Sunday, November 17, 2013

Eats at Barcelona’s La Boqueria: a Pintxo, a Jamon Iberico... and a Pulpo Gallega at Kiosko Universal

I took the train from Girona where I am based for this holiday to Barcelona. There are numerous train services plying the route—intercity trains, stop trains and regional trains with travel times between +-40 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. When I arrived in Barcelona, I right away bought the 1-day metro card from the vending machine and quickly researched how to get from Barcelona Sants to Placa Catalunya/La Rambla. Found it and jumped on the metro.

The first thing on my agenda: Mercat de la Boqueria and eat all of the above (see title)!

I love the good life, which translates to loving good food, and Spain for me is all about the good life and good food. I really wish to retire in this country when the time comes =)

A Pintxo for 1 Euro!

6 years ago I was traipsing this market together with Herr Philippe (read here: The sights, sounds and smell of La Boqueria), and now 6 years later I am on my own and I needed a quick snack. The market stall at the entrance of La Boqueria on La Rambla is conveniently selling these pintxos, so I plucked one for 1 euro. Very timely!

And a Jamon Iberico please…

Whilst winding my way around the bustling market, I came across this jamon iberico shop—well, jamon stalls they are everywhere, but this particular one is selling a variety of already sliced jamon ibericos. I was deliberating on buying a bellota which was going at 16 euros for 100 grams when I saw the ones in ready to grab packs for only 5 euros. They looked quite good; I am seeing those deep cured dark colours of the meat, so I picked it up.

You know I am crazy over charcuterie. Dried hams, salami, anything cured, gimme, gimme, gimme! I do however try to eat moderately because cured meats have high concentration of salt, but luckily, they do not contain a lot of saturated fats.

Late lunch: Pulpo Gallega at Kiosko Universal

At La Boqueria, I saw this restaurant bar from the corner of my eye which looks quite busy. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to eat here because I was eyeing the Pinotxo Bar that has great reviews online, however, they have limited seats and I cannot get a hold of any. At Kiosko Universal though they have a seat available for me. Now that is an easy choice.

Last summer I was in Samos Island, Greece and I ate a lot of grilled octopus there, which is something I always do when I am in the country. This is by the way the most popular way of cooking octopus in Greece, and now that I am in Spain, I am craving the Spanish version which is the Galician way of making the quintessential Spanish octopus dish. Having said that, I ordered an Octopus Galician (Pulpo Gallega) and a local chilled white wine.

While waiting for my seafood, I spied this delicious looking plate of fried artichokes from my seat neighbour. He has a big appetite, he had a plate of vegetables earlier, this one and then later another plate of tuna steak with a side dish. Nonetheless, I was soooo tempted to order the artichokes but since I have already stuffed myself with cured meats earlier, I exercised self-control.

Self-control is never easy when it comes to your favourite things!!!

Ah, finally. I am a happy camper. Bon profit!

The pulpo gallega here at Kiosko Universal was quite good (review score: 4 stars out of 5), however, the best I have had was 3.5 years ago in La Carihuela, Malaga at a seaside restaurant along the boulevard. Check out the entry here: Gastronomic Spain--Pulpo a la Gallega, Almejas a la Marinera and Flan de Huelvo

Mercat de la Boqueria is a great stop over if you need to eat quick, the local way, although at tourist prices.

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Barcelona (Catalonia), Spain

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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