A 5am start isn't a lot of fun. Even less fun if you're G who had the 200ish mile drive to Barcelona. I was dreading the last day as our flight was late at night and I could see it dragging out in front whichever way I looked. Surprisingly amazing times are the best aren't they, and that was what was to follow? We hugged G&J goodbye at the airport, made our way to Estacio Sants and deposited our cases in left luggage. Now what to do?
|Very early start!|
All the times I've been to Barcelona I've never been to the Olympic area in Parc Montjuic. So it was here myself and M headed hoping to while away the hours. Contemplating food and with a little look at the guidebook we wandered the streets looking for somewhere that did food but didn't feel the need to advertise with a photograph of paella on a sandwich board or window. Then I saw the window full of bottles of olive oil with the Tickets logo. I'd been recommended Tickets on Twitter and wondered if this was it. The sign said Casa de Tapes Cañota (Carrer Lerida) and a quick internet trawl made things no clearer. It opened in 15 minutes so we decided on a San Miguel in a cafe across the road and wait to take our chances with it. The queue that started to form at the door told us it was a good decision and we got just about the last table and appeared to be the only non locals. Always a good sign.
First up was an amuse of Iberico ham, thin slivers of acorn intense pork and sweet melt in the mouth fat, a perfect appetiser to whet the appetite.Then pan tostado served with an unpeeled clove of garlic and tomato in a basket. Simple yet stunning with intense garlic and sweet ripe tomato which was followed by anchoas and a small cup of clear beef consomme to accompany the meal. Two different croquetas followed. Iberico which was light and delicate, almost sweet and bacalao which had a wonderful well balanced taste of salt and sea. The obligatory Patatas bravas appeared also but not like I've tasted before, simply boiled potatoes, not fried and rich in tabasco with a wonderful creamy allioli.
Zorza lugo followed, minced pork ragu with a nest of rosti style potatoes and a soft fried egg. The last dish was the only disappointment, Costillas conejo. Little rabbit ribs with garlic which were amazing on first taste, but after two the saltiness took over and almost drowned out the rest of the meal. There were a few left at the end, partly due to having overeaten slightly and partly due to the unpalatable saltiness. However I can forgive them this little faux pas, maybe it was because we'd milked the one glass of cava for the whole meal!
After a little break watching the stylish and beautiful people of this chic district of Barcelona it was time for a little sweetness to cut through the rich flavours and begin the digestion process. Ordering Creme Catalane to share proved to be a good idea. As it was a sharing size portion, for more than two I would have said! Small fraises de bois, rich custard, lovely caramelised sugar topping with a mango coulis which had a great acidity that cut through the richness. This was comfort food with finesse.
I sat with a smile on my face through the whole meal. These are the experiences I live for and travel for and when they come around infrequently they are to be savoured. An amazing meal in an amazing city within a local setting and only 60 Euros. Perfection.
Suddenly the dreaded long day of waiting had come to life and an afternoon of wandering around the park before heading back to the airport and the flight to Scotland was a fitting conclusion to the Spanish adventure. I hope the 4Foodies will enjoy another Fiat 500 adventure. I strongly recommend it.
Previous: Day 3, last day in Burriana