"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Homage To Dinner, Catalonian Food, And Catalonia

     Sorry we didn't post last week from Barcelona, we couldn't get to a computer to post there, and as it was, Cy didn't cook.  We were to busy touring the Sagrada Familia, walking around Montjuic (location of most of the 1992 Olympic Stadiums), lost in the Barrio Gottico, or eating lunch at the beach.  Our apartment in the Barrio Gottico was a short walk from the Boqueria Market (and a slightly longer walk from everywhere else, Barcelona is the ultimate walkable community).  We ate twice at Pinotxo's, a rather famous restaurant in the Boqueria, we also ate twice at a seafood tapas restaurant called Cal Pep.  One day, while working our way back from Parc Guell we stumbled upon a restaurant called Café Flanders that gave us easily one of the best meals of the trip.
Inside the Sagrada Familia
     The Sagrada Familia was amazing, from the castle at the top of Montjuic you could see all the city, and the Sagrada Familia towered hundreds of feet above the rest of the buildings. Its spires rising lightly and airily hundreds of feet into the air.  From the inside the tree-like columns rose hundreds of feet into the air towards a lofty ceiling that left the inside of the basilica cool with just a slight breeze.
     On Saturday, on our Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver, I was thinking about the number of airline meals I'd eaten.  The best by far was on Korean Airlines, were we got Be-Bim-Bop, which if I remember correctly was a bowl of rice with bean sprouts, seaweed, other greens (that I couldn't name) that were very fresh and delicious and a fiery red chili paste.  On Lufthansa we had spaghetti and meatballs, which wasn't that bad, though somewhere over Hudson Bay I suffered some sort of food poison induced vomiting.  Very fun.  On our American Airlines flight to Buenos Aires four years ago we got steak and mashed potatoes, very, very fake mashed potatoes.  The most unappetizing was our meal on United en route to Brussels.  Who wants to eat a steak shaped slab of "chicken" covered in tomato puree with side of "home-style french fries"  all in about a half inch of oh so deeply unappetizing water.  What could be so hard about serving people a meal that is at least mildly appetizing?
     Cyrus is making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with a side of Catalan Toast.  Catalan toast is bread that's been toasted and has been rubbed with garlic, tomato and has olive oil drizzled atop it.  Cy is receiving cooking help from his friend Leo tonight, right now they are rolling the meatballs, and dad is toasting the bread for our catalan toast.  The joke about the toast is, "If this is Cattle-on-Toast, where's the Cattle?"  While writing my dissertation on Airline food, dinner's been finished and we're ready to eat.

     The spaghetti and meatballs were excellent.  Much like Lufthansa's spaghetti and meatballs they were a little under-sauced, and the catalan toast was perfect, just like every restaurant in Catalan. I think Catalan Toast is the kind of dish that is more or less foolproof.  The meatballs were high light of the meal. They were half ground beef and half ground pork, mixed with egg and panko bread crumbs, some onion and garlic and rolled in floor and then sautéed in oil. We also had a side of an excellent salad that was dressed up with segments of  blood oranges and a vinaigrette dressing made with white balsamic vinegar and a very tasty olive oil.
It was great to travel and great to get back home too!

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