A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Aug. 18.

Barcelona, Part Two - August is apparently the cruelest month. On our third day in Barcelona, we were all excited about checking out one of the city's premiere tapas bars, Cal Pep. We went early just to ascertain its location, only to learn that it's closed for the month of August. It was a disappointing blow, but luckily, I came armed with back-up. My friend Manny had raved to me about another tapas hotspot called Quimet y Quimet. Vince and I made the trek over to the Poble Sec stop and finally tracked down the street it was on. Although it was set to open at seven, the door remained close. We made another circle around the block and finally asked a waitress across the street. "They're on vacation until September," she explained in Spanish. We just shook our heads and limped away.

A few streets down, we consoled our tapas-free stomaches with doner kebap, which literally translates to "rotating meat." It's an Arabic lamb sandwich that's filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions (though I get mine "sin cebolla"), dressing and if you want, hot sauce. It was pretty incredible in Berlin, distinguished especially by the terrific bread. In New York, doner can be found in Turkish restaurants, but it's nowhere near as good, because the lamb comes pocketed in a pita instead of that wondrous bread. I was planning to wait until Germany, where doner kebab is said to be the best-selling fast food, and that may have been the right instinct. The doner in Barcelona was certainly not bad, but the flatbread wasn't quite there, there was too much of the ranch-y dressing, and the hot sauce barely registered. Another minor disappointment that night, if only by comparison, were the patatas bravas Vince and I sampled at a tapas bar afterward. We weren't all that hungry but we wanted to see if they could compare to the delicious ones served at Tia Pol. But no, they weren't crispy enough, the tangy sauce lacked tang and they seemed altogether ordinary.

Today, we reserved our tickets for Madrid and Granada at the train station and I made do with another bocadillo for lunch. This time, it was chicken and lettuce with mayonnaise. Once again, it was huge and filling, and came on a great crunchy baguette. We spent the day sightseeing visiting the Palau Nacional, the Olympic Stadium, Montjuic and the Botancial Gardens, taking in the gorgeous views of the city below us. We've been walking an incredible amount and drinking liters and liters of water. (A liter and a half of water today cost 21 cents, which is only about an American quarter.) Tomorrow, we've resolved to try our luck with tapas again. Gambas and chorizo only come to those who persevere.


Anonymous Cal said...

Please keep on posting your food and travel journey throughout your European trip! I have not had a chance to backpack to Europe when I was at your age, but would like to read about your experience!

2:01 PM  
Blogger The Yankee said...

It's a shame you missed Cal Pep, it is truely one of the greatest restaurants in the world.

Well at least when you get to France the vacation period will be over!

8:26 AM  
Blogger The Yankee said...

It's a shame you missed Cal Pep, it is truely one of the greatest restaurants in the world.

Well at least when you get to France the vacation period will be over!


8:28 AM  
Blogger David Skul said...

Latin American Destination Wedding Ideas

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Discerning a astounding location such as Barcelona for your destination wedding can offer your guests a variety of fun activities to have fun with in either before or after your wedding. The honeymooners could prefer to have their wedding on a ranch or at a ski playground and there are a wide variety of activities available for the couple to participate in. A few of these activities include football, the running of the bulls, rock climbing and hiking.

Another popular Latin American destination wedding location is Mexico. This is a popular location for a couple of causes. Many couples choose to honeymoon in Mexico so that reason entirely makes it an idealistic destination wedding location. Also, the warm weather and wonderful white sand beaches provide a beautiful setting for a wedding. Guests who arrive early or choose to spend a few more days in Mexico will not be disappointed with the available activities. Scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, sunbathing and travel to ancient ruins are just a few of the activities that the guests can enjoy while in Mexico.

A Latin American destination wedding is basically a wedding and vacation combination. The key to hosting a dandy destination wedding is to pick out a location that will bring your guests with a beautiful background as well as a wealth of activities to keep them entertained for at least a few days. Although a destination wedding may sound right, it is crucial to realize that there are a few downsides to hosting a destination wedding. One problem is that numerous guests will decline your invitation because they are either unable or not going to travel for the wedding. This can also work to your benefit by limiting the total of guests as well. While you may be disappointed if close friends decline your wedding invitation, you are likely to be relieved that you do not have to pay for far off relatives or casual acquaintances at your wedding. The benefit, however, to a destination wedding is that the couple does not have to travel for their honeymoon and that the guests have the luxury of spending a few day in an exotic location.

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2:09 PM  

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