SPICY BARCELONA

PRE-READING WARNING: You should know I am a big spicy-food-addict: I use dijon mustard “extra forte” with just a bit of oil as my salad dressing, I don’t have my nacho crisps with spicy salsa but more have salsa with a bit of nachos  etc. you get the picture..

After having tried several Mexicans and Italians, and searching and searching… I HAVE FINALLY FOUND MY SPICY FOOD! The Infierno de Dante!

You know that expression: “stop looking and it’ll turn up”? Yup that’s exactly what happened to me:

It’s about 22h30, my friend and I are desperately looking for a restaurant which offers food other than tapas in El Barrio del Born but can’t seem to find anything decent…until we see on a plaça: VIA Margutta.  We look at the menu outside and the minute I see the L’Inferno di Dante with a little * next to the name I know that’s a good sign…

Indeed, I find the other * at the bottom of the menu where it is written: To those courageous who survive the Infierno de Dante, we will offer them a shot of Limoncello or Grappa. ….“Oh it is ON”.

The ingredients of the pizza: tomate, mozzarella, spicy salami ‘ciambella’, giundilla verde, chilli africano.

After a few bites, my tongue is already on fire and I am loving the fact that I need to inhale air several times in order to calm my taste buds! Unfortunately my friend, who is “normal”, does not enjoy it as much as I do… It is so spicy that he, who only takes a little bite, goes all red and is on the verge of crying.. Oops…

MENU:http://www.bcnrestaurantes.com/barcelona-carta.asp?restaurante=pizza-concept

Enjoy!

P.S this restaurant is good quality and also good for people who just want a normal Italian dish. It actually WON in eltenedor (better than trip advisor)

BEST ITALIAN IN BARCELONA NOVEMBER 2012

MOST RESERVED IN BARCELONA NOVEMBER 2012

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EL JARDÍ: A BREAK FROM THE CITY…IN THE CITY

Wondering around Las Ramblas and feel like a break from the city, urbanism, bricks, roads and the sound of cars?

Turn right onto carrer de L’Hospital and right again onto a little “patio” and you’ll find El Jardí!

A cute and small terrace will welcome you. You can relax in the sun with a beautiful view of flowers and fountain.

El Jardí

El Jardí is adorable; it really feels like you’ve walked into someone’s garden. There’s a very small kitchen where they prepare fresh bocadillos and desayunos for the morning and artsy-original tapas for lunch and dinner.

Their bar is a simple and long wooden table with all their bottles displayed.

El Jardí Terrace

I went for a late breakfast there and ordered a bocadillo for 3€ and got a nice portion. In addition, their homemade sangria is really nice and refreshing after a few hours in the sun!

El Jardí Sangria

Enjoy!

Website: http://www.eljardibarcelona.es/es/inicio

SUN IS OUT: WHERE ARE THE ICE CREAMS?

Summer means: sun, beach, sun burns, monoi oil, cocktails, sangria, music, bikinis, juices… but the most important is ICE CREAM!

Where to go for a delicious ice cream?

GELAAATI DI MARCO

GELAAATI DI MARCO

Located on the corner of Placa Sant Jaume in el Barrio Gótico next to metro station Jaume I, this “gelateria” offers the best ice cream not only in Barcelona but in the WORLD! (yes exaggeration but its just to express how amazing these ice creams are).

WHY DO WE WANT TO GO HERE?

The  flavours

For dare devils: Di Marco offers a variety of original, intriguing sweet and salty flavours: Chocolate Picante (which gives a tangy spicy taste to the dark chocolate), Mojito, Rice, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozzarella di Bufala and many more…

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano

Mozzarella di Bufala

Mozzarella di Bufala

For Traditionalists: Not a big fan of change? You can also enjoy the traditional flavours such as Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry.

Newbies: Every week you can discover NEW flavours for the regulars 😉

The ingredients & Production

“Our gelato is easily absorbed because it contains low fat milk […] Furthermore, it is characterized by a low calorific value” and they do not use dyes nor hydrogenated vegetable fats.”

In addition, the ingredients are indicated on the window at the far end of the gelateria so that you know what you’re eating.

Finally all the ice creams are made in the shop. The production can be observed from inside the place.

 

The People

I could have the nicest food, if the service is crap I will never return, never recommend the place and above all not enjoy the experience. But at Di Marcos: no problemo! I went in with a friend and there were so many choices and new flavours that we didn’t know what we wanted it and if we’d like it… Although this would have annoyed other waiters, it didn’t seem to bother our waiter at all! On the contrary, he seemed to really enjoy having us taste all the different flavours! (and to be honest, I tasted so many that I almost felt full just with that..

One Happy Worker :)

One Happy Worker 🙂

Other products

You can also other products such as their yogurts, cakes and cookies which look just as tasty as the ice creams !

                                                                                   

The Location

A little plus is that it’s located right on the corner of Placa Sant Jaume. So once you’ve bought your ice cream, go ahead and visit the placa!

This ice cream parlour is a MUST on a nice sunny day!

Now all you have to do is go and CHOOSE your flavours 😀

Enjoy!! 

Facebook page 

Website 

VEGETARIANS IN BARCELONA

Being a vegetarian isn’t easy. Yes you can always order a salad but let’s face it, how much variety can you get with salads and vegetables a la plancha? And even if you do find that ONE little vegetarian restaurant there isn’t always much variety or the food tastes like grass and you, most of the time, always end up paying a fortune…

NO MORE MOANS, THERE’S JUICY JONES !

Location

Here’s the thing… it’s on a long and narrow street full of 24h alimentaciones (24h open food-shops) and dry-cleanings and isn’t in the prettiest neighborhood: El Raval. However the beauty about this place is that because the location doesn’t attract many tourists, this is a “secret wonder”.

Décor

I barely notice Juicy Jones when I walk by it. It blends in perfectly with the rest of the surroundings. The only reason I stop is because of its colourful menu displayed on its windows and the fact that google maps was indicating “destination is on your left”.

I open the door and a wave of thoughts pour in my head.

COLOURS! It’s breath-taking! I’ve never seen a place with every inch of its walls and ceilings covered in them. Is Willy Wonka going to pop out at any moment? There are also words written every here and there, words such as Barcelona, berenjena (aubergine), tofu, ensalada…

Juicy Jones (4)

Toilet door

Toilet door

 

ODOR! It is unique. I can’t quite make out what it is… I’m smelling a mix of toasted organic and whole bread scent along with tofu, herbs, spices, fresh vegetables and fruits. ..

The wooden tables and chairs are very simplistic yet perfect for this environment and accompanied by a little pot of flower with a bottle of organic olive oil.

Different sounds invade my hearing: the casual chill music (not the stereotypical vegeterain music which sounds like you’ve just entered a yoga class), the light brouha from the different groups talking, chit-chatting or simply devouring their food.

Food & Beverages 

After being shown to a table by a friendly waitress I open the menu to find, yet again!, colours and graffiti-like writing everywhere. I have different options: starters, salads*, bocadillos (sandwiches), fresh juices, hot juices, sweets and smoothies. Taped on the back of the menu is the menu del dia; menu which varies every day depending on what the chef’s mood and consists of a choice of three starters, three mains and three deserts with bread and drink included.

The entire menu is very original and will please anyone! And I promise you, you won’t find these options in any other restaurant. In addition; the great thing about Juicy Jones is that everything is homemade and fresh!

Not feeling too hungry, I went for the Tofu bocadillo, the cake of the day: apple cake and the hot lemon & ginger juice. It was, excuse my French, ORGASMIC! The bread: light, tastey, perfectly toasted and integral! The filling: slightly cooked tofu with some sort of tastey herby sauce, onions, salad and tomatoes.

Bocadillo de Tofu

Bocadillo de Tofu

The cake, really nice! Not dry and very tasty!

Pastel del dia: Manzana

Pastel del dia: Manzana

The juice, well simple but really nice! I am a big fan of ginger and for ONCE I could taste the ginger in my drink!

Hot Lemon & Ginger Juice

Hot Lemon & Ginger Juice

Prices

No no, Juicy Jones is not like every other vegetarian place which charges you 5€ for a piece of tofu or 15€ for a salad .The menu del dia for example is only 8.50!

Being French and pessimistic I think: “right so everything must be small portions and you probably finish the meal still hungry..” WRONG! I saw all those dishes come out and boy,were they big!

So there you have it. And even if you’re not a vegetarian, I still think you should go to this place just for the ambiance and for the original food they offer.

Juicey Jones:

Carrer de l’Hospital, 74

Facebook Page 

 

Bon apétit!!

*Note: I know I said at the beginning that eating salads does get tiring, but these salads don’t qualify as “typical salads”. Have a look at the pictures of the menu and see for yourself!

SANT JORDI

Cataluña is very different to the rest of Spain and Europe; they have their own language, different traditions and their own bank holidays. Every day I’m discovering more about this rebellious region which doesn’t feel “part of Spain” and wants its independence.

As much as this blog is dedicated to restaurants, bars and cafés in Barcelona I would like to talk about a certain event that I thought was very interesting and fun: Sant Jordi.

Let’s go back to February 13th.

I was getting all excited about Valentine’s day, as any girl does, and told the everyone at work that we should all come dressed in red the next day and stick hearts on the office’s walls (yes I tend to go all “out” for these type of events). I was told that Valentine’s day wasn’t a big thing here in Catalonia, that Sant Jordi was their Valentine’s day. Hmmm…

Fast-forward to April 22nd.

On our lunch break, Laura was talking about a book she needed to buy for her boyfriend and what she was going to wear and do for Sant Jordi. (Light-bulb moment: something about Sant Jordi being Catalonia’s Valentine’s Day).

THE LEGEND

Sant Jordi is celebrated on April 23rd. Legend says there once was a dragon that killed everyone in a little town. In order to satisfy the dragon’s hunger, the people would sacrifice sheep and cows. But when they no longer had any they decided to use humans. One day the King’s daughter was chosen. He begged the people to spare the princess’s life and said he’d give them all his gold and kingdom. The people rejected his offer and allowed him 8 days to say goodbye to his daughter. On the 8th day, the princess was brought to the dragon’s cave. As the dragon was about to devour the girl a knight on a white horse arrived and threw his sword straight to the beast’s heart. From the animal’s blood blossomed several roses. Jordi, the knight, took the most beautiful one and offered it to the princess.

The King, full of joy and gratitude asked him to wed his daughter. He refused and left the kingdom.

The tradition, hence, is that every man offers a rose to his girlfriend/wife, mother or/and close girl friend on the day of Sant Jordi: April 23rd.

A rose for her...

A rose for her…

R.I.P SHAKESPEARE & MIGUEL DE CERVANTES

Sounds like Valentine’s day right? Think again!

On Valentine’s day, the women are the spoiled ones: men give us a rose and we don’t do anything in return (traditionally). However, over here, the men also receive a little gift from the girls: a book. Indeed, April 23rd is also the day of Shakespeare’s and, famous Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes’s death. To honor them women offer books to their boyfriend/husband, father and/or close guy friends.

A book for him,,,

A book for him,,,

THE STREETS

In addition, the reason why everyone knows it’s Valentine’s day is mainly due to the publicity in the streets and the shops decorated with hearts everywhere. However, over here, as much as you see the “Sant Jordi Menu” signs outside of almost every restaurant and café, that is nothing compared to what you experience in the streets. During the day you will see practically EVERY girl with one or several roses! It’s insane! In fact, 40% of Catalonia’s Rose sale happens on this very day and 10% for the books!

Now let’s go back to April 22nd at 8pm

I walked out of the Sephora located on the top of Rambla Catalunya when I noticed there were people setting up little stands. Hmm.. already setting up the stands for the next day? Ok this must be quite a big thing. Laura had told me people sell roses and books on the streets. Again that is a difference compared to Valentine’s day: you do not buy the gift for your partner on your own in advance: you walk down the streets together and look for the prettiest rose for her and the perfect book for him.

April 23rd

I had barely stepped outside of my building when I saw the streets covered in red from all the rose stands! Walking around, I was just about forgetting where I was, until, in true Catalonian tradition,  I stumbled across several stands of the Catalunian-Independence party reminding the people that they wanted Independence.. yup, just in case you’d forgotten…

Rambla Catalunya

Rambla Catalunya

So if you’re ever in Barcelona around April 23rd, don’t forget to buy your loved ones roses or books! La Rambla Catalunya (not to be confused with las Ramblas!!) is the main street where everyone goes!