Barcelona According to Miles

September 16, 2010

La Boqueria Mercat, Barcelona

La Boqueria Mercat off of La Rambla

For a blog that provocatively calls itself “The World According to Miles,” you guys haven’t seen too much of…the world. Well, I suppose I’ve posted pictures of Tel-Aviv and New York, but not much beyond. That’s about to change.

Last week @clothesure and I got back from a 5-day jaunt in Barcelona, Spain. It was a much anticipated trip for me culminating an intense summer of product development at GameGround. I’m pleased to say that during the trip I didn’t once think about game systems, liquid layouts, roadmaps, or onboarding processes. Ok that’s a complete lie. But for those of you who really know me it was an unprecedented minimum.

The primary motivation of this trip for me was to explore city culture – in doing so constantly comparing it to NYC culture because yes I’m just that kind of New Yorker – and satisfy my restaurant and cuisine curiosities (I came strapped with two food-oriented guide books and lists of friends’ recs).

Jamon Serrano

Jamon Serrano at La Galera tapas bar in the Barri Gotic district

The food and beverage scene was not a disappointment. Salted cod, slow roasted lambs, cured hams, paella (sans allergic reaction – woot), gelato, strong coffee, Cava, local reds, manchego cheese…I could go on. But nothing quite compared to my molecular gastronomy experience at Moo Restaurant. I did a 6-course tasting menu with wine pairings assembled by one of the best sommelier’s in Spain. I was too embarrassed to take pictures so here’s a picture of dish that had one of the most unique presentations I’ve ever seen:

Smoked Pigeon Carpaccio at Moo Restaurant

Smoked pigeon carpaccio with a dollop of juniper-flavored ice cream garnished w/ dried fruits and spices served in a glass container full of flavored smoke!

It was a treat. My girlfriend was overwhelmed as well, which was fun because we both drank heavily to feel less like outsiders.

On a different, less boozy note, an aspect of Barcelona I was pleasantly surprised by is the street art scene. Some of the art I managed to capture with my iPhone was really involved work.

Street Art Barcelona

Space Invader Street Art Barcelona

Space Invader tags Barcelona!

This mark is all over Barcelona

And of course the famous, almost city-defining architecture…

The trip was relaxing and ultimately deemed a success, but I think we both agreed that it’s not our favorite city. The city is not foreigner friendly and the service culture is unpredictable. Not to mention the locals were pretty quiet seeing as that August is really a month of rest. Anyone considering going to Barcelona should definitely consider June or July, but you’ll pay the price for it 🙂


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