Los Caracoles is going to be our one and only tourist restaurant destination. We picked this restaurant because caracoles, a traditional food, are the tiny snails that are available everywhere in Barcelona. This is the place that started that food tradition in 1835 and it is still run by the same family, five generations later.
We entered Los Caracoles early (9 p.m.) and were ushered through the large, open, dungeon-style kitchen into one of the many small dining rooms with autographed pictures adorning every square inch of the walls. After we were warmly greeted, I looked through the extensive wine list and settled on a bottle of Rioja, Vina Ardanza Reserva 2000. It is really easy to order wine I have never heard of here, the cool thing is I have yet to order a clunker. The wine was expensive by Barcelona restaurant standards, 39 Euros which is about $48, and it was dynamite, full of red fruit and cedar, yet supple and ready for snails and whatever else we decided to order.
I ordered the house specialty, caracoles, while Desiree ordered bullabess (their spelling, not mine), both phenomenal. The snails were super fresh, like garlicky mushrooms with fresh parsley and Espagnole sauce. Desiree’s bullabess was great, a roux and lobster stock based rendition with langoustine, shrimp and other delights. We moved on to a salad, the first true vegetable in a couple of days, and were very pleasantly surprised by a giant mix of greens with white asparagus, cucumbers, Manzanilla olives with simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Suckling pig was next on the list and, luckily, we decided to split one portion. Spit roasted, the skin was crispy goodness and the meat was juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender; it is served sans sauce, with just a simple whole roasted tomato and creamy potatoes. So much of the food here just speaks for itself, it is the comment we keep coming back to
happily. We opted out of dessert in search of great gelato, which is easy to find, indulging in a double chocolate grande gelato on Las Ramblas while we walked off dinner.
Next entry: Franco’s Revenge!! And, how I get even.