Tuesday, August 5, 2014
No real plans for today means we can sleep in and take it easy (we have been sooo busy…).
The breakfast at Ca La Maria is laid out for us. Coffee is enjoyed and we both order sunny side up eggs.
The rest of the morning is spent relaxing and catching up on this blog. We keep in touch now and then with Janel. Due to the fiestas on her street in a couple of weeks she has decided to move out and rent an airbnb in a quieter area. She has already put her place online at airbnb and has renters for the entire period. Today she is trying to get everything set for them. We agree to meet later for lunch.
Today’s lunch spot is Quimet Bar and Bodega. It is a tiny, tiny place that oozes atmosphere. We grab the “barrel” table and let Janel run with the menu. I realize that I have heard of this place before and then remember that our friend, Tony Bourdain has been here in one of his shows! Maybe he will walk in today…
We start with glasses of Vermut – the best we have had as of yet. Then comes an assortment of seafood “conservada.” (canned). I know what you are thinking. Canned??? Yes, canned. Spain knows how to preserve their awesome seafood (clams, berberechos – cockles, tuna, mussels, etc). Oh, and the best olives we have had so far as well. The quality is through the roof. All of these are presented in a light tomato broth. It is a picker’s paradise. We eat it all up and begin “rooming” the bread around in the plate. Yum.
We move on to a plate of home made fuet (cured home made sausage) that is outstanding.
Then we order the Brazo de Pulpo con Patatas (Octopus arm with potatoes). It is the star of the show. I looove Pulpo and this one is killer. It is nicely grilled and the texture is incredible. Many times it can be a bit rubbery, but not this one. Rich says it is Octopus Tenderloin. Janel says they literally beat it to tenderize it. This one obviously has been beaten like crazy.
After lunch we take a litte stroll around the neighborhood and then head back to our place for a while.
When we get to our room we take notice of an art piece that we hadn’t paid attention to before. What in the world is it made of?
Upon closer inspection we see that it is made of dryer LINT! Rich’s mom makes lint pictures, too. We though she was the only one working in this strange medium. Turns out it is not that strange after all. We think Marty may have started a trend.
We spend some time packing up our things and trying to fit all the cava and olive oil we have garnered into our suitcases. I will only be taking a carry on tomorrow for our flight to Bilbao so I need to re-arrange all my things. Easier said than done.
I manage to fit in a workout before we meet Janel and Dario for dinner. I feel that I have to make up for all the awesome food we have been consuming!
We are breaking out of the Spanish food “rut” for dinner tonight and are going to go to a Chinese place for the hot pot. Sounds great! The restaurant is low-key and casual. Janel guides us through ordering the hot pot. There is a burner in the middle of our table for the pot. All we need to do is request what kind of broth we want (duck, chicken, seafood, etc). We go for the Pato (duck) and ask for one side spicy and the other not so spicy.
Very shortly a huge pot of gurgling broth is set on our burner and a cart is wheeled up to our table. It is chock full of little plates of stuff: sliced meat, various seafood, lots of “leaves,” vegetables, seaweed, noodles, and various other items yet to be named.
Since Rich and I are sitting closest to the cart it is our job to “man the pot.” We begin by slowling adding small amounts of “stuff.” Soon we are dumping entire plates of things into the pot. It is so much fun to cook and fish out the items from the bubbling broth. (Some items are better than others. My favorite was actually the spongy tofu. The blood cubes – not so much…). We ended up eating almost everything on the cart!
This was a great, relaxing day and a good opportunity for all of us to re-charge. Tomorrow swe will begin our Asturias adventure. J&D have planned the entire trip and I can’t wait to see what is in store.