Monday, May 19, 2008

Discovering J. Torrents Lladό


The home and studio of J. Torrents Lladό contains around 100 of his works as well as his personal belongings. There is a stunning courtyard garden. It is located at C/ de la Portella 9, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Photo by Rosario Charie Albar

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Comemos! España



Madrid
La Barraca - Calle Reina, off Gran Via
Best place for authentic paella. Beautiful dining rooms and private rooms available for groups (There were 7 of us).
Miau - Plaza San Angel
Great tapas bar. Try their selection of canapés. We thought we overordered but ended up finishing everything but the torta de patatas which was too much for 5 people.
Meson de la Guitarra - Calle San Miguel
Good selection of tapas. Receives quite a crowd. Guitarist plays all evening but we also were entertained by guest diners who brought their own guitars. Cave setting.
La Mallorquina - Puerta del Sol
Selection of pastries from 1 euro. I particularly like the hojaldre and neapolitana (with choice of fillings).

Segovia
Meson del Candido - in front of the aqueduct
The roasted suckling baby pig is the house specialty. It is moist and tender. Quite tasty.

Sevilla
El Alabardero - Calle Zaragoza
Best dining in Spain. Loved the arroz in langoustine sauce, marinated skewered fish, and pastel of white asparagus. Melts in your mouth. Try the local Manzanilla wine.
Café Roman - Barrio Santa Cruz
Usually crowded. Best spot is to stand by the bar and order chorizo, bacalao and oveja cheese.
Horno San Buenaventura - Avenida Constitucion,in front of the Cathedral
Choice of pastries. Great for morning coffee and late afternoon merienda.

Palma de Mallorca
Taberna El Burladero - Calle Concepciόn, 3B
We spent a nice afternoon here until the rain subsided. Try their veal albondigas and the variado 6 tapas. Order some Manzanilla tea on a cold day. Extra attentive service.
La Bodeguilla - Calle San Jaime, 3
Upscale look. Good selection of wines. Love the vino dulce, a sweet white wine. I savored every bit of the pastel of salmon I ordered. Excellent service.

Valdemossa
Aromas - off Carrer Uetam
The chocolate drink with marron glacé was so thick and rich, I'll always remember it.

Barcelona
FrescCo - Carrer Caspe, 30
Eat as much as you can. Start at the salad bar, try any of two soups of the day, continue with a hot dish (menu del dia) and selection of pizzas, finish off with cake and fruits. Drink as much as you can. Your choice of beverage or beer then coffee or tea with dessert. All for less than 10 euros.
Lactuca - Ronda Sant Pere, 17 near Plaza Catalunya and a branch near Sagrada Familia
Same concept as FrescCo. I liked the chicken dish and the gazpacho soup (hot dishes change daily). Take as long as you want and dine at leisure.
Cuines Santa Caterina - at Mercat Santa Caterina, near the Cathedral in the Barrio Gotic
Trendy restaurant at the market. Loved the cold melon and mint soup. Busy with the lunch crowd. Stars for ambience.
Farggi - Passeig de Gracia, 2
Popular ice cream and coffee joint.

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Where's the legroom?


This is the toilet at one of the hotels where I stayed in Spain. It had me pondering not only about how to get my left leg into the incredibly tight space (I couldn't) but also how this was conceived and by who. And most importantly, who approved this? Even Twiggy couldn't slide her leg in there. If you exclaim, "Oh *&%#!", you wouldn't be out of line.

This gives me a new appreciation of airline seats in cattle class.

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Photo by Rosario Charie Albar

Friday, May 02, 2008

Month of Festivals


We are in Madrid during the height of the bicentennial celebrations of the city. Concert stages have been erected in various plazas and we had the chance to listen to rehearsals at Plaza Mayor while dining at an outdoor cafe. There are people everywhere especially at Puerta del Sol where it´s nearly impossible to get around without running into someone. There´s music in the air courtesy of street performers. We´ve listened to mariachi bands and Peruvian groups as well as classical violinists. We´ve stopped to watch human statues that suddenly move when you place money into their pots. A sexy lady will sway her hips and raise her skirt when she receives a little dinero and a cowboy all in black will swing his gun for the ladies. We´ve enjoyed the tapas bars with the array of hors d´ouevres like chorizo, queso de manchego, oliva, croquetas de jamon, torta de patatas and so much more, washed down with sangria or vino dulce while the men drink draft beer. We ate the best paella at La Barraca in Madrid, thanks to Carmel and Miguel, and roasted suckling pig at Meson del Candido in Segovia. Only a few days in Madrid and my companions are already discerning enthusiasts of pastries from La Mallorquina and café natural from Café y Te.

There are still many things to see but we´ll have to set those aside for now because we are enjoying the sounds and flavors of Madrid. Hasta luego.