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6 days in Barcelona- quick and dirty overview

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.

May 23, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Just came back from Barcelona, what a great city!

Will be posting my quick and dirty reviews soon.
I failed in most of my missions, but still had a great time.

May 23, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Thanks again, someone praised Jai Ca as a great seafood joint in some blog and it seemed nice and undiscovered.

Another question: is mass produced Turron, like the ones made by PICO, available in supermarkets all year round?
I really like the stuff and it's ideal as a present from Spain.

May 11, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Thanks Caganer for some great tips,

Allium looks really exciting.

My current list of candidates for the 6 days looks like this:

1 Lunch menus: Allium, Gresca, La Mer salada, and possibly Cinc Sentits
2 Seafood: Jaica,Fumada, Cheriff, Xiringuito and La Paradeta.
3 Tapas: 24, Cal Pep, Pinotxo bar, Meralgo,and El Quim.
4 Veggie: Sesamo.
5 Sweets: Bubo, Espai Sucre and Planelles Donat.

I envy me!

I'm missing a place for a great juicy steak, as my lust for steaks has declined recently, if anyone has a tip on an unmissable cut of meat I might try to rekindle my lust.

May 11, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Thanks whataboutbob,

La Cova Fumada looks like just what I was looking for.

Any other tips by anyone would be appreciated.

Cheers
lriemann

May 10, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

First time in Barcelona on moderate budget

Hi Folks,

Me and a buddy are going to Barcelona next week for six days.
Will probably stay in Born and traverse the city by foot.

We are both food fans, but have a budget of max. 40 Euros for a meal that does not include drinks (only aqua for us), and most places should be within the 10-25 Euros range.
We are not fans of small portions and pretentiousness, prefer local and unusual stuff with decent value for money.
Places should not require a reservation, although if it's absolutely great and necessary...
Lunch menu recommendations are definitely welcome.

I looked at some posts and the forum and came up with interesting places like Paco Meralgo, La mar salada, Flo, Gresca, Sesamo, Quimetx2.

What I'd really like to hear from you is, which places are the best for these dishes or cuisines:

1 Goose barnacles , if in season and less than 40 E a pop.
2 Good Paella with seafood
3 Great Tapas
4 Very Catalonian specialties
5 Iberian pork cheeks
6 Seafood delight, especially pulpo and lobster
7 Sweets in general and especially Turron if it can be found out of season

Thanks in advance!
Ron

May 08, 2013
lriemann in Spain/Portugal

Belgrade eats

Belgrade has great food.
Try this guide
https://thisboysmind.wordpress.com/20...

Oct 10, 2012
lriemann in Europe

Visiting Berlin Oct. 18th-recommendations please?

Midtown Grill is expensive but the food is amazing, world class steaks and a great key lime pie.
If you can afford it I would definitely recommend it.

Jolesch is my fave in town and they offer the best lunch deal in the city.
Anything with game meat in it is a must there and the kaiserschmarrn are a real treat.

Sep 26, 2012
lriemann in Europe

Hamburg, Germany - restaurant recommendations

Hi
Some recommendations in hamburg:
If you can splurge, Matsumi has amazing sushi and other Japanese dishes.
http://www.qype.co.uk/place/18524-Matsumi-Hamburg

For amazing crab and great seafood try the Portugese La Sepia
http://www.qype.co.uk/place/32362-La-Sepia-Hamburg

To get stuffed on all you can eat Chinese, Mongolese and surprisingly good sushi
http://www.qype.co.uk/place/135579-Mr...

Hamburg is a great city, enjoy!

Jun 21, 2012
lriemann in Europe

First time to NOLA, 3 day trip, need some feedback on the not to be missed stuff

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I booked lunch for Commander's palace and will book one for Brigtsen's soon, will improvise and decide on other places when i'm in NOLA.

All the best
Ron

Apr 18, 2012
lriemann in New Orleans

First time to NOLA, 3 day trip, need some feedback on the not to be missed stuff

Hi everyone!

I'm visiting the USA from Berlin, Germany in May and am very excited to spend 3 days in a city whose culinary delights are legendary.

I already did some research but would appreciate some feedback and maybe more tips.

Before that i have a question regarding reservations: are they necessary for most restaurants in NOLA?
How hard is it for two people to get a table for lunch or dinner at the best places in town?

Now for my culinary prospects.
I would like to concentrate on stuff that's unique to NOLA and i couldn't get elsewhere.
I have a sweet tooth and am a big fan of pecan pies but i also love spicy hot food.
I prefer to go to the more expensive places for lunch and to the cheaper ones for dinner, don't care too much about setting and fancy stuff as it's all about the food.

Here are my candidates so far, not sure how many i can squeeze into 3 days without busting an artery...

Cafe du monde: seems like a coffee and beignets here is a must.
Commander's palace: bread pudding souffle, pecan crusted fish, foie gras, strawberry shortcake if available, pecan pie, any real good deal on lunch menu?
Brigtsen's: pecan pie, seafood platter.
Casamento's: crab claws.
Camellia Grill: Grilled Pecan Pie.
Where to for bread pudding and banana foster and wht's a good place for a po'boy?

Let me know what you think and which unmissable dishes i am missing.

All the best
Ron

Apr 16, 2012
lriemann in New Orleans

Need some advice: First time in Boston, one dinner and one lunch.

Thank you all for the help and tips.
I think i now have enough leads on Boston to get the most out of my brief visit.

All the best and Bon Appetit !

Apr 14, 2012
lriemann in Greater Boston Area

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

I will be in NYC from the 3rd to the 6th of May, then a few days in Boston and New Orleans (yummy), then back in NYC from the 11th to the 20th of May with maybe a short foray to Philly and DC.
Just got a confirmation for my Bouley reservation for the 4th of May and i hope to catch a break booking EMP and JG, and if not then c'est la vie.

Apr 13, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

Hi folks!

Thanks for all the help.

I've decided on the two restaurants i will visit for sure.

Bouley because the menu looks very interesting and very few people find it disappointing.
ABC because they seem to be more relaxed, the price is right, the menu is different than most top restaurants and a salty popcorn caramel sundae sounds too good to resist.

I might visit EMP or one of the JG too if i like the experience at Bouley as much as i hope to just to see how it compares.

Currently researching the best non prix fixe dishes that interest me in NYC and will post on the forum later this month.

Thanks again and Bon Appetit!

Apr 13, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan

Need some advice: First time in Boston, one dinner and one lunch.

Thank you all for your help and input.

I will be in your city on the 7th and 8th of May and hope it's as nice and cosy as this forum.

Still not sure what i will see in Boston, i will be traveling with a friend who's on a business trip there so it depends a lot on what time he finishes business.
Freedom trail looks nice as do the art and natural science museums so i'm sure i'll find something to do.

Will also be in NYC and New Orleans this trip so i will concentrate on the fresh coastal seafood Boston has to offer which means i will probably hit Neptune for oysters and a lobster roll in the early evening.
I'm a big fan of chowder (only had it a couple of times, the best was at oyster bar in Grand Central) so it's a shame the one at Neptune isn't so great, perhaps i can find a great one for lunch on the 8th, i understand legal seafood is good.

Thanks for all the help!
Ron

Apr 13, 2012
lriemann in Greater Boston Area

Need some advice: First time in Boston, one dinner and one lunch.

Hi everybody,

I'm visiting from Berlin in May and will spend a day and a half in Boston.
besides taking in the sites and exploring a museum or too i plan to have one nice dinner and one nice lunch but i might have to settle with just one meal and a snack.

Have already done a bit of research and here's what i came up with.
Will be happy for any feedback and comments on my selection.

Neptune: most people seem to love it.
What to get: Lobster roll, chowder, blue crab salad, johnny cake, scallops.
Questions: is it possible to reserve a table for dinner or lunch? all posts seem to involve waiting in line.
How big is the difference between lunch and dinner in terms of waiting and atmosphere?
Any recs for dessert?

Giacomo's: also highly rated and looks interesting.
What to get: butternut squash ravioli, pumpkin ravioli, lobster shrimp fusilli, spicy lobster sauce.
Questions: reservation vs wait again.
Between Giacomo's and Neptune which one offers the tastier or more unique experience?

Sam Lagrassa's sandwiches: who doesn't love a great sandwich.
What to get: a great sandwich or two.
Questions: recs for unique and delicious sandwiches at this place?

Cheers
Ron

Apr 12, 2012
lriemann in Greater Boston Area

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

Thanks again for the help.

I thought about JG instead of Nougatine but most places people seem to think that Nougatine offers a better deal and atmosphere is nicer there so right now i think it has the edge.

There seems to be a new candidate too.
I didn't think about including Bouley since i couldn't find their actual prix fixe menu online which i thought was unprofessional.
Then i read up some more and ran into a description of their porcini flan which combines too of my favorite ingredients in crab and truffles so i emailed the restaurant and got a quick reply with their current lunch menu which seems pretty awesome.
http://www.imagebam.com/image/8f82991...

I also started checking the opentable website and it seems that apart from EMP all the other places are not that difficult to get a table at, which of course makes EMP more desirable :-)

Apr 11, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

Thanks again for the help.

EMP is actually on my possible list but i'm a little wary because judging by the photos the portions seem kind of tiny and the concept of picking an ingredient instead of a course is a bit daunting, i like to research not only where to eat but also what to eat at each place and even at a place like EMP not all entrees are created equal.
On the other hand they do have 3 stars and a lot of people sing their praises so it's definitely an option.

Currently i'm thinking it's a choice of 2 or more of the following places for lunch.
Wrote down these guides for my friends who also have a say.

Name: ABC kitchen
Cuisine: Fresh organic and not too heavy.
http://www.abckitchennyc.com/
why yes: interesting menu 32$ for 3 courses, salted caramel ice cream sundae!
Why not: nada.

Name: Nougatine at jean George
Cuisine: French classy seafood.
http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/nougatine/menu
Why yes: 32$ 3 courses considered one of the best deals in the city, warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, tuna tartare.
Why not: nada.

Name: Del Posto
Cuisine: classy Italian
http://delpostonyc.com/menu.cfm?restaurantid=1&id=4
Why yes: chocolate ricotta cake paired with pistachios, lots of options on menu.
Why not: 39$ for three courses might not be best deal.

Name: Eleven Madison Park
Cuisine: top of the line eclectic.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d479020-Reviews-Eleven_Madison_Park-New_York_City_New_York.html
Why yes: considered one of the best restaurants in the world, number 1 on tripadvisor, seems to be outstanding in every respect, we only live once.
Why not: 74$ for 4 course lunch is a pretty penny even with all the little extras, menu system is mysterious as you choose ingredient instead of course, booking might be tough.

Name: Aldea
Cuisine: Spanish/Portugese
http://aldearestaurant.com/pdf/AldeaL...
Why yes: 24$ 3 course menu, very good reviews.
Why not: not much choice on prix fixe, a la carte temptations.

Would appreciate some feedback.

Cheers
Ron

Apr 10, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

Thank you Kathryn for your help.

1 I will probably be going for the lunch menu on weekdays only so that's probably not going to be a problem.

2 Always happy for some more suggestions from CHers.

My budget per person before the extras is around 60$, could be more if meal is extremely good but of course would prefer it to be less.

About what i'm looking for:
Atmosphere: I dislike stuffy service and pretentiousness so a relaxed and friendly atmosphere is my ideal setting. With me it's 99% about the food and i actually prefer simple settings to fancy show off ones.
Cuisine types: I live in Berlin so i'd like to try stuff i can't get here.
American, Chinese and creative cuisine with decent portion size spring to mind.
I am generally looking for memorable distinctive dishes and amazing desserts (aren't we all?).
I was in NYC 4 years ago and the dishes i enjoyed the most were the eastern/western oysters at GC oyster bar, the pecan pie with cream at peter luger's (steak was good but didn't blow me away) and funnily enough the onion and sour cream pretzel at auntie ann's :-)
Later i will post another thread with my intended dish list for both lunch and dinner based on my research online and would welcome more input.

I will probably only eat in Manhattan and any neighborhood will do although places near Madison square park/New York Life building are my preferred ones.

Thanks for the help
Ron

Apr 07, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan

Help a newbie: Reservations and recommendations for Prix Fixe lunch at fancy restaurants?

Hello my fellow Foodies!

I'm planning my second trip to NYC in May and would appreciate some help and feedback.

Hopefully i will be visiting at least one or two of these recommended restaurants for their lunch specials.

http://www.edinformatics.com/travel/best_restaurants_manhattan.htm
http://www.edinformatics.com/travel/b...

My questions are:
1 Do i need to reserve a table for one to two people at any/all of these restaurants for lunch?
2 Which of these fine places would you personally recommend and why?
3 Any not to be missed dishes?

Thanks in advance and cheers
Ron

Apr 07, 2012
lriemann in Manhattan