I could've eaten a huge plate of this bread with a glass of sangria, and would've been as happy as can be.

One Must-go-to spot in Barcelona is the St Josep Market, La Boqueria.  This market has tons of different fruits, vegetables, meats, fresh, cookware (Paelleras only 3€), wine and even a cooking school.  There's so much to choose from, unfortunately for me I came here right after breakfast so I wasn't very hungry, but I did enjoy a refreshing passion fruit juice and feasting my eyes on all the great products.

I enjoyed my time and the food in Barcelona, but it was time to move on to Madrid.  It was a little harder to find tasty food in Madrid than in Barcelona.  After a few days of disappointments I made my way over to the Salamanca neighborhood of Madrid, which is just north of the Prado Museum.  This neighborhood had quite a few foodie spots.  My favorite being Trobador Restaurant, the restaurant had a Menu del Dia (the daily deal), a 3-course meal which included a drink for 11,90 € (I couldn't pass that up!).  The best part of this meal was the couscous salad appetizer which had an olive oil dressing and the dessert, a white chocolate mousse with a citrus infused corn meal cookie...YUM!

On my last day in Madrid, I came across La Mallorquina; a famous Madrid bakery that's been around since 1894.  They have tons of pastries, cookies, cakes, and chocolates.  There were so many tempting items on the window display and inside the bakery that it literally took me like 30 minutes to decide what to eat. I finally settled on an almond cream cake, which was delicate, light, and very sweet.

So this wraps up the highlights of my trip to Spain.  But I'm hoping to share many more food adventures this summer.  I have tons of cuisines to taste and blog about.

Thanks for reading and until the next time, Buen Provecho!