The Bite-Sized Baker’s Adventures – Barcelona, Spain II
We finally returned to Barcelona after our long trip to France and Italy! On the night of our return we had a big black tie event at Bell Recó. Bell Recó is a beautiful Spanish villa located in the mountains of Barcelona… I kind of felt like I was in the Princess Diaries… except instead of wearing a princess ball gown I was wearing my Junior year Homecoming dress. Kind of the same thing.
(Photo from Barcelona Wedding)
The night was absolutely amazing! We took a dirt road to get there and as soon as we stepped out of the car we walked down a red carpet where there was champagne and photographers. Hence why I felt like I was in the Princess Diaries.
The night consisted of a five-course meal, live entertainment, dancing, and the guest speaker of the event… Papa John!!!
My drunken college life kind of revolved around Papa John’s so when I met him I was kind of star-struck. And Spoiler Alert: Papa John is not Italian… He’s Irish and German and I was shocked. But Italian or not he was a perfect gentleman and even agreed to take a picture with Tony and I and listen to my stories about how Papa John’s was our go-to drunk food and we would purposely leave bars early to order Papa John’s in college. Skinny, I know. **Also, Regan, expect a surprise in the mail very soon.
The following night Tony and I explored the strip of restaurants and bars on the beach near our hotel to watch the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid soccer game. We ended up watching the game at Ice Barcelona where I drank the most delicious mojito I’ve ever had and then proceeded to get drunk on beer and sangria. After the game we feasted at a nearby tapas restaurant called Agua.
We ate these amazing mussels in a garlic, herb, butter sauce. It was to die for. We also ordered a steak-frites with a béarnaise sauce, lamb ribs with the most amazing red wine sauce and mashed potatoes, and dessert. I don’t quite remember the dessert but this meal was so good we ended up going there again the next day to eat more of the mussels, paella, and sangria.
The last few days in Barcelona we spent more time in La Boqueria than I would like to admit… La Boqueria is a huge open market where vendors offer fresh seafood, meat, fruit, vegetables, herbs, seasonings, candies, confections, pastries, and everything else! A food lover’s dream.
Our favorite vendor was the Pinotxo Bar. On our first day in Barcelona, Tony and I went on a tour of the city and our guide brought us to La Boqueria to order us his “favorite pastry from his favorite place in all of Barcelona,” a xiuxo.
(Photo from Cravings and Wanderlust… because I was too busy stuffing my face to take a quality photo for myself.)
I have never tasted anything like a xiuxo in all my life. I would describe it as a combination of a churro and doughnut with a crème filling. It had a crunchy outside and a melt-in-your-mouth center. But upon further investigation we’ve agreed that it is essentially a deep fried croissant, rolled in sugar, and filled with Catalan crème. We tried it from other vendors and let me tell you, all xiuxos are note created equal. If you want a xiuxo you must go to Pinotxo Bar and pair it with a tallat. You will be talking about it for a week after. Literally. I told everyone I met.
(Above: Tony describing a xiuxo to fellow diners)
On our last day in Barcelona we were determined to buy a dozen of xiuxos to bring back with us. Unfortunately, they were SOLD OUT. I was devastated beyond words. But thankfully, we filled up on a delicious breakfast of tallat, a ham-breakfast sandwich, and potato, cheese, and mushroom croquettes… I am still pretty upset that I didn’t get one last taste of xiuxo but I am determined to find a similar recipe so I can recreate it to share with all!