Wow! What a city. We landed in Barcelona at 11 a.m. local time on the 26th. Within one hour, we had our bags, were driven to the city center, and were graciously allowed to check into our Gothic Quarter flat early. There are restaurants, tapas bars, bars, wine bars, and food everywhere. We had only two hours of sleep and airplane chow (Dutch sandwiches), so we needed to eat some real food!
There was a tapas place across the way from us called La Galera, and we decided close is good. The place is the size of a shoebox and is pretty much a two-woman operation. We ordered cava, of course, to celebrate what is our last romantic vacation for who knows how long, with a bambina on the way and all. Then, we ordered food: longaniza, potato tortilla, anchovy tostada, jamón tostada, olives, chicken croquettes, and manchego.
This was truly one of the more satisfying meals I have had in years. The jamón tostada was sublime. The toast was rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with great olive oil. Then, thinly shaved jamón, which is sweet with a hint of salt and has the slight aroma of sea and pasture, was placed on top. The anchovies were rich and salty but not the over-salted "hairy eyebrows" we generally see back home; I could eat these all day. The croquettes were great, crispy with a little chew to them and redolent with garlic and cheese.
This is a meal that needs no hot sauce, salt, or anything. Trust the ingredients and gastronomic history to do the work, and let the simplicity take hold. We both wondered aloud, "Why we can't have a place like this in the Twin Cities?"