What do you do when your roommate is alone in Barca for the day and you have nothing else going on? Well, I hopped on a train – that’s what. After my last visit to Barcelona, I vowed to return to cross off some more “to see/do” items on my list, including Park Güell, Camp Nou, and las playas (the beaches). Friday morning I got up, bought a ticket and met Erin at her hotel on the beach. I arrived around three and was pretty hungry, so the first thing we did was head into the city center and grabbed some food. First stop was a beautiful market – La Boquería on las ramblas. Although the tapas place we intended to go to was closed, we were able to walk around the market and Erin was able to grab this delicious Strawberry juice, before venturing to Mercat Santa Catarina. Here we ate at one of the restaurants on the patio and indulged in some tapas which included: pan con tomate (tomato spread over toasted bread with olive oil), alcachofas fritas (fried artichoke, and burrata con tomate y ajo (burrata with tomato and garlic). After lunch we walked around the gothic quarter, saw the Barcelona Cathedral, and strolled on the boardwalk till we reached her hotel. Following a quick ice cream break, we headed towards the lobby to check our phones (free WiFi is a precious commodity, ya know?) and ended up staying down there sipping away on some of the best café con leche I’ve had and delicious chocolate pop rocks. After our hour of free wifi was up, we attempted to make reservations for 9:30 at this amazing restaurant, Paco Meralgo, however, they were booked and told us to just try and get a table there. Erin really wanted to go back and I really wanted to try this place, so we went in, dropped the boss’ name (at the recommendation of the concierge) and were seated within 15 minutes. Eight plates of tapas, a glass of champagne and rosé, and two satisfied palettes later, we were finished. I didn’t think I could fall in love with Spanish food anymore, but the cuisine was truly divine. We ate tuna al carpaccio, salmon on a biscuit, brie and bread, assorted grilled vegetables, fried artichokes (again), pan con tomate, and extra spicy patatas bravas. Paco Meralgo (who’s means “to eat something in Spanish – PAra Comer Algo) is definitely atop my list of favorite restaurants in Spain. If you ever catch yourself in Barcelona, I highly recommend you go!
All that food resulted in a mini food baby, so the two of us decided to walk a little before hopping into a cab back to the hotel. Though we had originally planned on going out, especially with 4 of the hottest clubs situated at the base of the hotel, Erin and I ended up watching Spanish TV and passing out. She had an early flight (even earlier if you count the DST that just began in Spain) to Prague and it just didn’t make sense to go out for 3 hours if she had to be on a plane in 4 hours.
This morning I woke up at 9:30, got ready and walked around Barcelona’s harbor and beaches, before making my way to the Barcelona-Sants train station. Unaware of how late I wanted to stay, I didn’t make train reservations for my return trip to Madrid and ended up taking the last “free” train back to Madrid, four hours after I planned. In my long wait, I walked around the area near the station and found a restaurant with a menu del día, which was an adventure in itself. Let’s just say I should brush up on my catalan before ordering next time (see tweet below).
Though I didn’t get to see Park Güell or Camp Nou, I had so much fun on this gastronomy trip. Like my Mom always says, leave something to come back to.
I have to get up tomorrow, so I’m off to bed! Happy Easter