Yesterday morning, we started our day by visiting Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavlion, the National Museum of Catalan Art, and the Caixa Forum. The latter was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen in my life. It was part old cloister, part new exhibition space. Basically, any renovation architect’s dream.
For lunch, we ate at Embat, another of Antonia’s internet finds. We started off with a glass of wine each—Antonia, a white; Seth, a light red; and me, a heavy red. For a starter, I ordered a hearty tube pasta in a broth of caramelized onions, stewed mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes, topped with a gently poached egg. For my second course, I chose the cod, which was served with snails out of their shells, Iberian ham, and what I think was a sundried tomato sauce. (It might have had eggplant in it, too.) I was way too full for dessert, but Seth and Antonia decided to forge ahead. Seth ordered an amazing, complex dish of goat-milk yogurt, poached pear, pear sorbet, pear reduction, and a spicy crumble. Who knew pear could taste so delicious cooked so many ways? As he said, this is what going out to eat is all about: ordering and enjoying something that would be near-impossible to make at home. My taste buds were so tickled by the meal, and my wallet was even happier. I could not believe such a gourmet meal could set me back only twenty-three Euro, including tip.
After lunch, we visited Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and took a short walk. We took a quick rest back at the hostel, and then Antonia and I explored a neighborhood north of the Gothic Quarter. I found a jewelry shop I would like to go back to but not much else.
A couple of hours later, we met Seth at La Ria for some wine and tapas. We shared a couple of bombas (potato and meat “balls” with yogurt and tomato sauces), grilled octopus with spices, and pig’s ear. (The cartilage was a little much for me.) The food and wine were super cheap (Two glasses each plus the tapas equaled less than ten euro a person), but more importantly, I just loved sipping my Rioja and people-watching. At one point, a French man approached me and said I looked just like his ex-girlfriend. Awkward.
Today, we are looking forward to some fun in the sun. Hooray!
[Embat: 304 C/ Mallorca, Barcelona 08037]
[La Ria: 4 Carrer de Milans, Barcelona 08002]