335. Tapas Heaven

Barcelona proved to be really disappointing as far as cuisine goes. Being a big paella fan, I had sort of made an assumption that like most countries, there would be some great local cuisine to try. As it turned out, Barcelona was choc full of tourist trap style restuarants. Our one attempt at paella turned out to essentially be very dry, microwave reheated rice that was so flavourless it may as well have just had yellow food colouring in it. No saffron to be found there! (which, to be fair doesn’t actually make the rice go yellow, so if you see a yellow paella it will usually just be flavoured with tumeric and thus not be very authentic). Aside from that, local food seemed to just be baguettes with various cured meats in them (AKA not very exciting). Special commendation, however, is awarded to spanish fritatas (potato omelette), often also found in a baguette. Being essentially a carb sandwich, it was definitely a one-time thing, though.

Just as I was about to give up all hope on Spanish food (somewhere between my really average empanada experience and being stuck at Barcelona airport with nothing but dry baguettes. Actually I’m still not over my crap empanada. I mean really, how can you screw up a pie?!), we discovered the most amazing, heavenly, delicious, excellent, [insert adjectives conveying deliciousness and awe here] tapas restaurant in Vilaverde. From goats cheese stuffed bell peppers to super tasty egg plant fritters, to local seafood, the entire menu (which turned up on a giant blackboard  in the seat next to us, and was recited/translated by the restaurant owner), an entire world of gourmet creations I have never seen anywhere else was opened up for us. The fact that most of the meals were meals I’d never actually eaten was particularly novel, as for the most part when you eat out, although a meal is delicious it is usually just a variation on a theme you have encountered many times before. Later on in Corralejo we found another excellent Tapas restuarant

Being the chief export, goats cheese was a huge recurring theme in many of the meals, and it was actually a lot more delicious than anticipated! Most of my previous goats cheese experiences have involved a wierd musty aftertaste, but that was pleasantly lacking in Fuerteventuran goats cheese which was more like haloumi than any goats cheese I’ve ever tasted.

321. Spanish Beer

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On arrival in Barcelona, after a massive and much needed sleep (airport benches are not that comfortable, it turns out) we went for a wander to find some food and drink. We were actually staying at an airport hotel just out of Barcelona which was a very good balance of cheap + comfortable, compared to an inner city hostel, and it had free shuttles into the city. I’m officially converted to the ways of airport hotels! The downside was being in the middle of an industrial area. About a 30min walk away was a wee town? suburb? I’m not quite sure, called Viladecans, where we found a great selection of tapas bars. Being in the middle of nowehere it wasn’t at all watered down and touristy, and as well as being super cheap (€1.60 for a beer + tapas!) we were later delighted by the locals who bought their guitars along to provide their own entertainment. So with a much needed drink in hand, I sampled my first Spanish beer to the tune of some local music and had some delicious pre dinner snacks (which was lucky, because nowhere served food until after 9pm).IMG_4338 (640x480)