Before traveling to Barcelona I did some extensive research on lunch ideas. As we’ve been roaming through the neighborhoods there are many outdoor cafes always filled with people eating, drinking and talking. I’m also very aware that no one has a phone on the table and are engaged in what appears to be intense conversation. Not being able to understand what is being said, I know they are solving the world’s problems over drinks and jamon.
On one of our walks the other day we found a small Italian place in L’Eixample that offered a menu del dia. For 10 euros you get bread, 2 courses and a drink. It was a cozy place filled with smells that made me nostalgic for Italian home cooked meals of my childhood. The place was filled with what appeared to be mostly Italian ex-pats, which is a good sign in this international city. We each ordered a menu del dia so we could try a few options. I figured it would be small lunch portions and as soon as el primer arrived, we knew we were in trouble. It was a massive plate of thick creamy carbonara. My husband’s ziti with eggplant arrived next and while we are really talented eaters we both said we may have to eat and push this around to look like we ate more. Next comes the pizza, el segundo, followed by a deconstructed caprese salad with jamon, of course. I should also mention that this was around 3:30 in the afternoon, it was our first meal of the day, having spent the night before crawling around the pintxos bars and later that evening we had reservations at Tickets. We wanted to be polite but we did not want to ruin what would be one of the best meals in our lifetime and not be able to get through it. Luckily, my husband’s Spanish was able to ask for una caja para llevar (a box to take away) and our server happily obliged.
We both agreed to maybe split this next time. What’s best is that we took about a 2 hour walk afterwards to digest and refresh and arrived upon the Arc de Triomf, which was the original entrance to the 1888 Barcelona World Expo. I’m convinced that eating, drinking, walking and taking in the sights (and gazpacho, of course) is the key to a happy life. One last note, be assured that the Tickets blog post is in the works.