Monday, March 14, 2016

Drop us for Tapas!

post signatureWe arrived without a hitch. We spent most of the first day just wandering around.

The first thing I have to say is the internet is so slow. I don't know if I'll be able to post pictures, but I'm going to try.

We had our first tour on our first evening. It was a 4 hour walking tapas tour. Our guide met us in the lobby of our hotel. She walked us around and gave us a brief history of Barcelona.

After our tour, Veronica took us to a traditional tapas place that has been in business in the same location with the same equipment since the 1920's. The old "ice box" was amazing and huge! She told us the history of tapas. The word tapas means "to cover." It started when people would come for a drink. The establishment would provide a small plate of something---complimentary---to put something on the stomach---or cover the stomach.

I understand that now. But I haven't really been all that receptive to "small plates" in Nashville. What it means to me is little food for big price. Somewhere I missed the part where you are supposed to order many small plates and then share them. It adds up pretty fast.

We let Veronica do all of the ordering for us. I forgot to take pictures at the first place, but this is what we had:
1. Russian salad (tuna salad, peas, carrots and potatoes mixed together with mayonnaise)--excellent.
2. Tomato bread (I thought this was just so so)---this is something served at all the tapas places because it is so popular. I didn't really get it.
3. Anchovies---good, but I'm used to them ON something (salad or pizza)---didn't love them by themselves.
4. Croquettes---some sort of meat. Didn't know what it was, but it was good.
5. Ham---this looked terrible, but was really delicious.
6. Special cheese---that is so hard to get only the restaurants have it. Very good.

One thing about tapas is that you are meant to use your fingers and dip your fork/spoon into the same dish. Now I don't have a problem with that when it comes to family or close friends, but we had just met Veronica. Sorry, a little too friendly for me.

The next place we went to was a contemporary tapas restaurant. I would refer to it as a gourmet place. Most of the dishes contained a lot of unusual combinations of ingredients mixed together.
I cannot remember everything that was in this. There were 5 of them. It was Stephs' favorite of the night. I passed on it because it had foie gras. I eat just about everything and am not in any way picky. But I cannot abide liver!
 This was a pea dish with hog jowls. Sounds disgusting, but it was truly delicious.
I don't remember everything that was in this dish, but it was my favorite. It had eggs with potato foam and truffles on top.
Cannelloni stuffed with chicken. Again, I couldn't/wouldn't eat it because the sauce you see on top is also foie gras. Veronica encouraged me to try a bit of the filling. I didn't want to be offensive, so I did. It just about ruined my night. When it comes to liver, I cannot be polite.

Another thing she told us is that it is considered rude to leave anything on the plate. Considering we had already eaten at one place, we were pretty full. Everybody did their part---and Butch had to pick up my share of the liver dishes. This was tough on him. We're worried that this may have been his entire food allotment for the week! We joke about it all the time. If he has a big meal, he doesn't want to eat for 3 days.

Today we had a fabulous tour that included Gaudi's Sagrada Familia---an amazing church that has been under construction for 130 years. More on that later. When the tour was over, we had the driver "Drop us for tapas!"

After our experience last night, we decided to try tapas on our own.  We had our driver drop us for tapas! This is what we ordered today:
These were shoestring potatoes with two fried eggs on top with a chili sauce. The waitress mixed it up before I got the photo. We all liked it.
This was fried artichokes---not at all what we expected as there was no breading, but it was delicious. You can see the tomato bread in the background. It was delicious! It was a hard, French type bread with olive oil and the tomato smear. I thought it was just okay last night, but loved it here.
Prawns in some sort of sauce. We all loved it. We also had lightly fried calamari that was really good. We ordered a beef dish, but it was much too rare for me.

So the verdict on tapas is---it's a fun way to eat and get a chance to try many different things. You have to be adventurous and open to unique food combinations---even if they don't sound good. Here in Barcelona, it's fairly inexpensive. Our lunch which included 3 beers and a diet Coke was about $10 per person. I would have ordered one more thing, but what we had was enough.

The only bad thing---they don't have dessert tapas. Seems to me that someone should invent it. Who wouldn't love a little dab of this dessert and that?

Mindy says she doesn't like tapas because if she likes something she wants the whole thing for herself. I get that too. But when you've never been to a place, if you only picked one, you might get a "bummer." This way, you get to try so many. I just don't understand how restaurants can really keep up with so many things---there had to be a hundred different things on the menus. I guess they know what they are doing.

Okay, the posts are probably going to be few and far between. It has taken me two and a half hours to write this one and upload the photos. Incredibly slow internet!! Luckily I needed to rest my feet and prepare for the 4 hour walking tour tomorrow!


  1. Sounds like a great time!!!
    You are so much more brave than I am for tasting all of those dishes…I am a picky eater, but those fries and prawns look delish :)
    I would also have enjoyed the long walk

  2. Keep the posts coming when you living vicariously through your travels. Take care of those tootsies....we don't want any foot relapses. Smiles! Nancy E.

  3. Oh nice. I am thinking tapas are even more inviting a way to eat since I am on a diet and little bits of lots of flavors would be great.

  4. New Diet Taps into Innovative Plan to Help Dieters Lose 20 Pounds in Just 21 Days!


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