Paella Please

Today, the one word probably most directly associated with Spanish cuisine is tapas. But in my youth, there was nothing more symbolic of a Spanish meal than Paella. Filipinos are no strangers to this dish as its main ingredient is a pantry staple – rice. But more than that, it serves as a tradition in countless households.

Sampling many Paellas from different spots definitely completed our Barcelona trip. Here, I share some of my favorite ones.

BARCELONETA

One of the many seaside tables at Barceloneta

One of the many seaside tables at Barceloneta

A gorgeous spot by the ocean, Barceloneta is one of the most memorable restaurants we went to. Asides from the food being exceptional, the ambiance was a constant reminder that we were on vacation. Its menu is catered to a more continental customer, incorporating tapas with mainstream dishes that were elevated. From salads and ceviches, soups, and of course, a variation of rice plates (paella) and fideos, it was difficult to choose what to order. We finally made our selection, and nothing that came to the table disappointed. But more than anything, I can still taste the seafood paella – rice that felt like it had been simmering in the freshest seafood broth forever – saying this was a memorable lunch would be an understatement.

Steamed Rock Mussels

Mejillones de Roca al Vapor (Steamed Rock Mussels)

Calamarcitos a la Plancha

Calamarcitos a la Plancha (Grilled Squid)

Ensalada de Ventresca de Bonito y Cebolla Tierna

Ensalada de la Casa con Bonito (Green Salad with Tuna)

Paella Moll del Rellotge (Fish and Seafood)

Paella Moll del Rellotge (Fish and Seafood)

A closer look...

A closer look…

The sweetest mini strawberries in this cream roll

Postre – The sweetest mini strawberries in this cream roll

Enjoying our seafood lunch by the ocean

Enjoying our seafood lunch by the ocean

 

XATIVA ARROSSERIA

Xativa specializes in their paellas, making use of rice and fideuas  – a very thin and short noodle which soaks up the flavors and juices just as well as rice does. Also a standout, when it came to this national treasure, it is a place I will always return to when traveling to Barcelona.

To start - Pan con Tomate topped with...

To start – Pan con Tomate topped with…

Jamon Iberico

Jamon Iberico

Paella de Cebolla Ecologica Caramelizada Melosa (Caramelixed Organic Onion Paella - Creamy Rice)

Paella de Cebolla Ecologica Caramelizada Melosa (Caramelixed Organic Onion Paella – Creamy Rice)

Fideua con Gambas, Almejas, Sepia y Calamar con Alioli (Fideua Noodles with Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Clams, and Squid and a Garlic Oil Sauce)

Fideua con Gambas, Almejas, Sepia y Calamar con Alioli (Fideua Noodles with Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Clams, and Squid and a Garlic Oil Sauce)

To soak up the juices...

To soak up the juices…

A very happy hubby

A very happy hubby

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