Steve and I have just returned from Barcelona, a city I have wanted to visit ever since I saw the film Vicky Christina Barcelona! The scenery and architecture looked amazing and it did not disappoint me in real life. The temperature was still cool but we had sunny glorious blue skies. We even managed to eat al fresco a couple of times.
I was very excited about sampling the Catalan cuisine – meats, cheese, tapas and paella all washed down with a glass of Sangria or pint of Estrella. There are plenty of lovely looking restaurants and cafes, here are a few we discovered…
Milk Bar & Bistro
Riera Alta 4-6, Barcelona 08001
Steve and I decided that our favourite area in Barcelona was the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic), a labyrinth of narrow streets occasionally opening out into small squares, full of history and beautiful architecture. The streets were full of places to eat and we stopped at Milk Bar one morning to have what I believe is the best breakfast I’ve ever had. The place was bustling and we were lucky enough to get the last free table. The breakfast menu was brilliant and I was torn between several dishes but my sweet tooth was calling and I decided to go for french toast dusted in cinnamon, served with berries, Greek yogurt and honey. Steve had the eggs Benedict with bacon on sour dough toast which also came served with a portion of fried potatoes, which was a nice addition and filled Steve up nicely!
La Cuina d’en Garriga
Consell de cent, 308 08007 Barcelona
We were told we must visit this restaurant by James and Lydia! I remember Lydia tagging me on Facebook in a photo of this place when they visited it a couple of years ago, telling me that I would love this place. It’s only a small place, and we almost walked straight past it. The restaurant also doubles up as a small deli and cook wear shop. As you walk in you are greeted by a small fruit and veg section with a beautiful set of weighing scales on the front counter. We waited for 10 minutes or so while a waiter laid us a table as we hadn’t booked, whilst drinking a glass of Cava – which is produced in this area of Spain, so well worth a try and it’s usually pretty cheap too! We ordered a selection of Catalan meats and cheeses – 2 types of Manchego and a goats cheese. We couldn’t have gone here without trying their burrata- Lydia would have been most disappointed in us. The burrata has a mozzarella shell which surrounds and creamy mozzarella middle, which was delicious spread of some crusty bread and eaten with the pesto dressed salad and tomatoes.
Carrer Regomir, 4 – 08002 Barcelona
This was another great find in the gothic quarter. We came here for tapas where we were advised to order about 3 dishes per person. Unfortunately our table was quite small so our dishes were staggered throughout the night, but we didn’t mind too much! The first dish that arrived was a portion of patatas bravas and small green peppers which had been blistered with salt which were just divine! This was followed by a mushroom profiterole and truffle ravioli served in a creamy parmesan sauce – this was our absolute favourite tapas, I could have eaten a whole bowl of it! Next we had flank steak with ‘piquillo’ red pepper sauce and sautéed spinach with mushrooms and a Normandy style casserole served with grilled Camembert. We even managed to fit in a dessert to share – a cheesecake served with dulce de leche and toasted almonds, we were assured by the waiters that this was “the best!”