Tag Archives: authentic

Barcelona Day I & II- Gaudi, Shoes, Ham, and Tapas


My first day was really rough with apartment issues, but I was able to catch La Pedrera before it closed, and see the rooftop right at sunset. If you are going to visit any of the Gaudi sights (which you must to have really seen anything), this should be your first because the mini museum inside provides a lot of context to the others.



I started off my second day at La Manual Alpargatera, the old school shoe shop in El Gotic that specializes in espadrilles.



If you look up all the places in the city you must visit to shop it is in the top ten of about every list. This is where I met my new friend, and went on to have coffee and dish about how tough and great traveling alone is (see here).

She was nice enough to walk me over to the cathedral where I discovered the most spectacular views (for 6€ to get into the church) and a local-oriented Christmas market. I don’t think Barcelona is a Christmas market destination. The markets are mostly mini nativity scene pieces, garlands, lights and simple ornaments. It was great to see but if you are looking for many unique stalls and offerings, I would head to Berlin!




I told my old school Catholic grandma about the church and she was equally shocked that you had to pay to go inside, but agreed it was just a donation. She proceeded to give me a lecture that I’m young and shouldn’t worry so much about spending if I have my savings! LOL, oh grandma.




In the early evening I headed over to La Boqueria to pickup some breakfast for the next day.



In the evening I finally landed at Tapas 24, my favorite tapas bar! (I wish you could sense my enormous amount of excitement for this place).

Tapas 24 is… AMAZING. They have your standard tapas elevated to the next level. I’m really upset that they don’t have the squid paella anymore, but the baby squid and prawns are never-fails and are ridiculously fresh. You should remember to ask for the shrimps and squid when you go because they didn’t have them when I first arrived (8p). I was asked to eat slowly for thirty minutes for when they did come! It was heaven. The squid comes with the ink still inside. They were about the size of my nose as I described in a FaceTime to home :). The shrimps are grilled very simply but they are perfect–sweet, fresh, and full of their natural flavor.






Tacombi – What is Authentic Mexican?

I went to Tacombi for some “authentic” and “best tacos outside of Mexico”.  I’m not an expert, but I’m under the impression that tacos are a no thrills no frills sort of food.  Simple is better, and if it’s too complicated, odds are it isn’t legitimate.

With moderate enthusiasm I can say the food at Tacombi was good for NYC “cheap” Mexican!  1) They don’t use the most amazing avocados, but the guac is decent.  2) As for the main event, the tacos, I ordered the corn and cheese, spicy pork, and crispy fish tacos.  All were tastey, though I wasn’t wow’ed.  3) It ran up to be about $13 for the three tacos which isn’t bad for a meal in NYC, though I am a bit bitter that I can get it for half the price upstate!

My feelings for Tacombi are exactly the same for Caracas.  Why is simple street food brought to NY suddenly “authentic” or “amazing” and marked up so much?! Rarrr Rarrr Rarrr.  I know the answer, but I wish it weren’t so!

Guac at Tacombi

Guac at Tacombi

Tacos at Tacombi
Tacos at Tacombi