Pinotxo Bar - Barcelona, Spain

Mercado de la Boqueria, paradas 66 y 67
Barcelona, Spain

When you think of Mercado de la Boqueria you think of great products. When you think of Pinotxo Bar you think of great food. Great Product + Great Execution = Great Food. This is the kind of math that I don't mind doing.

Pinotxo Bar is always mentioned when people talk about places you must eat at while in Barcelona. Is it strictly because of the food or is it the always smiling and cheery owner Juanito Bayen?

Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas. Usually I am not a huge fan of these beans, but this flavorful preparation was very good. I can see why so many people end up ordering these chickpeas. I liked that they added some course salt to bump up the flavor and add a little texture.

Sausage with mixed greens
Nicely browned and greasy in a good way sausage. The sausage was perfectly cooked leaving the sausage juicy and full of flavor. The mixed green on the side was nice to cut the grease of the sausage and to add some veggies to this solo sausage dish.

Whenever we see tripe on the menu, we usually end up ordering it. This tripe was stewed in a tomato and spiced broth that allowed the tripe to soften. The tripe was not tender and soft as I imagined it to be, but was still a good dish. 

Sitting there at the bar, I noticed a basket of fresh eggs that had just been brought in by a local vendor from the Boqueria. The omelet was served with a piece of pan con tomate. The omelet was good but wasn't anything extraordinary. The pan con tomate was pretty standard, not one of the better ones I had on this trip.

Since it was still morning we opted to have a bit of coffee to end our meal and give us some energy to walk around the beautiful city of Barcelona.

As I wrote in the beginning of this blog post, Great Product + Great Execution = Great Food. In my opinion, this is how I would change the equation for Pinotxo Bar. Great Product + Great Execution = Good Food.  Pinotxo Bar gets a lot of love from foodies around the world but I wasn't wowed with any of the dishes that I had on my one visit. Don't get me wrong - the food was good, but not great. Based on this one visit, Pinotxo Bar in my opinion isn't a place that warrants all this attention.


Inopia - Barcelona, Spain


How does a restaurant opened by Albert Adria, the brother of Ferran Adria of El Bulli end up closing its doors? How does a restaurant that is always busy and always has people waiting outside end up closing its doors?

Inopia was one of the few tapas bars that we were lucky enough to eat at while in Barcelona. Inopia is a little more lively, brightly lit, and high energy than most tapas bars. The restaurant is so lively that there is a doorman/bouncer guy that controls the velvet rope.

The Eixample "Bomb" (3.50E)
Eixample is a part of Barcelona. Not sure what the correlation between Eixample the part of Barcelona and the Eixample "bomb" was, but this was a larger version of a croquette. This bomb was stuffed with meat and encased in potato, then fried to a crispy golden brown and topped and bottomed with an almost ketchupy like sauce and an aioli/mayonnaise sauce.

Tomato, burrata, olive, and microgreens
This was one of the specials for the day. Super fresh burrata topped with tomato, microgreens, and some sort of olive, then drizzled with olive oil. This was a super simple yet extremely fresh dish in all aspects.

Iberico ham, cheese, and truffle
Guess how big this sandwich is by looking at the picture? Subway foot long? Not even close. This sandwich was about the size of sharpened pencil and slightly wider than an AA battery. I guess I should have expected that, considering there was iberico ham and truffle in this sandwich. I wished this sandwich was a subway foot long. This was delicious!!!

Homemade Iberian ham croquettes (1.90E)
This croquette came to us fried to a perfect golden brown and nuclear hot, just the way I like it. I couldn't really taste the flavors of the Iberian ham all that much, but still really enjoyed this croquette.

Mini Inopia Burger (3.80E)
Judging from this picture, guess how big this burger was? 1/4 pound? 1/2 pound? Nope... this burger was slightly larger than a French macaron. The burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare/rare. This was one delicious burger and wished it was a 1/2 pound burger.

Pineapple with lime zest and sugar cane liquor (4.20E)
Since it was so warm in Barcelona during our time there, we wanted something refreshing for dessert. What's more refreshing than fresh pineapple. The pineapple had freshly zest lime skin and was then drizzled with a sugarcane liquor. I loved this dessert!! The zest of the lime really added a freshness and citrus kick to the pineapple and the sugarcane liquor added a bit of sweetness and depth to this dish.

By the time we finished eating, which was really early by Barecelonian standards, there were still long lines outside of the restaurant. Not sure why Inopia ended up closing its doors but I am sad to hear that the restaurant is closed. Word on the street is that the brothers are looking to open a few new restaurants in the Barcelona.