Tag Archives: barcelona

Weekly Menus: It’s Finally Fall Edition, Week of 10/20/2013

Gentle Readers, wow, what a week. I managed to sit down to eat 3 or 4 actual meals in the span of a week–the rest were food grabbed on the run. Not to downplay the awesome that is Barcelona, but work travel is not the same as leisure travel. Being immersed in a different food culture always makes one think about their own.

Ham and cheese with a side of cafe con leche from Tapa Tapa in Barcelona.

Ham and cheese with a side of cafe con leche from Tapa Tapa in Barcelona.

Barcelona is driven by local, fresh, and reasonable portions. It’s a great concept, and one to which I subscribe. One of the best things I ate all week was this humble croqueta, which was akin to a mildly cheesy chicken pot pie in croquette form. We found it by turning down a side street in a non-touristy neighborhood famed for its cakes. (Guess what in that sentence prompted me to hop off the tour bus.)

My favorite from the week: a chicken, vegetable, and cheese croqueta from El Canalla.

My favorite from the week: a chicken, vegetable, and cheese croqueta from El Canalla.

In a random chance, I also had a rather interesting conversation about sustainable food with someone high up in one of the major international food corporations. We talked about Michael Pollan and the tension between profit and sustainable, especially as pertains to meat. I don’t envy him his job.

Fresh ingredients fill the markets in Barcelona.

Fresh ingredients fill the markets in Barcelona.

But I digress. Look for inspiration from Barcelona appearing in posts for the next few weeks. I respect a culture that is not fussed about diet crazes and every new trend. Barcelona has strong foodways that are built to be flexible and incorporate new traditions. I love that. Visiting always makes me want to go back again.

Eggplant fries with honey and lime from El Canalla. OMG good.

Eggplant fries with honey and lime from El Canalla. OMG good.

Which means my menus for the week are:

Sunday: Leftover surprise
I’ll be eating whatever TPC’s Mom left in my fridge. Surprise! Sometimes, even oatmeal or cereal is enough after traveling.

Monday: Tapas!
Figs and cheese? Tomato bread? Prosciutto and melon? I’m not sure what I’ll combine, but it will be small bites of whatever is in the store.

Fig filled with marscopone and jamon from Cervezeria Catalana.

Fig filled with marscopone and jamon from Cervezeria Catalana.

Tuesday: Spinach Quesadillas and Beans
Simple and direct, one of our favorite easy meals. We’ve got a lot going on this day.

Wednesday: Bratwurst and Pierogie
Just add Brussels sprouts.

Thursday: Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage in Brown Butter Sauce
One of my favorite easy meals courtesy of Trader Joe’s. Served with a green salad, and you’ve got a multi-colored delight for dinner. It’s worth browning some sage in butter–it’s just fun.

Friday: Nachos!
Using up the last of our leftover veggie chili, I’m pouring it over chips, topping it with cheese, and serving it up with a side of guacamole.

Saturday: Deep Fried Everything
This might be our N.C. State Fair Day, and we have a long list of things to eat. Apple fritters, corn, fried okra, and whatever the “it” thing is in deep-fried. We are so ready.

Ironically, I never saw this brand of water in Barcelona, but saw it promptly in NYC upon landing.

Ironically, I never saw this brand of water in Barcelona, but saw it promptly in NYC upon landing.

Have you been to your state fair already? What should we find and consume? No deep-fried goodness too strange. We’ll try it on video even. Post your challenge below!

Farewell Barcelona, see you next time.

Farewell Barcelona, see you next time.

Send your winter squashes, your mad carving skills, and your airline miles to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Barcelona in Review: Food Travels

Gentle Readers, what a week it has been. Exploring the food and culture of Barcelona for a few days, I want to go back for another round, with the Practical Cooks Junior in tow. They have seen the pictures and already volunteered. The cafe culture, the pace, the attention to service in detail, wow, just wow.

I love the tapas concept. Many little plates, ideal for sharing.

I love the tapas concept. Many little plates, ideal for sharing.

My other weakness, padron peppers. They are not spicy, just salty and delicious.

My other weakness, padron peppers. They are not spicy, just salty and delicious.

Though I’m not a huge potato person, I could easily eat patatas braves every day for quite a long time. If I lived in Barcelona, I would quest endlessly to find the best of the best. I ordered potatoes and padron peppers every time we had tapas.

Patates braves are a staple of Barcelona.Try them all.

Patates braves are a staple of Barcelona.Try them all.

One of many plates of patates braves.

One of many plates of patates braves.

Ironically, some of the other winning meals were Italian. I had two amazing mushroom based dishes, one paparadelle and one risotto.

Risotto with mushrooms in a parmesan bowl. Yes, please.

Risotto with mushrooms in a parmesan bowl. Yes, please.

And of course there was pig. In all its forms. You call it jamon, I call it delicious. More than one dispute broke out around the International Bacon Line, with British folks being the most outspoken American Bacon dissers. To them I say, I’m sorry you lost. 🙂

Pure jamon goodness.

Pure jamon goodness.

Another pleasant surprise, and a lingering favorite, street food. This take on tomato bread, with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins, was off the charts good. Portable and with a vegetable, brilliant.

Tomato bread with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins. One of my favorite things from Barcelona.

Tomato bread with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins. One of my favorite things from Barcelona.

Street food in Barcelona: juice bar style.

Street food in Barcelona: juice bar style.

Overall, my only regret is not having more time or more stomachs. I will return to Barcelona, and encourage you to add it t your bucket list if you haven’t already been.

Down every narrow street in Barcelona, great food awaits.

Down every narrow street in Barcelona, great food awaits.

What’s your favorite non-US food city? Post a comment below, or Tweet!

Send your questions, lucrative deals, and extra coffee to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus!

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Thoughts from Barcelona

Gentle Readers, sometimes food and atmosphere are too good not to be shared. As described by so many of you here, Barcelona is an incredibly beautiful city, and I’ve been lucky to experience it a bit this past week through work.

The Profound and the Profane: Barcelona in Modernity

The Profound and the Profane: Barcelona in Modernity

The keyword in the above sentence is “work.” I have a lot more of it to do, so here is a quick view of my week in pictures. More to come.

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Tomato bread from Barcelona.

Tomato bread from Barcelona.

Do you take more pictures of scenery of food when you travel? Post a comment below, or ping me on Twitter!

Send your euros, deep thoughts, and legitimate questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Wrap Up from the Road.

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Filed under On the Table, Restaurant Reviews