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Barcelona recommendations

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An open letter to two esteemed members who are making their first trip to this, one of my three favorite cities, later this summer. Veterans might wish to skip the "obvious" section:   Obvious thin

On many trips to Barcelona, I stayed in an apartment rented out by its owner. I found it in the columns of a newspaper or magazine, and it was great value (they since sold it) - but it's worth lookin

Agree re the cava - it was awful.   The tapas was good though, and the atmosphere fun.   In terms of cost, a couple of poker players shouted our bill.

  • 3 weeks later...

And it was great. Pedagogically brilliant, showing how he figured out how to make his super-aesthetic pure abstraction of 50s available to anti-fascist militancy of 60s/70s, plus a separate show of personal works for his wife.

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When wine is 4.50 euros BTG at quite a smart restaurant, you can order a huge meal and pay about $60. With the exception of a few reserves, bottles were in the 20-30 euro range.


Smoked eel, stewed tripe, suckling pig, cheeses, cava, local red: Agut (it seems to have dropped the d'Avinyo).

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I was thinking that last meal was a gut buster, but I did eat the large size assortment of embutidos at La Pineda for lunch (why would you eat the small unless you knew you'd be back next week?), and then there was the plate of octopus at Bar Celta on the way to dinner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bad news I meant to pass on: Bar Pastis has gone. I wonder what happened to all the memorabilia.


For those who don't know, a very old French bar in what was once a dark alley in the Barri Xines. Approaching from the Ramblas, you ran the gauntlet of a crowd of heavy-set trans prostitutes. God knows what you had to get through if approaching from the other end.


A place to hear Edith Piaf at 4am after failing to honor all your good resolutions.


It's now a global Irish bar with a bouncer, and the street is paved and well lit.

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  • 6 months later...

I was at Estimar in September.


It is indeed a very good, but somewhat overpriced*, pure products place featuring only things from the sea …with the exception of a meat or two as a final protein … and there are a few veggie side dishes that are supposed to accompany your fish (or meat) course, some of which could work standalone as an earlier course if so desired IMHO.


The closest Barca analog would be Rias de G, with Rias de G being a larger resto with a more extensive menu. The major diff between these two is that Rias de G is a more "upscale" experience in a bigger space in a kind of sort of NYC-Midtown way (where it would be perfectly in line to see a bunch of business men in sport coats / tie-less suits, with or w/o wives, happily (proudly?) putting themselves on display) whereas Estimar is a small, cool, high-quality place with a more NYC-EV feel, which makes sense of course since Estimar is located down a dark, narrow alley with a forced left at the marijuana shop and then you hurriedly enter the safe resto space, hopefully before you are robbed, knifed or find yourself down an organ or two. But quite frankly, I’d estimate that the chances of a real bad outcome like that are pretty low, let’s say 1-2% per person, so I wouldn’t let that hold you back cuz life is short and has all kinds of other risks anyway …



*In general, Estimar has very high quality product and they know how to prepare / cook it but why is their fish priced at 90 or 100 euros per kg (just the fish, nothing with it) when Rias de G is at 65 to 70 for the exact same fish (and I believe it comes with some (lame) veggies but it's been a while since I was there). There is no reason to believe that there is a fish quality difference IMHO. If such pricing details don’t annoy you too much then I’d say to give Estimar a shot because it is exactly what you said you are looking for and you’ll probably like it** !


** assuming they don’t overcook the overpriced fish … with an approx 11-12% chance of that happening, estimaria


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Since I don’t recall this place being mentioned before, I’ll add that if you are in that exact location during daylight hours, there is an old, charming food store that I have a crush on and always seem to go to … Casa Gispert.


They have a wide assortment of nuts, dried fruits, chocolates, olives, oils, spreads, crackers, spices, some (so-so) canned products, etc.


I’m mostly partial to their dried fruits (pineapple, mango, apricots, figs (the powdered ones) but I personally find their peaches to be too moist) and I’m pretty happy with their slab chocolate, with just almonds or with almonds and fruit. I’m not talking their uninteresting, prepackaged chocolate bars but when you enter the store on the right they have big slabs of chocolate (at least 1ft x 1ft) that they break into whatever size you desire. You never know which variety(ies) they may have on any given day though.


Their various nuts are probably good too but it’s just not my thing

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Thanks - I booked Estimar , it does indeed sound what I am looking for. R d G is fine but I don’t like the atmosphere for some reason and the food last time was slightly sub par.

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