Semana Santa: BuenBlogging

29 04 2011

con tomates lives!! But was hanging out at Buen Camino for a spell during Semana Santa.

16/04/11: Barcelona: No Reservations (part one)

“No camera crew. No entourage. No screaming gobs of fans. Just Tony and Jose, checking out what’s new and old at La Boqueria. Jose’s talking jamon, then olives.”


16/04/11: Barcelona: No Reservations (part two)

We thank the guy sincerely – I’m sure he gets tired of dealing with fangirls, but was extraordinarily courteous about it nevertheless – and head back to our awaiting baby quail with smiles plastered across our faces.


18/04/11: Barcelona: #munching

Its appetizer twin is a cool cube of tuna accented with olive oil, a sliver of crunchy red onion, and an unmistakeably lettuce sorbet. We speculate as to why Eric doesn’t whip up lettuce sorbet at home for frequently.


21/04/11: Donostia: Seeking the Holy Grill

Etxebarri is absolutely legendary for its revolutionary grilling techniques; mastermind Victor Arguinzoniz designs innovative mechanisms specifically suited to ingredients never before subject to smoke and flame. We’re talking oddities like egg yolk, here, along with caviar – for the intrigued, our now intimate friend Tony Bourdain investigates in an excellent episode of No Reservations.


24/04/11: Madrid : Madrid :: Madrid : Madrid

Upon our arrival yesterday, I find myself filled with an enormous energy – I am in my city again. I know these streets, and they know me; we convene. MP has some big must-do Spanish Cultural Experiences sketched out as well, but I’m jazzed simply to be able to maplessly navigate again. Give me six more months and I’ll print up Experta Madrileña business cards.


Chocolatería San Ginés

24 09 2010

Ganas are one of my favorite aspects of Castellano. Tengo ganas means that I feel like doing something, that it sounds good to me, that I am anticipating with glee. Me faltan las ganas means that I’m lacking the lil’ puppies, and as such am disinclined to rise from my snuggly bed.

From whence do these ganas come? And when they lack, where is it they hide?

Neither Em nor I is privileged with knowledge of the mysterious mundo de las ganas. All we know is that tonight we’ve got a bad case of ’em for a dinner of chocolate y churros.

My favorite photo from Spain thus far – gonna get it blown up to poster-size.

We get the skinny on Madrid’s best chocolatería from Fausto; however, he refuses to join us as “chocolate is a winter thing.” We care little. The ganas don’t take no for an answer.

Sam texts at precisely the perfect moment and joins us at Sol’s bear statue.

Chocolatería San Ginés is tucked in a surprisingly snug street branching off from the main arteries of Sol. Chatty tables line the corridor, and the magic of ganas makes one of them immediately available.

There’s no need for a menu here – even if San Ginés offers further goodies, you’d be nutty not to get the eternal hot Spanish chocolate and fried churros combo. We tack on an order of porras – which are basically oversize churros – for good measure.

Not so drinkable as much as dippable and perhaps spoonable, Spanish chocolate is thick and darkly sweet. The churros lack the crunchy sugar coat of their Mexican cousins, upon which the three of us reminiscence about with great fondness, but it’s hard to complain when they’re accompanied by a cup of liquid gold.

It’s far from my favorite Spanish treat – I’d choose llao llao over churros any day – but who am I to deny the honeyed allure of the ganas?

Reina Sofia

24 09 2010

El Prado may be masterful in many ways – you gotta love Goya’s Black Paintings, and it’s jaw-dropping to picture the labyrinth of scaffolding required to attempt some of the 10+-foot-high works casually displayed along its hallowed halls. But look – and I’m well aware I’m a philistine in this respect, thank you very much – room after room after room of solemn portraiture alongside bleeding Christ figures bums me out.

Because we’re all about un poco de todo here at con tomates, it is overtly obvious that the even closer Reina Sofia coyly beckons for our patronage. In a manner of speaking, anyway; Sunday late mornings from 10 AM – 2:30 PM offer totally free entry to seekers of the disturbingly bizarre, the beautifully macabre, the subtly unsettling, and the straight-up funky.

Gargantuan B&W bacon informs us that we are in the right place. Our grupito consists of Leah, Emily, Marta, Hannah, and myself, and we agree that we ought to take advantage of the proximity of our piso to the museum, and as such take it slow. We’ll try for just one floor today, and aim to reconvene next week to explore the next.

Museums don’t tend to work so well with this large of a group, and we quickly part ways – which is dandy; this way each can view con calma the works she finds most intriguing. A small selection of what I feast my artistic (non)sensibilities on:

The following three are all details from the same enormous canvas: