Hola! We recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Spain. I had been wanting to go to Spain for years and my wonderful boyfriend took me on an incredible trip. We spent several days in Madrid and Barcelona and I wanted to share with you a bit of our culinary experience while traveling. Spanish food culture is quite a bit different than what we are used to. It was so exciting to be immersed in something totally new for a week.
To start I want to confirm for you that wine or sangria is legitimately cheaper than water in Spain. The US is doing it wrong.
Tapas or small plates as they are commonly referred to in the states are very popular in Spain. The term tapas came from bartenders adding a snack on top (tapa) of a sangria or drink so that patrons wouldn't be drinking on an empty stomach.
A traditional Spanish way to eat tapas is to order a drink, several small plates, enjoy with family or friends and then move on to the next restaurant for a few more plates and drinks. Repeat several times. Sign me up!
Lunch is usually around 3/4pm and dinner is around 9/10pm which was quite an adjustment for us. We usually ended up being the first ones at the restaurant, but at least we never had to wait! Meal culture is leisurely, full of laughter and chatter and is usually accompanied by several cigarettes (not my favorite part).
Our last meal of the trip was our favorite so I wanted to share it with all of you!
Bae gets credit for finding this hidden gem in Barcelona. Located in the Poble Sec neighborhood right near our Airbnb, La Platilleria was off a small, charming street and was so OG they didn't even have a website for us to peruse beforehand.
We started the meal with two glasses of their summer drink which I would describe as a less sweet sangria, but no less tasty. It went down very easily and several glasses later we were feelin' relaxed and silly.
Our first plate was a quail salad with crunchy lettuce, pomegranates and a tangy vinaigrette served in a jam-like jar. We were instructed to shake it first to stir in the dressing before pouring it on to the plate. It was so fresh and had the perfect balance of sweet and salty in each bite. I would describe quail to taste a bit gamey, but kind of like chicken if you've never had it.
Next was a foodgasmic burrata ball topped with fresh pesto and garnished with arugula and roasted red peppers. The cheese was light and creamy and melted in my mouth. If I could I would eat burrata like this every day for the rest of my life.
Our third tapas plate was patatas bravas (fried potatoes) with garlic aioli and a mildly sweet paprika sauce. Throw garlic aioli on anything and it's amazing.
The fourth dish was oxtail and it blew my mind. It was accompanied by small dollops of mashed potatoes. The meat was super tender, similar to a good brisket. I don't love thinking about the animals I am eating, but damn ox is good. This pic doesn't begin to do it justice.
Our final dish (before dessert) was octopus in a curry sauce. It had the right amount of chewiness and was loaded with flavor. My favorite pieces were the tentacles! I got so excited about it that I forgot to snap a pic! Lo siento!
Finalmente was dessert: a dulce de leche mini sundae. Caramelized bananas, cacao nibs, chocolate ice cream and sweet dulce de leche ended this meal with a bang! I selfishly devoured the whole thing while bae watched. Same thing here - I have no self control and couldn't even stop to take a pic.
This meal was incredible. We sat outside, it was a beautiful night and the waitstaff was incredibly attentive and helpful in ordering. If you find yourself in Barcelona some time, be sure to check out La Platilleria!