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Madrid--Roast Suckling Pig

here is the picture

Nov 26, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Madrid--Roast Suckling Pig

Was just in Madrid, 3 of us wanted the experience and ordered the entire pig (6 official servings). Didn't eat for 24 hours after. So awesome. Remember to get into the head and eat the piggy brain just to say you did. I made my two friends do it. Now they hate me.

Great resto. Thought it would be touristy but we seemed to be the only tourists there. Went there on a saturday right when it opened at 1pm. You must do this if you don't have a reservation. By 2pm the line was out the door (and this is a big restaurant).

If you go to madrid - go here. Check attached picture for added inspiration.

Nov 26, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Pla - Urgent question (Barcelona)

Hi guys, I am trying to make a last minute rezzie for a group of 13 on Wednesday. Yup, procrastination. Pla in the gothic quarter has availability and said we would have our own room. However, they said we would be at three tables. Has anyone seen this room? I really don't want to get there and it be some awkward set up.

Does anyone have any other recommendations for a last minute group.

Thanks

Nov 24, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

La Bascula - Barcelona Veggie Heaven

Although I am the kind of guy who tries to eat as many different animals as possible in one meal, I do get tired of meat three times a day. Just had dinner at La Bascula. Absolutely loved it. MASSIVE portions, great value. Spend 6 euros here and you will be full to bursting. Great selection of hot and cold sandwiches. I had the veggie soup and veggie burger - awesome. G/f had brie/raisin/spinach/other veggies panini which was off the charts good (4.50 euro). Great guacamole. Although didn't try them, they have multiple pages for smoothies/milkshakes/teas, all of which I hear are great. All in all, a really nice change of pace and great value in el Born. Cool decor. Food came out fast. Will definitely be returning.

La Bascula
Carrer dels Flassaders 30 bis. Tel. 93 319 9866
From what I read on the door, looks like only open for dinner except on saturdays, where it opens at 1PM. I easily could be mistaken though.

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Decent sushi in Barcelona

Wow, will definitely check this place out. What is their deal for lunch?

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

10 Day Food Tour in Spain

I agree with PBSF - if this is a first visit to spain, then do a Barcelona-Madrid-Seville or Barcelona-Madrid-San Sebastian (IMO, my must-go places). Once you decide on cities, then we can definitely give you some local gems.

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Limbo - Barcelona

Just had dinner here - great place. Ambience was on the darker, more romantic side. Food was excellent. 10 euro apps, 20 euro main courses so in the medium price range. I had the lamb, which had a very awesome honey flavor with a great woodfire char. Bread was warm and fresh (very important for me, ha). G/f had suckling pig - very very good. Will definitely be returning.

C/ Mercè 13, Barcelona - +34 933 107 699

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona: What Have I Missed?

I second the Jamonisimo recommendation. Def worth a visit. Make sure you get the salamunca jamon taken from the punta (near the hip joint of the leg, I believe). Best ham of my life.

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Decent sushi in Barcelona

Went to shunka. Although from San Fran, I am not a sushi expert whatsoever. I thought shunka was pretty good. House roll was nice, sashimi quality (for me) seemed good. IMHO, it was overpriced (was there for dinner, I hear their menu del dia is a better deal) 20 euros for 5 pieces of sashimi two pieces of house roll.

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Dinner- NYE/Birthday

Although I have never eaten there, I hear that Opium Mar and Carpe Diem have pretty decent food. They are restaurants that turn into clubs on the beach (a little touristy). I have heard good things about their food (although don't expect to be blown away) and great things about their sangria. They will definitely have something going on for NYE. Maybe someone could vouch for their food?

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Worth it to go to San Sebastian for the food?

YES - if you like food, then it might be a stretch. If you love food then go to San Sebastian or you will regret it. Flights to Bilbao airport are cheaper. Overnight train is long but take a sleeping pill and its really easy. Make sure to check out my recent report on my trip.

Nov 20, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona: What Have I Missed?

Although I haven't done much breakfast in the city, I recommend you go to Tapac 24 and order some of their fried to order churros and a tortilla espanola. Both are very tasty and you can knock two things off your list.

For avant garde, go to Cinc Sentits, another very highly Chow recommended place. IMHO, far superior to Comerc 24 (with the exception of ambience/decor). Get the tasting menu (great value compared to comerc 24).

Nov 17, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Thanksgiving in Barcelona

Anyone have any recommendations for restos with chef's tables/private tables? I'm looking into biblioteca (never been) and SpeakEasy.

Oct 30, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Thanksgiving in Barcelona

Heyhey,

Question for you BCN experts: Do you know any restaurants with a) a chef's table or private table and b) a chef willing to add some thanksgiving twists to his dishes (just for the sake of an example: suckling pig with some sort of catalan stuffing - along those lines) ? Obviously, this might be way too much to ask, but I am just curious and thought it could be fun.

Thanks,
AK

Oct 27, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian Recap (Arzak, Akelare, Mugaritz, and Pintxos)

simply was not impossible - my stomach would have exploded, heart would have stopped, credit card would have melted.

Oct 27, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

Jamonisimo - the best jamon in Barcelona/World

Just did a ham tasting at Jamonismo. Their salamunca jamon from la punta (aka near the hip joint) was breathtaking. I'd recommend stopping by and picking some up whenever you can.

Has anyone eaten anything else there? Their menu definitely included quite a few non jamon items it looked like.

Summary: Salamanca Jamon (from la punta) will change your life.

Jamonisimo
Provenza, 85
08029 Barcelona
Tel. 93 439 08 47

Oct 25, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian Recap (Arzak, Akelare, Mugaritz, and Pintxos)

daimyo - the suckling pig at Mugaritz was excellent, definitely one of the best we have had in Spain. However, the suckling pig at Akelare was on another level. I believe it was called Roasted Baby Pig with Tomato “Bolao” and Iberian Emulsion. While the Mugaritz piggy was salty and perfectly tender, Akelare added a sweet sauce on the side that blew my mind. It instantly became one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.

Oct 25, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastian Recap (Arzak, Akelare, Mugaritz, and Pintxos)

Hey guys, been using Chowhound for awhile, and thought I should give back a little.

My girlfriend and I went to San Sebastian last weekend and ate and ate and ate. What follows is a short recap (sorry if it seems a little scattered, just trying to write what I remember):

Nice Meals (we did tasting menu at all three):

Arzak - Lunch on friday - Some very very tasty dishes, especially the figs and foie gras, langoustines, pigeon. Desserts were very disappointing (we had 4 in total, liked none of them). Service was very good, especially the sommelier, who recommended perfect wines. Dining room was very well decorated. Overall, a very good start, but we were definitely expecting more. We toured the kitchen afterwards. There is a large chef's table that looks like it could be very fun for a group.

Akelare - lunch on saturday. It turned out to be one of the single best meal of our lives thus far. The food wasn't entirely perfect, but combined with the service, the views, etc., it was definitely our favorite experience. You must eat here during the day - the views are breathtaking. From the bread to the desserts, everything was great. Highlights: false risotto, wild mushrooms with egg noodles, Iberian suckling pig (perfect). Our waiters were perfect; the chef came by multiple times to talk to us; our tour of the kitchen was great. Worth every single penny. Surprisingly, it was our easiest reservation to make.

Mugaritz - dinner on saturday. We couldn't get a rezzie and then called and they had a cancellation that night. Given our substantial lunch, we ordered the smaller tasting menu. The food here was also very very good. I would say that on any given night, it could be just as good as Akelare. The dishes were simple but inspired. There was an insane attention to detail. Hands down the best desserts we have had in Spain (been here 2 months now). The service was not as friendly or as attentive as I had wished. However, they have a dedicated sous chef that gives you the most amazing tour of the kitchen (some tables were in their for 30-45 minutes). That was very special.

While we preferred the flavors and atmosphere of Akelare, I must say if we were ever to return, I wouldn't feel right without visiting Mugaritz again. Also, we made all three of these reservations less than a week before, but we were also very flexible with dates and time. I don't feel as though Arzak was worth it when compared to Akelare and Mugaritz.

Must Eat Pintxos (all in and around the old town):

La Cepa - amazing ham - get a platter of jamon jabugo and lomo (10 euros for medium platter) and a glass of red wine. Maybe wait until they have fresh bread out of the oven.

Bar Ganbara - the most delicious mushrooms I have ever had. Unfortunately, the mixed mushroom plate was expensive (17 euros for a small plate).

Aloña Berri - very modern, award winning pintxos - definitely worth a try.

Bar Sera (on C/ San Francisco near Aloña) - another great pintxos place, we had the grilled calamari - awesome.

There are two other places we went that were good as well but I am blanking on the names - will research and post. The best part of all of these places is that they are minutes away from each other. We did all of these in one night.

Additional notes:
We stayed at an apartment rented by friendlyrentals.com. It was a very very nice space literally on top of all this pintxos bars. Could not have asked for a better location. Only 85 euros per night.

Don't go to the hyped cocktail bar Dickens. 14 euros for a vodka tonic because the founder has created award winning cocktails.

If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask.

I am living in Barcelona until December and will post soon on my adventures there.

Oct 22, 2008
apfk88 in Spain/Portugal