Barcelona Markets, Park Guell & a Vietnamese New Orleans Birthday Dinner

Two months have nearly passed since I was in Barcelona and so much has happened! The Mister, Aurnia and I moved out of our house so that we could get renovations done. I finished another quarter of fundraising and I made a trip out to California. I’m about to embark on a trip to Southern California to visit with 2 of my closest friends, AK and CC and I’m hopping back on the surfboard with a 5 day surf camp in Santa Barbara then flying up to Vancouver, Canada to celebrate CT’s birthday. So an eventful summer to say the least!

But back to Barcelona!
One of the mornings I got up early and took the train out to the burbs to hit up Galvany Market in the Saint Gervasi district. It’s been in existence since 1927 and is considered one of the most beautiful municipal markets in Barcelona. It reminded me of Eastern Market in DC.
 This is the food counter where I had my breakfast of Tortilla Espanola (see below).
I noticed that the fishmongers for the stall in the middle were all female!
In one of our afternoon adventures, JH, CT and I went to Park Guell.
As you can see, there are hills when walking to the park. You can walk along the sidewalks and take the stairs or the escalators to the back entrance.
There’s such beautiful foliage and flowers on the walk through the park.
The walk to the top was well rewarded with a beautiful view of the city.
The Sagrada Familia is in the middle of the photo.
Then we started to make the descent and we got closer to the artwork of the park itself.
From this vantage point and with the little battery life I had left on my iPhone, I face timed the Mister so that he could see the magnificent views.

It was such a lovely experience to see the balance of art and nature in the park. Considering the amount of time and effort to construct the park and to maintain it, I admire not only the craftsmanship but the mind that created it.

Some of my favorite memories revolve around food, of course! CT found a place where it was cash only and mainly a locals restaurant called La Bombeta. Known for its “bombas”, potatoes with a spicy sauce we were ready to give it a go!

 The famous bombas! They were delicious!!
For my birthday dinner, I picked a restaurant where the cuisine was billed as Vietnamese and New Orleans with a Barcelona style called Me (in Vietnamese it translates to Mother). I was very intrigued, considering that my mom is Vietnamese and I lived in New Orleans. When I made the reservation, the concierge probably thought I was a senior citizen because I made the reservation for 8pm, which is basically the blue light diner special because no one really eats dinner until 9pm.
It turned out to be fortuitous because we got the chance to talk to the chef/owner for about 1 hour all to ourselves and learned a great deal about his culinary education and background. Not only did he live in New Orleans, he also went to my alma mater, Tulane and did his thesis in architecture. We learned that he was an architect before he became a chef. His culinary pedigree included working for Jose Andres as well as Ann Cashion, in Washington, DC.  So there was much that he and I had in common with our backgrounds and travels.
Some of the interesting art decorating the restaurant

It was such a great dining experience. We all shared the different dishes family style, which melded traditional Vietnamese foods along with a New Orleans twist.

 The ladies with the Chef!
photo credit: Sharon Yang
Of course the entire table had to document all of the food!
photo credit: Sharon Yang

Since the party never stops in Barcelona, there was a block party complete with a live band performing a few blocks from dinner so we got a chance to hang with the locals!

La Bombeta
Maquinista 3, Barcelona, Spain
La Barceloneta neighborhood

Parc Guell
Carrer d’Olot, 5 08024 Barcelona, Spain

Me
Carrer de Paris, 162 08036 Barcelona
L’Eixample neighborhood

Cheers!

MXM

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