Thursday, December 10, 2015

Eating and Drinking in Barcelona - My Picks

Boadas Cocktails – this bar was located right down from hotel.  And what grabbed my attention about the bar is that it is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona, dating back to the 1930’s.  It does not get more authentic and Spanish this.  When you walk in it is like stepping into a speakeasy in the 1930’s.  The bar is cozy, intimate, with a touch of class and nostalgia. The bartenders are wearing tuxedos, and make martins with a certain flair that I have never seen before.  It was such a treat to find such a place.  I only wish there was one of these in my neighborhood.  If you go, try the cocktail of the day.  More than likely you never heard of and it may not be familiar with the ingredients. When in Barcelona, drink like the locals!

Tapas 24 – This restaurant was within walking distance from our hotel.  I decided to go here based on the reviews I read.  All the reviews said it was delicious, and it was. We had to wait about an hour to get in.  I about have up, and went down the street to a place that did not have a wait, but I am glad I waited it out.  Try whatever looks good to you, because it will be good.  The atmosphere is little crowded and little loud, but also fun and lively.

Quimet & Quimet – this wonderful treasure we stumbled across by chance, and what a wonderful chance it was.  We visited Montjuic, and were ready for something to eat.  The choices in the area where were limited.  I used Foursquare to see what was nearby, and this Quimet & Quimet came up as a top choice.  It is located at the bottom of the hill, which is about a 5 or 10 minute taxi ride.  After walking around for most of the afternoon, I was ready to sit have a cold drink and some good food.  Well sitting is not much of an option.  There are just a couple of tables, but it is mostly belly up to the bar, and rub elbows with your neighbors has you eat your tapas.  No one seems to really care that we are kind of squished in the bar, because we are all just enjoying the wonderful tapas. One of the best tapas we had was the montadito (a small, open-faced sandwich) of smoked salmon with Greek yogurt and truffled honey.  It doesn’t like these items goes together, but it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

An Adria Brothers restaurant – if you are a foodie then you know Ferran and Albert Adria or El Bulli.  Since El Bulli closed, the brothers opened Tickets and 41 Degrees.  From what I could tell 41 seemed to resemble El Bulli, with a couple of items that were on the El Bulli menu, but had a cocktail focus.  41 has since closed, but Albert is working on a revamped 41 Degrees called Enigma.  When is Barcelona  make a reservation at one of Adria brother’s restaurant. It is an eating experience that cannot be missed!

Monday, October 26, 2015


It was Friday, we just got off work, and we just wanted a cocktail and a bite to eat.  In my search to find a place to meet this criteria, was close to home, I stumbled across Barnacle.  I had never been to Barnacle, but just passed on my way to Walrus and Carpenter (which is right next door).

Barnacle is a small little bar (probably sits about 20 people), and is considered an Italian aperitivo bar.  A place to get a pre-dinner cocktail and small bites to eat with your cocktail.  Never  been to Italy, it reminded me of a Spanish tapas bar.  You grab a couple of snacks and a drink, and then you move on to another bar or go to dinner. Most of the customers were doing just this while they were waiting for a table at Walrus and Carpenter. Since usually the wait at WC is always over an hour, it is quite genius to place this right next to the restaurant

At most cocktail bars you might get some nuts or pretzels, at Barnacle you get Lays potato chips.  It has been a long time since I have munched on Lays. They were a pleasant surprise, and I have to say they went will with my cocktail.   Barnacle offers Italian red and white wines, Italian beer, and Italian inspired cocktails.  The cocktails are a little on the spendy side ($12 -$14), but I think it is worth it.   They are made with quality ingredients, and well made.  I had the Autumn in New York.  This is a take on a Manhattan, but made with cranberry to give it a a little woodsy, tart taste.  A perfect fall cocktail. My 2nd cocktail was The Other Woman with limoncello and presecco. This was a little cleaner in taste and bit refreshing after my first drink.

Food is small plates.  The menu as a Spanish/Italian theme/taste. In addition to the menu, they offered 3 specials, oysters, duck liver pate, soup.  We selected the octopus terrine.  Thinly sliced octopus that swim in a delicious Italian olive oil with a squeeze of lemon.  This dish is delicious!  If you like octopus, you will love this dish.  After we finished the octopus there was still some olive oil remaining.  I wanted to pick up the dish and start licking it off the plate,  The bartender offered up some pieces of bread to sop up the remaining in a more civilized fashion.  Another item on the menu which we did not have is hand shaved serrano jamon.  If you have been to Spain, you are familiar with the delectable Spanish ham.  The ham sits beautifully in a Spanish restaurant is thinly sliced to order. I have yet seen a Seattle restaurant that has the same Spanish presentation until I went to Barnacle.  It was a good thing I was not sitting in front of the ham or i would have been salivating the entire evening.  It is just a beautiful thing to see.  I will be back to eat this, and enjoy some lovely cocktails.

If you have not been to Barnacle, stop by and check it out.  The food, drinks and staff are great!

Barnacle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Curbside Food Truck

I have driven by the Curbside food truck many many times on my way home. They advertise Pho and Banh Mi sandwiches I would see a few people lingering in front of the truck, but never knew anyone that had visited the truck.  I am not an anti food truck person.  However, I have been a little slow in adopting and enjoying Pho. So it just one of these places I had not not jumped up to visit.

So this week I had a cold, and just wanted some hot soup.  As I was scrolling through FB in between sneezes, there was a post of the Top 10 Pho places in Seattle.   As I reviewed the list, I see Curbside Food Truck. Hey this is the place down the street.  I did a little more research, and social media comments could not say enough good things about this food truck.   Forget the cold medicine, I am going to get Pho.

I showed up around 12:30, there were 3 people in line and probably about 5 or 6 people waiting. This is a good sign.  They have quite a selection of Pho, Banh Mi sandwiches, rice and meat combos and noodles.  In addition, to their array of selections their prices are really good.  Pho is $7 sandwiches are $4.  I got the brisket Pho and my husband got the vegetarian spring rolls ($4).  It probably took about 10 minutes to get our order.

By the time I got home the soup broth was piping hot, and all the ingredients packaged separately. The soup had a great flavor, the meat was tender, and just what stuffed up nose needed.  The spring rolls were much bigger than we had expected.  They were made with fresh veggies and tofu.  I cannot say much for the sauce the rolls came with.  I think they would have been better with a chili sauce or peanut sauce.  Something to ask for next time.

So if you are in the area it definitely a place to check out.  I know I will be going back!

Curbside Food Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato