La Casita Chilanga

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La Casita Chilanga (original location)
 Literally a shack in the middle of rows of Mexican taquerias, this place makes amazingly authentic tortas.  Due to its popularly, this well loved spot has sprouted into a chain, but I find that this original location is the best of the bunch.   

La Niurka - pierna, jamon, milanesa de res, chorizo, and salchica
This sandwich is made from hot dogs, thin-cut beef, spicy sausage, slices of cured pork, and roast pork, essentially a vegetarian's (as well as your cardiologist's) nightmare.  Its pressed between two slices of proper DF torta bread.  So huge, its big enough to share (or to save half for later).  Yummy!

Address:                La Casita Chilanga 
                                      2928 Middlefield Rd.
                                      Redwood City, CA 94063

Type:                        Mexican, sandwiches

Chomp worthy:  tortas

Pass:                           nothing


Salmanca - Spain ( Barcelona)

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tomato bread

grilled razor clams

seafood paella

Address:                  Salmanca
                                        Barcelona, Spain

Type:                          paella

Chomp worthy:  nothing

Tapac 24 - Spain (Barcelona)

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bikini- ham and cheese with truffle oil

chicharonnes de la isla with light lemon drizzle

Mcfoie burger

Russa amb picos de jerez - potato salad with carrots and fish

Address:                  tapac 24
                                        Disputacio, 269
                                        Barcelona, Spain

Type:                          pinxtos (tapas)

Chomp worthy: McFoie burger


Paco Meraglo - Spain ( Barcelona)

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Seafood croquettes

steamed mussels

grilled octopus with onions

baked scallop with breadcrumbs

grilled scallop

Address:                 Paco Meralgo
                                       C/ Mutaner, 171
                                       Barcelona, Spain

Type:                         tapas, seafood

Chomp worthy:  baked scallop

Cacao Sampaka - Spain ( Barcelona)

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hot chocolate

Verdict:                   Stop by for a chocolate tasting or if you are looking for a gift for you or someone else!

Address:                 Cacao Sampaka
                                       c/ Consell de Cent, 292
                                       Barcelona, Spain

Type:                         cafe

Chomp worthy: all chocolate items!


Quimet i Quimet - Spain ( Barcelona)

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Quimet i Quimet was a pretty good walk from the busier area of Barcelona, but well worth it.  Quimet i Quimet is the most quaint little eatery.  Walking into the street, you almost question if you might have mistakely taken the wrong turn somewhere.  Quimet i Quimet is so different from the extravagant and intricate foods I experienced in Barcelona.  There is a small Spanish menu in posted in the doorway.

mixed bread platter

A mixture of all different types of breads and croutons drizzled lightly with olive oil.

mixed cheese platter
The mixed cheese platter is prepared for a daily assortment of cheeses.  Water chestnuts and some jelly provide a delicious surprise of taste and textures to this plate.

mixed meats and pate platter
Verdict:                   Some of the best food I had in Barcelona.

Address:                  Quimet & Quimet
                                         c/ Poeta Cabanas 25
                                         Barcelona, Spain

Type:                           tapas

Chomp worthy:  mixed bread pate, mixed cheese plate, mixed meats plate

Pass:                            nothing

Random facts:
  • pop in around midday to avoid the crowd

41 Degrees - Spain (Barcelona)

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inside the elite 41 degrees

the bar



curried wild rice "worms"

false pistachios

crispy spicy tentacles

seaweed cornet with puffed millet and spicy tuna

close look at the spicy tuna cornet

air bread with pickled iberian bacon

Parmesan ice cream sandwich with lemon marmalade

garden dessert

Address:                   tickets/41 degrees
                                         Avinguda del Paral lel, 164
                                         Barcelona, Spain

Type:                           cocktail bar, tapas

Chomp worthy:   garden dessert

Pass:                            nothing

Random facts:
  • owned by brothers Albert Adria ( El Bulli) and Ferran
  • make reservations!


El Quim - Spain (Barcelona)

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El Quim inside La Boqueria
This small first come first serve seafood bar is located in the middle of La Boqueria market.  Don't be fooled by the empty seats in the picture.  These seats were the hottest seats in the market.  People hover over the diners eating hoping to snatch a seat up at the bar.  Luckily, I was able to slide into one without having to wait too long.

Probably not the best croquettes I had in Spain.  Although I shouldn't have expected much since El Quim is known for their seafood.

Papas bravas
One of Spain's well known dishes.  This dish is made of fried cubed potatoes drizzled with mayo and a spicy tomato sauce.  I purposely held off eating this dish my whole trip, so this is actually the only time (but not my first ever) I ate this dish in Spain.  The spicy tomato sauce gave these lightly crispy potato chunks a nice kick.  I could eat a giant plate of these!

grilled baby octopus with fried runny egg
This dish was one of the single best dishes I had in Spain.  A little on the pricey side (~$30USD), but so worth it.  I actually wished I ordered another one - I didn't realize the portion would be so small.  The slight chewiness from the baby octopus dipped in the gooey, runny egg was perfection.

Verdict:                      A taste of the fresh seafood in the middle of a bustling marketplace makes this place a must    
                                          experience in Barcelona. 

Address:                    El Quim de la Boqueria
                                          Rambla 91(inside La Boqueria market)
                                          Barcelona, Spain

Type:                           Seafood

Chomp worthy:  baby octopus with fried egg

La Boqueria - Spain (Barcelona)

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fruit juices




Arzak - Spain (San Sebastian)

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The most magical dining experience during my Spain trip.  Arzak was the sole reason why opted to visit San Sebastian.  Everything from the silverware to the after dinner treats were whimsical and innovative.  A dining sensation that kept me guessing through the whole meal.

artistic settings at Arzak

bread with olive oil

kabraroka pudding with kataifi
This was one of my favorite dishes of the meal.  The server described it as a pudding, but it was more like a thick soup. It had a slight sweet taste with a surprise of mushrooms on the bottom.  Not only was this dish delicious, but it was so fun to eat with the long pointed silverware.

Marinated anchovy and strawberry

An odd combination to me, but sardines are highly regarded in the Basque region.  The strawberries were fresh and slightly tart.  Not as strange tasting as I thought, but not one of my favorites either.
yellow crispy rice with mushroom
Two corn crackers, similar to a rice cake, housed a mushroom creme filling in the middle. 

Seafood creme wrapped in noodles and deep fried.

Ham and tomato smoke
Slightly smokey tomato topped with a toasted slice of jamon. 
Cromlech with onion, coffee, and tea

a peak inside
Lobster Coralline
The tiny bits of mango highlighted the sweetness of the lobster.
Tapioca salad with citrus

Dusted egg and mussel


Low tide monkfish with red seaweed
The monkfish was tender and very light tasting.  The red seaweed had a extremely gelatinous texture.

Pigeon with orange and corn

Lamb with Rosemary and tumeric

crispy rice balls with chocolate sauce
First glance at this dish you would think it looked like a meat ball, but actually its a crispy rice ball.

"playing marbles" with chocolate
This dish shows the playfulness of Arzak.  Each sphere popped inside your mouth expelling a chocolate filling.  The strawberry sauce and the basil sorbet provided a refreshing compliment to the chocolate.
chocolate sorbet

Apple ice cream

Pistachio and beetroot stone

Banana ice cream

orange flavored sorbet
Another playful dish - the smooth creamy orange taste was taken to another level by the pop rocks!

Each of these handmade jellies gave a different flavor - cola, mango, chocolate, etc.

Verdict:            One of the most innovative meals I've had in a while.  I love the playfulness Arzak puts on food, showing that food can be both beautiful, delicious, and fun. 

Address:           Arzak
                         Avenida Alcalde Jose Elosegui, 273
                         San Sebastian, Spain

Type:               modern Basque
                        business casual/casual
Chomp worthy:  tasting menu

Pass:               nothing

Random facts: