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Salamanca Restaurant in Barcelona

I'm not saying they didn't make it themselves, but they could have decanted something 'factory made' into carafes. I do wonder sometimes about these orujos de casa, they're often so alarmingly neon green! It seems to be one of those things that divides people - you either love it or hate it. There's something 'romantic' about the idea of homemade hooch, but the base alcohol is unlikely to have been made by the restaurant - though it's possible - they've probably just added a bit of flavouring and colouring and if you're lucky, some herbs. Or am i just being horribly cynical?

What's the board feeling generally - orujo (de hierbas or for that matter any other kind) lovers or haters ? Or do you prefer another post prandial hit? Pacharan?

Apr 22, 2008
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Hole in the Walls - Barcelona

Not sure, your directions make me dizzy, but are you talking about Cova Fumada? (C/Baluard 56/Pl Poeta Boscà) It's actually on the market square, but it does have another entrance at the back. It's really old, no name outside, simple food: bombas, sardines, clams, wine from the barrel...? Odd hours because traditionally served market folk, usually a queue out the door. That the one? Another trad old good fried fish place in B'neta is Can Maño... could be that?

Apr 22, 2008
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Paella in Madrid or Barcelona?

Casa Valencia in Barcelona is a good bet for Valencia style paella. Here's a review I wrote for Barcelona Metropolitan (www.barcelona-metropolitan.com) (all rights reserved!

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"Where can I get a decent paella?" is a question I'm often asked and "Valencia" is often my reply. My new, rather more helpful answer is "Casa Valencia" – one of the many casa culturales in town that cater to the needs and nostalgia of Spanish immigrants to Catalunya. Its menú always includes a paella and other rice dishes among the starters. The paella valenciana has liberal helpings of rabbit, chicken and pork and, most authentically, Valencian butter bean-esque garrafóns. Arroz al horno combines saffrony rice with pinenut-studded blood sausage, floury potatoes, caramelised garlic and crusty chickpeas. Valencians, with their fecund huertas, really know how to make vegetables shine in a dish.
Though rice is undoubtedly king here, equal respect was given to my fish soup – a simple yet successful blend of a saffron-bright thin broth, flakes of mackerel and soft rice – and my partner's hake santurzi-style. This comprised a thick slice of hake trunk, moistly flaking from the bone, in a light but piquant braising of olive oil, sherry vinegar, chunks of garlic and a spicy Basque pepper. Ok, so we weren't in Valencia any more, Toto, but it was a pleasant trip.
Portions are rather filling, which perhaps explains why desserts are such a letdown. The kindest thing that can be said for them is that they're not bad for shop-bought. Watch out for the tartas – some pack quite an additive-laden punch!

Casa Valencia, C/Corsega 335. Tel: 93 237 2759
Open: 1-4pm, 8-11pm every day
Menu del dia: E10 for three courses and drink, inc IVA.

May 04, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Help Needed

Kaiku

Passeig Joan de Borbó 74, Barceloneta. Tel: + 34 93 331 9082.
Great paella on a relatively quiet part of the beachfront promenade. BOOK IN ADVANCE FOR A TERRACE TABLE! Lunch only.

May 03, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

1st time to Barcelona and Valencia

hi

November in general isn't a time when things are closed, apart from all saints on the 1 Nov. What makes you think things might be closed?

Many restaurants are closed for at least lunch or dinner, if not both, on Sundays and Mondays, so if you're visiting just on those days, that could be a problem. Otherwise you shouldn't have any particular problem finding anything open.

What sort of recommendations are you after? High-end? Spit and sawdust? Seafood? Meat? Romantic? Fashionable?

May 03, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Bari Gotic traditional

I think you mean the Gracia neighbourhood (passeig de gracia isn't exactly un-touristy). In gracia, you could try La Singular (C/Francisco Giner, 50, better for lunch than dinner) and Goliard (C/Progres 6).

Apr 10, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Bari Gotic traditional

A couple of old school catalan places in the BG:

Cardoner, C/Ample 46, 93 315 2260
Old school Catalan cooking in smartish surroundings. Businessmen and middle aged couples lunching. Snooty maitresse d' sneered when I asked to look at the menú del dia but warmed up considerably when we ordered Girona steaks - which were very good (and fab chips). V generous portions. Also had a good, if a bit soggy for me, fideua, and enormous plate of baby cuttlefish in their ink. Good for trad Cat cuisine which is getting harder to find in fusion-fashion-frenzied BCN. Mid-price. (cut and pasted from my post in another forum)

Also try the menu del dia at La Cassola on C/Sant Sever in the Call part of the BG, just down the street from the Hotel Neri. Interesting catalan dishes and lots of locals having lunch. Good and friendly service (rarity) too.

Apr 10, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona list - so far

Bar Mut (Tapas) - Great place, but very very busy, so book. Also quite pricey so not a place to fill up if you're starving!
Botafumeiro - i wasn't wowed by this when i went. too stuffy and touristy in the dining room and the fish was a bit bland and overcooked for my liking. if you do go i think the best way to go is to have the seafood platter at the bar, or maybe a few separate seafood raciones eg clams, prawns...
Cafe Zurch (Coffee) - (Zurich) it's a traditional meeting place. it's fine, but i don't think it's that special (and you probably pay over the odds) other than for its history and position (v central, right on Pl Catalunya at the top of the ramblas).
Camper Foodball - think it's closed. even if it's open i wouldn't recommend it unless you like bland rice balls. perhaps worth a visit for curiosity value if you're passing anyway (it's quite near the MACBA modern art museum)
Cinc Sentis - Cinc Sentits - great. definitely recommend this. excellent food and service.
Café Viena - great for a basic but well made carb stop - jamon iberico sandwich and fries and a beer. if you go just before or after showtime at the theatre it will be full, but more fun. (go to the one on the rambla not c/pelai)
Gaig - v high end, v classy dining room. i thought the food and service wasn't quite up to the standards i'd expect at this level. others have loved it though. it's certainly not bad, i'd just prefer to spend my money at, for example, Abac.
La Parra - no personal experience, but heard v good things. not for a while tho, so may be worth checking it's still there.
Moo (Rossello 265 / at Omm) - very stylish, designed restaurant. interesting menu, concept cuisine. there have been some negative comments about the service. I found the timing of delivery of dishes in the menu degustacion a bit off.
Pinotxo (Mercat de la Boqueria) - great. a classic. go early for breakfast or lunch and have whatever Juanito offers you (not that you usually have much choice!)
Restaurant Passadís del Pep or Cal Pep - I enjoyed Cal Pep but haven't been back for a long time because I hate queuing which you normally have to do to get a stool at his bar. So for a more relaxed experience I'd choose Passadís.
Rias De Galicia (Larida 7) - high quality, pricey seafood and old school service.
Silvestre - Not tried it.
Tapac 24 - I wasn't that impressed, particularly by their treatment of customers, but many other people have been.

Apr 02, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Organic steak in Barcelona

Can anyone recommend a restaurant serving organic (or at least traditionally/'humanely' reared) steak in Barcelona? Or failing that, just your recs for good steak (some idea of price would be well welcome)?

Cheers

Mar 07, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Fresh fruit in March / early April ?

You'll be able to find everything - either imported or grown locally under plastic (much of andalucia is given over to force grown fruit and veg to supply the rest of Europe.

But for local natural seasonal produce look for spring onions, garlic shoots, wild asparagus, spring mushrooms, artichokes, escarole lettuce, cherries and fresh spring peas.

Kirsten
www.saboroso.com

Mar 05, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

General tips: ordering and shopping for everyday food in Barcelona

just a wee correction - berberechos are cockles, not clams.

Kirsten
www.saboroso.com

Mar 05, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Tapas in Bilbao? Donastia? Barcelona?

In Barcelona: most of the bars on C/Merce in the Barri Gotic, especially Bar Plata and the old-school asturian cider bars. Quimet i Quimet on Poeta Cabanyes in Poble Sec. Cerveceria Catalana on C/Mallorca.

Mar 05, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona Recommendations

Foodball looks closed - i walked past the other day and it was all closed up. Not a shame actually, it's a weird concept - interesting once but perfectly missable. They served balls of rice with various fillings - most were pretty tasteless, and various dipping sauces. It was all very 'eco' - with filtered water and recycled and recyclable plates etc. the 'dining room was a stark echoey space with a set of steps on one side of the room which served as the equivalent of chairs and tables. Not very comfy!

Mar 05, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona - what food to buy for bringing back to the USA

The nut shop in the Born is Casa Gispert, C/Sombrerers 23.

Kirsten
www.saboroso.com

Mar 05, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal

ElBulli Booked - What Instead in Barcelona?

There's also Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar. If you go for lunch you can get the train there and back (about an hour each way). http://www.santpau.jp/english/index.html Their aperitivos and desserts mini menus (part of their menu degustaciones) are really interesting and imaginative. I'd also ditto the suggestion of Espai Sucre and the recs against Comerc 24. Gaig and Can Fabes are prob more traditional than what you want. Abac is worth considering - excellent - but perhaps not experimental enough. Alkimia and Hisop are two smaller, very 'design' restaurants that go down the experimental route.

Kirsten
www.saboroso.com

Feb 19, 2007
gingerchow in Spain/Portugal