Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Botafumeiro in Barcelona, Spain
See those funny-looking things above? They're percebes, those local gooseneck barnacles that you might have seen on a Zimmern or Bourdain episode when they risked life and limb to collect them on rocks near an ocean. I've always wanted to try them, and I was told that this place was a good place for it (81 Gran De Garcia, 93-218-4230). It sure looked promising with all of the live shellfish out front, not to mention that wonderful grilled seafood aroma coming out of the kitchen.
And yes, I liked the percebes. After peeling off the tough skin on the neck, one ate the solid and briny flesh inside, tasting a bit like a long clam. What I liked even better though were those scampi above. Normally tail meat bores me, but this tail meat was delightfully (and naturally) sweet...and all with the added bonus of some rich headfat to go with it. I nearly wanted to step outside just so that I could pump my fist and yell, "f*ck yeah!" This totally blew me away; I could've easily eaten more of those.
But instead, I closed my meal with some gulas. Mind you, this wasn't the cheap fake stuff, but real baby eels...at a whopping €120 (US$130) for that serving above. Now, I'll be honest in that I probably wouldn't have known the difference (and interestingly, you're supposed to use a wooden fork, lest a metal fork mess up the taste), but I gobbled it all up either way. This old school place is easily one of my favorite restaurants now. Next time I should remember to try some of that sliced artichoke and even baby shrimp that I thought I saw others eating.
Digested at 9:26 PM
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