Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Orio

Superwoman and I just got back from Barcelona, which has become one of my absolute favourite places in the world - it is so beautiful, so charming, so welcoming, so huge, so...so all kinds of good things!  Superwoman also mentioned that I was behaving as if I'd never been there before when in reality it was my third trip to the city - and it was true.

You see, my first time there, I was only 12 years old, on one of those super rushed tours where you see, like, 10 countries in two weeks.  The second time I was there I was 18, on a really quick class trip with the modern languages department of my high school, and that trip was a blur.

So this time, everything was really fresh and new to me, in a slightly familiar way, except this time I could communicate perfectly with the locals and I had my mum with me, which was awesome. :D

Superwoman and I have started a tradition of watching travel shows while we go on trips to get inspiration for what to see/do/try and then doing them right away.  It worked wonderfully when we were in Tokyo (we watched Helen To's Tokyo Walker, which was awesome!) so this time my mum brought TVB's Lost in Spain with us, hosted by Vincent Wong.

Apparently they filmed this show back in the summer, when I was already in Spain, and I so, so wish they had contacted me so I could have shown them around Madrid!!!

Anyway, most of the show so far has centered around Barcelona, which was perfect for us, and we kept a keen eye out for what we wanted to do.  One of the most attractive things we saw on the show was this Basque restaurant called Orio, in the Gothic District...

I am a huge fan of Basque food (which I actually had for my first real meal in Spain), and my mama's become a new fan as well.  I LOVE pintxos.  Love them!  They are mounds of yumminess piled high on little slices of bread (or sometimes in croissants or other mini buns, as you can see below), and they make great conversation finger foods.  I love going to Basque restaurants and nattering with friends over a caña and pintxos. 

So in the second episode of Lost in Spain, Vincent Wong explained the origin of tapas, and he introduced this beautiful restaurant called Orio.  He had some lovely pintxos there, explained the etiquette, and he had sidra.

The restaurant was very easy to find and it was as beautiful as it looked on the TV show.  The service was very friendly (even though the handsome manager didn't smile or seem very happy to be at work that day :P), and my mum and I tucked into a nice little meal at the bar.  The servers would periodically come over with trays of the more "special tapas" and offer them to customers, but we weren't feeling adventurous (we got offered ox tail on one round :P), so we stuck with what was out on the bar, which was fresh and frequently rotated, which was awesome.

Halfway through the meal, my mum jabbed me in the ribs and said that the server who gave us our drinks was the server who poured the sidra on the TV show.  I couldn't remember, but she told me to tell him that we were there because we saw the restaurant on the show, and I did.  Our server, Ferney (Si estás leyendo mi blog, ¡holaaa, Ferney!), was delighted and he exclaimed that he appeared on it, that he was the one who did the fancy sidra-pouring - mum was right!

So after that, word must have gotten around the restaurant because we were getting even more smiles than before, which was already a lot, and the atmosphere was extra, extra merry.  When I accidentally knocked down my beer while asking for someone to take a photo for us, everyone was super friendly, super kind, got it all cleared up right away while assuring me that everyting was okay, and they even handed me another beer without charging me for two.

The food was beautiful and tasty and the beer was good.  By the end, Ferney and I had exchanged contacts and Superwoman and I promised to send him the show with the approximate time for when he appears on it.

It was a great dining experience and an awesome suggestion on the part of the TV show.  The drinks were slightly pricey but the pintxos, at 2 € apiece, were very reasonably priced.  We would definitely go there again and we'd recommend it to anyone.

Orio is located at:
Calle de Ferran, 38
08002, Barcelona

P.S. Sitting at the bar is cheaper than sitting at the tables, which is cheaper than sitting on the patio outside, FYI. ;)

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