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6 days in Barcelona- quick and dirty overview

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Just came back from Barcelona and am still tired, yet content.

I posted my wishlist before traveling, and you can read about it here.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901262

Unfortunately, my traveling partner proved less than optimal for my quests, so I didn't taste one Paella or a pork cheek...

Still, Barcelona is an amazing city, maybe the best I've been to and you can have some great food there.

Day 1: arrived later than expected and had some trouble with the apartment we got, so just went in to a nearby restaurant called Taverna del Bisbe.
Had 3 tapas which all tasted pretty good (I was famished), Patatas Bravas, potato stuffed with meat and a mushroom ham mix, ended the meal with a mediocre brownie.

day 2: Lunch at Gresca: got the 3 course meal for 19 E, root vegetables with Roquefort cheese, fresh tuna, and fruit salad/chocolate fondant.
Nice food in elegant setting, nothing exceptional though, might be more of a dinner place.

Dinner at Sesamo: this is a vegetarian restaurant, very small and modest with great food. For starters had tomato bread and an eggplant with goat cheese dish. Followed it with a great spargel and pistachio risotto and a nut and beetroot salad. best of all was the chef's dessert selection: peanut butter cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and one of the best ice cream scoops ever: caramel and sea salt. one of the highlights of the tour.

Day 3: snack at Bar Pinotxo in la Boqueria. Had cuttlefish with small white beans. It was nice, but way overpriced for the size of the plate, kind of a ripoff actually.

Went to tapas 24. Place was full, so we waited for about 20 minutes. Even though we were about to be seated, we decided to leave, since the waitress there obviously didn't need our business by the way she behaved.

Marched off to La Rita, where we were informed that the place is closed (it was around 4.30 PM).

Limped in the direction of cerveceria catalana, waiting time was 40 minutes, so we decided to not bother.

In the end we ran out of planned options and just went into a simple looking place called EL Apeadero.
Had nice bravas+ zucchini omelette + great fried calamari+ tomato bread + dessert+ 2 bottles of water for 21E - a bargain.
Dessert was young cheese with honey and walnuts- great texture and combination for 2.5E.

Day 4: Only had one meal, but a great one.
A Persian place called Rincon Persa.
Extremely friendly service and nice atmosphere, complemented by one of the world's best kept secrets: Persian cuisine.
Had two fantastic starters with young spinach, eggplant, yogurt and walnuts.
mains were even better: a brilliant Fesenjan (one of the best dishes on the planet) and an omelette with dates and safran that was a revelation.
Finished with a delicate and non-oily Persian baklava.
Fantastic value for money at 45E.

Day 5: Alas, this was not a great day.
Walked over to Barcelonetta to try either a Paella, or some nice seafood dishes.
Cheriff and la Cova Fumada were closed, so we entered Cal Papi.

DO NOT GO INTO CAL PAPI!

First of all the waitresses do not speak a word of English, they are businesslike and surly.
Our waitress recommended the seafood platter for two at 37 Euros, so we ordered it.
We got 4 razor clams, 4 gambas, 2 scallops and one squid.
All of it tasted fresh, but that's about it.
We got a basket with some bread and no sauces or rice on the side.

This is what you pay for this kind of platter on fifth avenue, in a local place with a single dirty toilet in Barcelona it amounts to a scam.
We finished our plate and were still hungry.
The surly waitress noticed us, came over and slammed the "reserved" sign on our table. basically telling us to piss off!
I wish I spoke some Spanish, so I could tell her what I thought of her.

We left no tip and stuffed the toilet bowl with toilet paper, hopefully she got the message.

For dinner we went to Allium, a restaurant whose touristy location and clientele worried me. I had some tender octopus for a starter and a very salty part of an Iberian pork with great cabbage on the side.
Quality was good and this place is probably very good value for lunch.

For desserts, we got two cakes at Bubo: the famous chocolate one and a tender pear cream one. Washed it down with life affirming hot chocolate.

Day 6: Lunch at Cafe de l'Accademia. read lots of reviews about this place and it did not disappoint.
Great bread and olives and Alioli started the meal on the right foot.
For starters a nice pear and cheese salad and a very good prawn bouillabaisse.
Cod with paprika cream and garbanzo beans was excellent- fresh cod tastes nothing like frozen cod.
I chose a risotto with duck liver and grapes, the risotto came with a single piece of duck liver on top.
After mixing it up, I was treated to one of the best dishes I have ever tasted and definitely the best one on the trip.
We got a selection of five homemade cakes for dessert and they were all fantastic. Best 80E we spent on the trip.

For dinner we headed over to La Paradeta.
Got a crab, two langoustines, some sweet cockles and calamari for 28E.
It was all very fresh and tasty, the atmosphere is loud and you are surrounded by heaps of seafood scraps. loved it.

Managed to get a chocolate pistachio creation at Bubo just before they closed.

All in all it was a great trip. Only had one really bad experience at Cal Papi.
Sesamo, Rincon Persa, Cafe de l'Accademia and La Paradeta are all highly recommended, as is Bubo for its sweets.

Thank you Barcelona, i'll be back.

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  1. Did you really have to stuff the toilet bowl with toilet paper? That's something I'd expect from a couple of teenagers - not mature adults.