Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Barcelona: Vell Sarria, Andreu, Bar Tomas, etc.....

I'm on a roll and decided to post this, from my trip to Spain 2 months ago. They are bits and pieces of different food I had, but not lengthy enough to post them separately, so I decided to put them all in one post.

My last Sunday in Barcelona, we decided to go to a place that we have been many times: VELL SARRIA. a classic place where they serve "arrossos" or "arrozes"..basically: Paella. They do not like to call it Paella because it's not really traditional Paella. It is more the Catalan way of cooking, more wet/soupy than usual. Usually the ingredients are the same. In our case, we had Paella de Verduras. Like I said it was not as dry as the paellas I am used to but the taste was just heaven. How in the world can they make vegetable Paella taste so good...no pork, fish, seafood, etc..just plain simple veggies.

This was a light lunch so we had the Arroz de Verduras, Calamares a la Andaluza (Andalusian Calamares - slight fried with flour) and Pescadito Frito (Fried baby fish), another typical dish from the South of Spain. The fish and squid were so fresh, refreshing, that we had second orders of both. With this we had a bottle of Martin Codax Albarino, which was a perfect match. What a good way to spend a lazy Sunday summer lunch.

The day before that, we decided to have the 'aperitivo' - a typical Spanish term, for having a drink-tapas before a meal, which is usually lunch. Our Aperitivo, which ended up being our lunch, was at a place called Andreu. Its basically a Charcuteria (Deli) which has a small bar. They specialize in Cheese, Jamon Iberico and other Spanish deli.

All of them are served in a Coca (typical Catalan bread) drizzled with Olive Oil. We had: Sobrassada with melted Manchego, Virutas de Jamon Iberico (Virutas are the small bits and pieces that fall off the leg of Jamon while they are slicing it - for me the most tasty part of the leg) and Queso de Cabra con Miel (Goat Cheese with Honey).. Needless to say, we had double orders of all of the dishes, washed down with house red (Ribera).

Last, one of my all time favorites bars to go to in Barcelona. Growing up, we used to go practically weekly, for some beers, and what they are most known for: Patatas Bravas. The place is called BAR TOMAS. Even if located in the residential part of town (Sarria), people go out of their way to pass by, order a couple of beers and a small plate of Tapas. The Bravas of Bar Tomas, probably the best I've tried. They don't serve anything else (aside from Olives, Anchovies and Croquetas), so they basically survice on selling mainly Patatas Bravas and Beer.

Patatas Bravas, for those who don't know, consists of potatoes that have been cut into irregular shapes and then boiled in brine first then fried in oil and served covered in a sauce made of olive oil, red pepper, paprika, and vinegar with a side of alioli. I could easily describe this a little piece of heaven on a plate (if properly done of course) and together with draft beer, it can't get any better. I know the dish looks very simple and you are probably asking why I am raving about this so much, so you will have to try it to understand..

This ends my post on various meals I had in my last trip to Spain. Watch out for my next post: A dinner at Terrys with Aged Rioja wine as the main attraction...Hasta Pronto!!


Noel said...

I'm going to try to make those patatas bravas. Just a little taste of the vinegar, right? Do you know what kind of vinegar? I suspect sherry vinegar? Would you know what kind of vinegar they use?

Miguel said...

ool...actually its very little vinegar but if i were to guess you are probably right that it is sherry vinegar,

The sauce is oil, pimenton, garlic, etc....plus the alioli.

Let me know how it comes out.

ChichaJo said...

Bar Tomas' patatas bravas are the best ever!!! I miss them :( Wanted to cry when I saw the picture!

I should try recreating them nga also...

my Hotel Life said...

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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