If you are staying at the Marriott hotel at the end of the Diagonal St you can easily walk or get off the Poblenou exit of the metro in Barcelona like the Dude of Food did and make your way to the cities newest quality restaurant, El Mar-Amor.
The place is newly opened, mid May 2015, and was already doing a decent morning and evening business 4 days into it. Owner, manager and great host Hamid has put together a really great place to get to know. Hamid knows how to create and entertain. His hospitality is top notch and genuine. Let me give you some examples,
“Come in. If you don’t like it you don’t pay.” I heard an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I came in and asked for a beer. They had cold Estrelle Damm on tap.
When I told him I only had 20 euros on me and the paella was going to be 18 euros he said “no problem”. “but I already spent the other 2 euros on this beer and I want to drink more” the Dude of Food replied. Again Hamid replied, “no problem” and filled my empty beer glass. He then explained that “the paella is made fresh to order and will take at least 20 minutes but is only made for 2 people. It’s 9 euros each and the chef makes it for 2 people.” “No problem” said the Dude of Food. I reached in my pocket and gave Hamid the last 20 euro bill i had in my pocket.
Hamid took my bill and smiled, “we will take care of you” and he was true to his word. Hamid’s team prepared an awesome paella for 2 and filled my beer glass 4 times. The paella was served in a giant 14″ hot dish and was devoured by the Dude as soon as it had cooled enough to eat.
Hamid and his team took great care of me again when I returned for breakfast. They made me fried eggs, with ham bacon and some fried potatoes and coffee with milk. Hamid even left his bicycle for me to borrow. They offered to stay open past their normal 12:30a close if our crew wanted to stay and drink until 2am. The hospitality of Hamid just didn’t stop.
Located at Carrer Jonaquera 4 in Barcelona, and only a long block from the ocean near the Poblenou metro exit, The Dude of Food returned 6 times and tried nearly everything on the menu, all fresh and all delicious. The future is bright for this rising restaurant star and if you are in the area you need to have a meal at El Mar-Amor of Barcelona.
(the sausage is made local and is delicious with eggs)
When in Donostia / San Sebastian you will find many options of restaurants, but not many small ones that match Bar Desy. You can start your day there with a coffee and tapas or end your day there with a drink and tapas. Bar Desy is a father and son operation and is one great place to eat and meet locals. Bar Desy offers a well rounded variety of tapas both hot and cold from various fish items to meatballs.
The cod cheeks were pretty good and would make a great sandwich. Actually everything was really good but the fresh cod fillets, cod cheeks, squid with lemon, white wine and fresh bread were my favorite things besides the generous hospitality.
These guys take great care of their customers. Located at Ronda 4, a couple blocks back from the surf beach and a couple blocks over from the river. Bar Desy is a great place to get to know the tapas deal. The staff is great as is the food.
Thank you Bar Desy.
Bar Desy can be found on Facebook or by clicking on the photo or links.
It’s true what they say about Il Barroccio on Trip Advisor and elsewhere on the internet. It is just a matter of time before folks will discover and be flocking to Il Barroccio . It is located just around the corner from a huge crowded and overpriced plaza and is an easily found hidden gem.
The Dude of Food tried ‘the homemade noodles wrestling with soft chucks of wild boar in the seriously delicious sauce, please.’
It looked unbelievable and truly tasted better as it made it’s way over my taste buds followed by a bath of decadent Tuscan red wine.
Giovanni and Roberto are top notch and Il Barroccio offers food to match.
The Dude of Food recently visited the Tuscan region of Italy. Luckily, my aunt and uncle were in the area and invited me stay at their rented villa for a night which happens to be a short walk from the cool old Italian village called San Gusme. In this village you will find one of the world’s finest culinary dreams come true. A place called Sira e Remino.
The restaurant’s sign which says Sira e Remino un cult, is exactly the kind of cult I need to join. Their place is located within the small old village walls and is awesome. The greeting and hospitality were warm and genuine. Our party of 7 were shown to the ‘Frank Sinatra room’ in the back away from the rowdy local soccer fan filled bar.
We began this heavenly experience with lots of wine followed by salads, anti pasta, then more wine followed by incredible sizzling meat trays. There wasn’t a thing that wasn’t perfect about this entire place, staff and meal. The prices were generous considering the quality and portions.
Thank you Sira e Remino. Now I’m thinking I should get a job here just to be close to your quality food.
The Dude of Food can be reached on Facebook.
Seen from the street, Bar Porta Al Prato looks like this corner building. Sitting quietly, this recently opened culinary beauty awaits your entrance, offering everything one could desire once you make your way through the doors and into the soul of this gem.
Bar Porta Al Prato in Firenze offers both a great indoor environment or a huge patio out back to enjoy. The staff here are awesome, extremely helpful, knowledgable, generous and fun besides offering many delicious and thoughtfully prepared Tuscan dishes. Their menu offers everything from pizza and gelato to pasta and fine wine and everything in between. What a great way to spend quality time dining with your family, friends or team.
The delicious wine comes from local vineyards that produce some excellent flavors. The homemade gelato is delicious and kid approved.
Thank you Bar Porta Al Prato for everything. The Dude of Food thinks you guys are doing a great job. Keep up the awesome hospitality and great food.
They can also be found on Facebook by searching Bar Samus Porta.
Located at Via Veio, 4 , near the San Giovanni metro station in Rome, Italy is the greatest beer and wine store around. The staff at Johnny’s OFF LICENSE are super knowledgable about the processes and tastes of their products and offer an awesome selection, especially beers.
You can drink on the streets in Rome, so you go in and buy yourself a coldie and simply enjoy it out front while talking with other beer professors. Much local knowledge can be learned from respectable folks at these street meetings, i.e. restaurant recommendations, train and bus info, etc.
These guys at Johnny’s OFF LICENSE are a hospitable bunch and even gave me a beer book to read while traveling. (3 Sheets to the Wind, Pete Brown)
This place is a must if you are tired of feeling like a tourist at the hotel. Tell them the Dude of Food sent ya.
One of the things that happens to the Dude of Food when he walks all over Rome is he begins to work up an appetite.
On my way to the Patheon I stopped at the Habana Cafe and had an awesome and affordable lunch.
Located on Via del Pastini 120, around the corner from the Patheon, you can get a great lunch, served by a cool staff for less that $15 euros. I sat outside and enjoyed the ambiance as I ate.
Good food is what fuels good thoughts in good creative people which is what the Dude of Food happen to be. It’s when the bean counters in the offices eating their favorite restaurants delivered dishes try to save $80. on lunch for the creative stage crew that the caterers are painted into a corner and forced to serve the equivalents of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cheap chinese food.
The creative chef, Yossi Faigenblat, worked for Dustin Hoffman as the actors private chef. The food was ‘all that’ and Hoffman encouraged the chef to get into the catering game. That was in 2003. They opened a craft service /catering company for the movie industry. The line ups have changed over the years and OTS has grown and now have a couple trucks in New York and a few more in Los Angeles. Off The Shelf has both catering trucks and craft service trucks so their awesome creative food can be shared with all of the folks behind the scenes that make the actors playgrounds look so fabulous.
In Feb 9, 2010 Saveur magazine did an article (issue # 127) on movie industry catering companies that included Off The Shelf’s quality food preparation. The link below will take you there.
OTS is not cheap but will do wonderful things with the budget you have. The goal at Off The Shelf as told to the Dude of Food is ‘high end quality food and making people smile’ and this is something the folks at OTS catering are doing quite well. The Dude of Food would like to personally say ‘Thank you OTS and keep up the good work.”
Off The Shelf can be located at the following web address. http://www.otscatering.com/
OTS can also be followed on Facebook and other social media outlets.