This would prove to be an exhausting day for our Barcelona Portland Food Adventures group, starting with breakfast at 7 am at famed Pinoxto in La Boqueria. You may have seen this guy, Juan, featured in Rick Steves’ visit. He’s a classic.
Chef Jose Chesa, our food guide from Portland’s Ataula restaurant, ensured we enjoyed samples of their best seafood and tortillas. We ate in two shifts.
After breakfast and wandering the Boqueria, I followed Rick Steves’ walking guide and toured the Cathedral of Barcelona in more detail. I think this was also the day I visited the Picasso Museum (no photos allowed inside) and the El Born district, which has wonderful shops.
I had plenty of time to reach Xiringuito Escribà for our paella lunch on the beach, although once I was in the vicinity it wasn’t that easy to find the exact spot. This is the problem when you don’t have a data plan for your smartphone in Europe. Chris had provided a good map with our destinations circled, but I still logged some extra steps.
It was great to see the beach and a relief to find the restaurant right on time.
We were seated with open air access to the beach views and enjoyed a traditional paella lunch that was quite satisfying.
At this point of the day, a wise person would have taken a cab to our next destination, a demonstration/lecture by famed Chef Christian Escribà. But some of us weren’t that smart. We had a lot of calories to burn off, anyway. But the walk there gave some folks more blisters.
We didn’t really know what to expect of the “pastry workshop” listed for 4 pm. It turned out to be a tour of this modern-day Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and a slideshow by the man himself, Christian Escribà. This was definitely the sort of access to culinary superstars that made this trip a true food adventure.
We learned about his innovations, including cake walls. I want a cake wall.
Can I have this cake wall for my next birthday?
We had a bonus dinner scheduled for 10:30 pm. Some of our group opted out, as it had already been a massive day. But I was happy that I went (which contributed to the 31,300 steps for the day). On the way I saw a couple of the famed Gaudi-designed buildings.
The Tuset Restaurant‘s chef trained with Jose Chesa. I enjoyed the food very much, especially the peppery beef croquettes.
Next: Day 5 – Degusta Show – Spain has Microbrews and IPA!