January 28, 2012

Can Mano in Barcelona

We walked from La Rambla to a restaurant called Can Mano.  It was recommended by our host.  Can Mano is a typical, noisy Catalonian restaurant.  It was around 1 pm and the place was packed.  
He must be the owner
Waiting to be seated 
Kitchen
Menu pasted on wall
Alcachofas (artichoke)-deep fried
Chipirones (Squid)-deep fried
The food we had is atypical of Catalonian food.  Our host told us that we must try them.  It was fresh seafood coated in batter and deep-fried.  The alcachofas (artichoke) was something we had not tried before not even fresh ones. The outer layer was chewy so I had them peeled off.  The inner layer was tasty and a delightful way to eat the vegetable. The chipirones would be what I say...try them! It was not common for us to eat it whole including the ink. I remembered my mother telling me to totally remove the 'ink sac' from the squid before cooking.  Or...we would all die from poisoning. LOL. It was an enjoyable experience and the taste...loved it.
Boquerones (anchovies)-deep fried
Bread served!
We were each given a roll of hard bread.  The bread...erm it was just placed on the table. LOL 
The atmosphere was lively and noisy but we enjoyed ourselves.  It was not just the food, it was the feeling of 'being there' dining like the Catalonians.  Do not be surprised to find a group of singers coming into the restaurant and singing loudly.  It is common as whilst we were there, two groups came in and after they finished singing, they walk around, asked for contributions.  I was so caught up with it; I forgot to take a picture. (Get your money ready.)
Caramel custard & coffee
When the first picture was taken (above), there was only a couple waiting.
Then...it grew longer...
Longer line...by the time we walked out of the restaurant.
...And longer. It was 3:30 pm when we left Can Mano. :o)  Located at 20 Carrer Del Baluard Barceloneta, 08003. Tel: 93 319 30 82.

January 27, 2012

La Paradeta Born...seafood fresh as fresh can be

La Paradeta was a recommendation by our host in Barcelona.  We were told that most seafood (marisco) would cost us an arm and leg to enjoy in Barcelona.  La Paradeta is just the opposite. It is a restaurant that served seafood caught by the owners' boat (that would mean cheaper in prices).  The restaurant is also self-service right to the end.  That meant you pick out what you want from the many boxes of fish, clams, mussels, etc.  Then they are weighed, cooked and served.
La Paradeta is of the relaxed café-style and it is self-service.  Diners pick out what they want to eat from the many boxes/trays of fish, clams, mussels, lobsters, etc.  They are then weighed and payment made.  It would be advisable to order everything at once as the waiting line is usually quite long.  We did what the other diners did then went to a table and sat down.  The place was quite packed but the waiting time was not too long.  Our food arrived in about 20 minutes.  The person at the counter waved (she knew hubby do not speak Spanish) and hubby collected the food.  
Mixed salad with tuna (back) & Deep fried calamari
mussels
White Tuna
Bamboo Mussels
And...more mussels
The plates of seafood were very fresh. The way of cooking was a surprise to both of us.  It was nothing elaborate, just steamed and served drenched in olive oil with herbs.  The taste was superb.  Hubby wished he had ordered lobster when he ordered the extra portion of mussels.  In his words...I could finished off a whole lobster easily. (I am not a lobster person.)  The way the seafood was cooked was easy on the palate and digestion.  In addition, it was reasonably priced.  The whole meal including drinks (2 cokes) cost us €32.35. Do remember to clear the table of your own plates, cups and take it to the counter.  It is self-service right until the end.  (Plates and glasses, they go to different counters) I wondered if such a system would work in Malaysia. :o)
La Paradeta Born located at : C/ Comercial 7, 08009 Barcelona, Tel. 932 681 939
Coordenadas GPS: 41º 23' 10.50" N | 2º 11' 01.78" E

Conesa...So Good Sandwiches plus more

No one introduced Conesa (located opposite the Palace of the Generalitat building) to us.  We walked around and reached Placa Sant Jaume.  There we saw a long line of people outside the shop.  The shop was small and did not look very impressive.  Out of curiosity, hubby decided to join the line.  
The menu pasted on the glass window was extensive.  A friendly man translated quite a few items listed on the menu to hubby.  Even patatas bravas were on the menu. Tables are limited inside the shop.  The day we were there, the place was packed.  Even the 'standing style of dining' where there you stand and eat at a table, were filled.  We decided to take have our sandwiches packed.  It was done simply...putting the two (plus one extra) already wrapped ones into a plastic bag.  
The sandwiches are prepared using the easiest method-grilled with no oil.  The buns, sausages, meat and others (depending on what you ordered) are placed in their special grill and cooked.  The buns and the grill, they are Conesa's trademark. Delicious, Simple and Quick food.   It became our 'take-away' food for supper till we depart from Barcelona.:o)
Conesa is located at: Barri Gòtic, Llibreteria 1(Plaça Sant Jaume), 08002 BARCELONA. To arrive there : use Metro Jaume (Line 4)