A trip to Sant Celoni yesterday and to my Spanish “disneyland” today

8 Mar

The last few days I have been trying to figure out different neighborhoods in Barcelona. They’re not neighborhoods like I’m used to in San Fran, that are usually known for something. Some are, like around the hospital clinic metro stop, there’s a medical school and hospital, and around the universitat metro, there’s a university. But, other ones are harder to figure out and get a feel for. Maybe it’s just that I associate neighborhoods in San Francisco with a certain type of cuisine e.g. North Beach with Italian, Mission with Mexican/Central American, Chinatown – self-evident.

No matter, I’m finding cute little places that I love in all different neighborhoods. In ours, for example, we have a cute microbrew pub. The beers are good and the place has a nice, funky vibe to it. The pictures are below:

Back room:

Woman pouring microbrews:

Evolution of a beer drinker:

Mark and I also have a favorite cafe we frequent for cafe con leche. It’s called Fo Bar. It’s a hipster hangout as near as we can figure and I think the barrista gets a kick out of us. I cleaned up his bar today because it was messy and I’m a bit of a clean freak when I sit down to eat somewhere. I don’t want someone else’s food and spilled beverage in the spot I’m about to be served. The barrista eyed me and then mock wiped it up after I did. But, he makes a mean cappuccino and I tip, which is unusual in Spain, so I think we’re going to be friends (kidding).

Off La Rambla on Doctor Dou (yes, correct spelling of the street), my favorite lunch spot is a cafe called Dostrece. For 10 Euros, you get 3 courses and either a beer or a big glass of wine. They have large, delicious and very fresh salads, some interesting main courses, and decent desserts. If it’s a big meal in the middle of the day that you’re after, Dostrece is a cute and somewhat healthy place to eat, with some awesome bread and a roasted red bell pepper oil, garlic, and fresh herb dip to go along with it. MMMMMMMM.

Before lunch at Dostrece today, I found my disneyland of Barcelona. It’s called Biospace. It’s a big health food store with natural and organic sundries such as toothpaste, soap, body lotion, etc. As much as I’m digging the Xarcuterie and Catalan food in Barcelona, I just need to eat some tofu and organic veggies once in a while. I was very excited about the neti pot I found, as well as the biodynamic wine section. Of course, I broke down and bought 2 bottles of red, but they were pretty cheap – around 5 and 7 euros, respectively. Now, the true test is whether they taste good. I wandered around Biospace for about an hour just taking in all the different types of organic foods they carry, and I think I feel better after just being in there for a while – haha. For anyone in Barcelona looking for a health food store with a pretty varied selection of food and sundries, Biospace at Career de Valencia, 86 is for you. The nearest metro stop is Hospital Clinic. Oh, and then I wandered into a medical school by accident. It was nice, and so were the people. I’m thinking about applying after I’m done being a chef ūüėČ

Yesterday, I dragged Mark on a train ride about 45 minutes-1 hour north (depending on the train you get) to a small town called Sant Celoni. I had an interview there to do a stage at a place called Can Fabes. See http://www.canfabes.com/. I couldn’t find much information on the town from my 15 minute internet research and the travel book I have doesn’t even mention it, so I’m not really sure what it’s known for other than this extraordinary restaurant focusing on biodynamic and seasonal food, located in a gorgeous old building. Oh wait, that’s not true. Wikipedia says, “The town has an important chemical industry, which is also a major source of local pollution and environmental risks.” Wonderful. But, it does have a lovely old church (pictured below), a 3 Michelin star restaurant called Can Fabes, and Monteny National Park, which we couldn’t find in our aimless walking since the office of tourism in the town was closed when we arrived.

I was offered the stage (I’m super excited about this one!), but it depends on a few things I’m still trying to work out. The pollution situation does concern me a bit. I’m hoping Sant Celoni is not the Hinkley, CA of Catalonia. I’m no Erin Brockovich, but I also don’t want to be drinking any contaminated water.

Church in Sant Celoni:

Sr.Bravo (Mark’s pen name) did a guest post two days ago, and I’m following up on the dinner he wrote about, by posting some pictures of the food we ate.

My first course: artichokes with jamon iberico:

Mark’s first course: clams with white beans

Our second course: We each had one of these dishes – grilled sea bass

Very down home, tasty Catalan food!

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3 Responses to “A trip to Sant Celoni yesterday and to my Spanish “disneyland” today”

  1. Shannon March 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I am SO enjoying reading your posts on Barcelona! What fabulous restaurant/caf√© finds :o) Such a great city… we are all ready to be back there in June and to have you join us in Cadaqu√©s on your days off, and to play with you in Barcelona for a few days at the end… until then: ¬°tingui diversi√≥!

  2. Denise Dunsing March 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    My mouth is watering!
    Denise (Bev and Ian’s friend)

  3. Pete Maguire March 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Looks like fun! Hope all is well- enjoy the taste of the land and all that beauty too!

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