Pizzas L’avia – Barcelona

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There are always plenty of things to do in Barcelona, and one afternoon, we decided to visit Montjuic. Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona and very close to the city center. In fact, you can hike up to it just by walking up from Plaza Espanya. From the Palau Nacional, which houses the Museum of National Art of Catalunya, this is the beautiful view you get of the city. If you continue up the hill, or choose to take the bus, you will reach the top of Montjuic where you will find a fortress.

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After our mini hike, U took us to Pizzas L’avia. It’s in the El Ravel neighbourhood, which is sometimes known to be a little dangerous at night. Her brother said that the little shop is great for cheap local food, so we took the adventure to check it out before it got dark. The place doesn’t look the most amazing on the outside, but the food is great and cheap!

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I love how they actually make their paella in a giant pan. It was the first time I actually saw such a big paella pan in person.

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They also have a bunch of other dishes and desserts. Yes, the dishes are not exactly fresh, since they are pre- made, but freshness wasn’t really a big factor in making these dishes delicious.

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They are famous for their Empanadas. We chose the Honey Empanada and Spinach Empanada. They were warmed up in their oven and filled generously. A great value for only around 1,30 euros each!

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I guess someone also got a Salad… Typical salad, nothing difficult in making this one.

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We got the Prosciutto and Cheese Pizza. Their pizzas are quite interesting. They don’t really dig a hole in the middle to put the fillings in. Instead, they just place the toppings right on top, so you don’t exactly get a crust on the side. The pizza was really delicious though! Extremely fluffy and although the ingredients are basic, they really work well together.

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We also got two dishes of the Paella. It’s not the best paella I’ve had, but it tasted really local and I liked how it wasn’t too saucy. The rice was a little overcooked, but I actually liked it since I find that some of the other restaurants cook it too al dente. There was an abundant of seafood such as shrimp and mussels in it.

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U said that the Bacalao here is amazing. It’s a very common dish for the Spanish, and it’s basically cod fish topped with lots of tomato sauce. This one also had eggplants and other vegetables. I found the sauce to be very similar to a ratatouille. I really enjoyed this as the sauce was actually sort of sweet!

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Lastly, we had another fish dish, and I actually found this very similar to the Bacalao, but with less sauce. I couldn’t really tell the difference, other than the fact that it was more deep fried. Tasted like cod to me too…

Overall, Pizzas L’avia is a great place to check out if you want to try some local food and at a cheap price. You can also get some of the items to go.

La Fonda (2) – Barcelona

I had visited La Fonda twice already, and this was my third time. I didn’t post another blog post for the second revisit since I had ordered pretty much the same items. It seems that whenever I have visitors, La Fonda is the place to bring them to. I guess it’s just because you can get a taste of some decent paella (which all tourists want to try!) and the menu is at a decent price. So when N came over, I took here here for dinner.

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Beef Carpaccio with Lemon Vinaigrette – carpaccio de buey con vinagreta de limon

We started off with an appetizer, and got the Beef Carpaccio. They were thinly sliced and topped with slices of cheese and drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette. It was light and appetizing.

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Black Rice – Arroz Negro

As for our entree, of course we got paella. It’s called Aroz Negro on the menu, which means black rice. It may sound odd at first, but it’s really normal rice but mixed with a squid ink sauce. You’ll find bits of squid inside as well so it’s lots of chewiness in this dish! This was 2 orders, since you have to order a minimum of 2 orders per table. We found this extremely flavourful and N really enjoyed it. You really get the seafood taste to it. I’ve had their Valencian Paella before, and I have to say this is much better even though you don’t get as many ingredients. I just enjoyed this flavour much more!

Again, La Fonda didn’t disappoint. This was my last time at La Fonda during my trip, but I’m sure I will visit again when I visit Barcelona again.

Tapas Gaudi – Barcelona

Tapas Gaudi is literally just 10 minutes away from my flat in Barcelona. It is right in front of the Clot Metro Station, hence I walk by it pretty much every day. When S came to visit me, we decided to go grab dinner and since we were too lazy to metro elsewhere in the city centre, we decided to give Tapas Gaudi a try. The place was never packed, but you would see the occasional diner in there at all times.

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Seafood Paella

Since S was here for only a week, she wanted to get the most out of her paella. So of course, we ordered a Seafood Paella to share. Their paellas are around $16-18, but you do not need to order a minimum of two orders. But then again, the price is around the same as La Fonda’s when you order two there. It came with three shrimps, which remind me of crawfish. There isnt’t much meat to it as they are quite skinny. It also came with some clams and green beans. Again, it was alright. I’m still not a huge fan of paella. Having it once is honestly enough for me, personally.

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Black Rice Paella

K ordered the Black Rice Paella, which does not look very appealing, but I actually liked the flavouring of this one more. Same ingredients, but a squid ink base as the sauce, hence the rice turning black.

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Fried Milk

Lastly, S and I shared the Fried Milk as dessert. It came with some vanilla gelato and whipped cream, which were all beginning to melt. The fried milk reminded me of the ones back at home at Chinese restaurants. I actually quite enjoyed this. It was almost like a donut, but soft in the inside with a custard like texture.

Overall, Tapas Gaudi is just alright. I find that the prices are quite expensive compared to what you can get elsewhere. I believe it is mostly for tourists as it is situated right outside of the metro station. The food isn’t terrible, but it is just average for a high price.

La Fonda

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Before arriving in Barcelona, I really did not do much research into what to eat. Something that is so unlike me, since I research where to eat in Vancouver all the time. However, I luckily met S, who seemed to know his way around Barcelona really well. Since my friends were over to visit me, I had no idea where to take them. S kindly took me and my friends out and we ended up at La Fonda. We luckily did not have to wait long until we got a table. Usually, La Fonda has ridiculous line ups, because it is actually a well known restaurant for tourists. Inside, the restaurant looks extremely fancy, and at first, I was worried S had taken us to some sort of fine dining. However, after we looked at the menu, we realized the prices were very reasonable and actually much cheaper than many other restaurants.

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Sangria

We first started with a pitcher of Sangria. This is a must order in Spain, since it is basically the Spanish cocktail. The sangria at La Fonda is actually pretty good, compared to some other ones I have tried. It has a good amount of red wine and enough fruits to make it slightly sweet.

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Entrante mixto de la Fonda (Calamares a la romana, quiche de jamon y queso, croquetas, pan con tomate y fuet…)

We started off with a mixed plate of appetizers. It started with grilled cuttlefish, which was one of my favourite. The seasoning was just so good and the cuttlefish was grilled perfectly. To the right was a ham and cheese quiche, which was decent. Not the best I’ve had. Next, was a baguette with brushed tomatoes and a slice of a type of sausage. The sausage was similar to chorizo and was rather hard. Typical sausages the Spanish eat though. Next, was the calamaris fried in a Romanian style. I didn’t like these calamaris. The oil seemed rather old and the batter was not fluffy or crunchy. Next, were the croquettes, which were filled with ham and cheese. These were also one of my favourites. Last, was the grilled red peppers, which are also a common appetizer for the Spanish. The whole platter was under 8 euros, which is great if you want to try a bit of everything. Quite difficult to share between four people, but perfect for two.

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Paella Valencia

And of course, I would be dumb enough to tell my friends to save eating paella in Barcelona when we should have had some authentic paella in Valencia! I had clearly not done my foodie research, and now I regret not having paella in Valencia… So of course, we ended up trying the Paella served Valencian style at La Fonda. It was basically served with chicken drumsticks and lots of veggies amidst a flavourful sauce. You have to order a minimum of two servings, but this is perfect to share if you just want to try some paella and leave room for other dishes. The paella here is extremely well done for the price, as most restaurants charge ridiculous prices. Here, the each order is around 8 euros, so it costs around 16 euros for the minimum two orders. Not bad at all, since lots of places charge at least 16 euros for one order.

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Cordero al horno con patatas al romero

Lastly, we shared a main meat entree, which was under 12 euros. This was also one of the most expensive entree for the meat section, with most entrees costing around 8 or 9 euros. We chose the Grilled Lamb with Rosemary Potatoes and this was really good! The meat was so tender and just flaked off the bone. The sauce was flavourful, with the rosemary aroma.

In the end, we were completely full with just ordering the three dishes between the four of us. If you want some taste of Spanish food and a reasonable price, La Fonda is the place to go. You will see tons of tourists here, and the best thing is that the waiters can speak perfect English. They are just so used to dealing with tourists, that it is a tourist friendly restaurant. But it’s not one of those that rip you off with unauthentic and poor quality food. Be ready to wait unless you start lining up at 7pm for the first seating. They also have great lunch menus at a reasonable fixed price. It is tucked away near Placa Reial and accessible after a long day walking around La Rambla.