First and foremost, I would like to wish you all a new year filled with joy, success and many blessings. Since we last left off, we were visiting Barcelona and the many hotspots around town. From the moment I set foot in the heart of Catalunya, I quickly became infatuated with its colourful people, an unbeatable football team (referencing the Culés), the breathtaking architecture and a fabulous culinary diversity.
|My old pal Pablo Zabaleta is number 4|
Today, we’ll look at cuisine and specifically, a triple threat to my general interests: Argentina, fútbol and cattle. Within my first month across the pond, I had the pleasure of living among some of my favourite people, the Argentines, in the neighbourhood of Gràcia. You will have trouble finding a more passionate, affectionate, polite and melodious-speaking bunch. Many of these South Americans have settled in Barcelona taking roles in gastronomy, finance, high tech, hospitality and sport – let’s not forget to mention, roommates! – escaping the rollercoaster blues of recessions and crises of several sorts.
As an individual originating from a proud beef culture, such as many Canadians and Americans who can’t leave their home without a barbecue (that’s why we have so many barbecue pits in our city parks), you will find that the best meat in La Madre Patria seems to limit itself to pork and chicken. Most beef acquired in the Kingdom of Spain may trigger a depression or serious iron deficiencies as it is tough, tasteless and quite surprising, considering this is the country know for the Corrida de toros (the running of the bulls).
One fine evening, the glorious hand of God (more of a metaphor for Maradona) reached down, nudging my Argentine roommate to propose a fine asado dinner for his bovine-depraved Canuck renter. We wandered strategically a couple of streets west of Carrer Gran de Gràcia, to Carrer Santaló 73. The target of this adventure was Las Cuartetas, a true leader in carnes, wines and deserts from the pristine Pampas. Not only can one have succulent chunks of beef, chorizo and morcilla that melt in your mouth, but the regulars at the time included Lionel Messi, Gabriel Milito and other fine personas of the Albiceleste.
|Las Cuartetas Hall of Visitors|
After a delicious meal and several Euros properly invested, I made my way out and bumped into Pablo Zabaleta who was enjoying his football with the local outfit RCD Espanyol. Now, I will not say we hit it off and went clubbing, living the vida loca. Come on people, he was on his cellphone! I had the distinct pleasure of interrupting his conversation, shook his hand, gave him the old tap on the shoulder and made my way to further Olé around town. If in Barcelona, make Las Cuartetas a MUST for a fine dinner and a small piece of Buenos Aires querido.