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Olympics & More: Tapas – The Best of All Meals

What do you do upon arrival in Barcelona? Well, after checking into the hotel we headed out for some food, which of course means hitting several tapas bars.  The folks in Barcelona are the kings and queens of tapas, if you ask me.
The first night we visited about 4 or 5 different spots and the food was pretty fantastic.  At each place we visited, we were given a plate and were allowed to walk around picking up tapas as we see fit.  We kept the toothpicks that were in each of the individual tapas so the servers would know how much to charge us (everything was priced the same).  Quite a lovely and trustworthy arrangement. I don’t know if this would fly in the US — everyone is looking for something free. 

My favorite food at the tapas bars were usually the items with tuna, cheese and a little spice. There weren’t many items that were spicy (it’s Spanish food, not Mexican food, remember).   Also anything with a little bit of Jamon Iberico makes my mouth very happy too.

As we continued our trek this evening (and most other evenings in Barcelona) we stop in places with a big pig leg in the window.  Our favorite place (where we stopped three separate times) was just a 2 minute walk from our hotel.  We were greeted by the gentlemen pictured below, slicing small pieces of cured ham for our enjoyment.

Our favorite tapas server (above) put together the simple presentation of sliced ham on a ceramic cake plate.  Everyone served tomato bread, which paired perfectly with jamon iberico.  I love tomatoes more than any food in the world, but the tomato bread was a bit underwhelming. Basically they would cut a tomato in half and squeeze the juice onto a toasted piece of bread…yeah. Not amazing.  Worse thing ever: they just tossed those tomatoes into the trash.  Tragic. I know.

Seriously though, I love the tapas idea – small bites, very diverse selection at an extremely reasonable price. For less than $12USD we were able to get plenty of food to keep us going for several hours as we continued our tour of the City.

What is your favorite thing to get at a Tapas bar?  Do you love jamon iberico as much as I do?  Does the waste of a good tomato make you want to cry too?

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