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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
La Tomaquera – real Catalan cuisine
“If you don’t like it, it’s your own fault”, however you look at it, La Tomaquera is “special”. There’s no telephone, they don’t accept reservations and if you ask to see the wine list, the waiter will march off chuckling to himself, later returning with a carafe of house wine – you’ll drink what they drink. And that’s after he’s served the locals at the table next to you first, even though they arrived ten minutes later.
What may be brusque to some is charming to others, but lets be honest, you’re here for the food and that’s what’ll get you hooked. They know that as well as you do, and as they casually slide an appetizer of delicately boiled ous de guatlla (boiled quail eggs) onto the chequered tablecloth, you may just catch a glimpse in the waiter’s eye that tells you he knows you’re going to love it. Of course, Catalan cuisine wouldn’t be complete without pan amb tomaquet (bread with tomato) – in this place a Do It Yourself version, rubbing whole tomatoes onto the toast followed by a generous glug of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.
Then it comes to the grill – a banquet of juicy grilled conejo (rabbit – a catalan delicacy), botifarra (typical Spanish sausage) and porc. In most cases a parillada is the best option for larger groups, a fine selection of mouth-wateringly tender, locally sourced cuts. The caracoles (snails) and alcachofas (artichokes) are other catalan delights well worth a try. And that’s before you’ve even considered the famous crema catalana or rice pudding.
Take it or leave it – it’s all part of the song and dance that you can choose to join in, or get upset about and ruin the show. Either way, you’ll definitely feel part of the action here, wedged between crowded tables of loud Catalans competing for airtime in their native tongue. This is as “local” Catalan as you’ll find anywhere this side of the Pyrenees, and the food speaks for itself.
I remember the first time i went to Barcelona and was instantly hooked on the bread, tomato and olive oil with a touch of crunchy sea salt. So simple and so delicious. I cant wait to try this place – sounds fun!
September 16th, 2011 at 5:55, posted by Alex