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Drinks and Preserved Things at Museo del Vermut in Reus

Reus. It’s where Gaudí was born. It’s also home to the market where my coworkers and I used to buy fresh produce, the laundromat where I had my clothes sent for dry-cleaning, the hospital where my tooth was filled when I chipped it on a fork eating a fresh summer salad with figs and mató that one time. I…

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Paella at Can Pep near Siurana Lake

The pristine, blue gem that is the Siurana Lake offers a wonderful escape from the sticky, salty seawater and looming influx of summertime tourism on the beaches of Barcelona. It’s a place to get away and enjoy fresh mountain air, while sunning on a dock, surrounded by silence. Every once in a while a family or two will set…

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Steak and Tapas at Taverna del Bisbe

A few days into my father’s visit to Barcelona we had grown a bit weary of tapas. We were craving the opposite, a thoughtfully assembled entrée complete with a protein and a side or two. No more bar snacks, no more homogenous mounds of just one thing, no more small plates designed to share. Of course, our relationship…

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Monkfish and Langoustines at Can Flores in Blanes

Further south of Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava is the town of Blanes, perhaps best known for hosting a spectacular fireworks competition during the Santa Anna festival in late July. I’ve heard there are also some neat botanical gardens there to visit and, of course, beaches that stretch far and wide. We didn’t see too…

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Black Rice, Paradise: Les Voltes in Calella de Palafrugell

Not a very long drive north of Barcelona is the coastal town of Calella de Palafrugell, one of the three coastal towns forming the Costa Brava. The seashore boasts a beautiful string of pebble-floored coves, naturally U-shaped beaches that look as if small bites of coastline were taken by a hungry sea. Bright beads of sunshine glitter white…

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Culinary Jewelry Box, A Neighborhood Tapas Bar: Quimet & Quimet

Passing through the ruby red doors of Quimet & Quimet in Poblesec means entering a culinary wonderland, a food nerd’s Eden cleverly disguised as a no-frills neighborhood tapas joint. Nobody’s ordering bravas or croquetas here. There’s no chorizo or day-old tortilla stabbed through with a toothpick, no questionable crab spread with a salty anchovy lain across, no fried…

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The Octopus and the Hare at La Cooperativa in Porrera

On a recent excursion to Priorat wine country I acted the tour guide for my mother and my man. I lead them to the little cottage in the mountains of Montsant, which I had called home for close to six months. We walked through the town of Poboleda and had a beer on the terrace of ye olde La Venta. I…