Tag Archives: spain

Dumplings in Barcelona

It is awesome when a new place opens up in the neighborhood. This is the feeling we had when Dip Dumpling joined Gracia towards the end of last year. It is not one of those places that screams out calling for you, but once you go there you will love it. We love its identity, its purity. Also you must like dumplings, because that is the main attraction on their menu.

Ana and Eduardo, have brought their experiences from New York and China, along with their team back to Barcelona.

The place is simple, clean and minimally decorated. It is a very relaxed environment with just enough space to seat around 12 people. It feels like the feng shui is spot on.

Furthermore, the menu is just as simple and intentionally limited as the decor. At Dip Dumpling they use the best and freshest ingredients. Not only that, they painstakingly do everything by hand, even aspects of the cooking and preparation a machine could easily do. Luckily, for us, we get to taste the love and effort that goes into preparing the food.

We usually start off with some greens, edamame, bok choy and broccoli. We are also served a little cup of kimchi to open up our appetite.

For drinks as they do not serve any alcohol (and you won’t even need it here), we usually get the ginger or green juices.

Next, you can select between the beef, pork, shrimp, and vegetable dumplings. We have a bit of everything but our favorite are the beef dumplings.

Finally, we end up having the apple pie dumplings for dessert. They are so light and not super sweet.

The meal is satisfyingly filling, but maintains a sense of lightness. Overall, it’s just a healthy, soothing and yummy experience.

TookTook Tips:

  • Get the Bok Choy it’s just so fresh and succulent
  • Have a juice
  • Get an assortment of dumplings – our favorite is the beef
  • They do not serve alcohol
  • Small groups should be easier to serve
  • Closed on Monday’s
Phone: +34 932 10 79 46
Price:
Hours:
Tuesday 7–11PM
Wednesday 7–11PM
Thursday 7–11PM
Friday 7–11PM
Saturday 7–11PM
Sunday 7–11PM
Monday Closed


From,

The Tooktook Tem

N.A.P. Barcelona’s Best Pizza

There is one food that just may unite everyone. Whether you are traveling through or want some comfort food most would agree that pizza is such a great option. There are so many good places to eat in Barcelona from tapas to steaks, from burgers to sushi, but for some reason a good ol’ pizza will always hit the spot.

You can grow tired with the myriad of choices a city has on offer, so it is important to really have a great pizza place for that crucial moment of when you are in doubt. For us, our go to, when in doubt, all else fails, pizza place in Barcelona is Neapolitan Authentic Pizza, aka N.A.P.

N.A.P. is delicious, authentic, and it just happens to be super value-for-money. The location is tucked in close by a busy area of the city. The restaurant is small and spacing is intimate, the noise levels are on the up. Really has relaxed, authentic all is good feel.

For starters it serves up tasty variations of bruschetta, a fresh super milky bufala mozzarella , and a hot cheesy eggplant lasagna.

Eggplant Lasagna

 

On to the main event. There are a handful of choices for pizza. The pizzas are made right in front of you. The freshest dough rolled and flattened then topped with the freshest ingredients. As you enter the restaurant the brick oven is cooking that dough, melting that cheese, cooking those ingredients right before your eyes. It is absolutely mouth watering.

Diavola
Regina

 

For dessert we end up having the Tiramisu, followed by Limoncello and an Espresso.

There is no other to top off an authentic Italian meal.

It’s always a fulfilling experience.

TookTook Tips:

  • Get a bottle of wine, the experience is so much better
  • Vegetarian choice, the Regina
  • Love the Tiramisu
  • This place gets packed so get there early.
  • Great place for a relaxed date with a small but conversation friendly atmosphere
  • You can reserve at the second location and it has space for bigger groups
Price: €

Hours:

Tuesday 1:30–4:30PM, 8PM–12AM
Wednesday 1:30–4:30PM, 8PM–12AM
Thursday 1:30–4:30PM, 8PM–12AM
Friday 1:30–4:30PM, 8PM–12AM
Saturday 1:30PM–12AM
Sunday 1:30PM–12AM
Monday 1:30–4:30PM, 8PM–12AM
Signing out,

The Tooktook Team

Nobook Barcelona

One night we were looking to try out a new place for diner in Barcelona and it needed to be quite central. We heard about Nobook.

As the name suggests, you cannot make a reservation/booking, hence the name Nobook. You can really feel this place is different and has an identity of its own.

From the moment you enter, you see chairs hanging on the wall ready to be brought into effect for extra seating, orange-themed decor, open plan kitchen, but the best is the staff are dressed up in orange jumpsuits as if they were prisoners in a corrections facility.

A bit shocking, the colors and the outfits at first, you get used to it, especially the team is so welcoming and enjoying their own environment. The closest thing to a literal version of Orange is the New Black.

 

The cocktails here are very creative and well presented. Do try one or two throughout your meal.

Like the cocktails, the dishes are creative as well. They touch upon various cuisines from around the world and are great for sharing amongst each other.

Do check out what we ate.

 

Ceviche
Gua Bao with Peking Duck
img_5773
General Tso Chicken
Scallops

Over and above the main menu, there a few surprise dishes that are served from off the menu so be sure to try those as well.

After a lovely meal of a variety of flavors and there was no dessert or coffee or coffe on offer because their cocktails are supposed to take care of your post meal cravings. The night we went there was a band and it kept the energy flowing throughout the night.

You’ll be walking away from Nobook with good vibes.

TookTook Tips:

  • Make sure you know how much you are ordering as quantities vary per dish
  • Try some of their amazing cocktails
  • Find out what is on their unwritten menu
Menu: nobook.es
Phone: At Nobook you can’t book so…No Phone
Price: €€€

Hours:

Tuesday 7:30–11:30PM
Wednesday 7:30–11:30PM
Thursday 1–3:30PM, 7:30PM–12AM
Friday 1–3:30PM, 7:30PM–12AM
Saturday 1–3:30PM, 7:30PM–12AM
Sunday: Closed
Monday 7:30–11:30PM

Signing out,

The Tooktook Team

El Portal – The Gastronomic Taberna of Alicante

The Taberna & Wines Portal

El Portal is a restaurant that is famous in Alicante for a variety of reasons.

  1. It is the epicentre of fine dining in Alicante.
  2. They have an Incredible wine list and serve stunning cocktails.
  3. It is stylish and a place to be seen.
  4. And it is rated highly by the folks at Michelin

El Portal Taberna & Wines

None of these things, usually gets us excited but based on recommendations from locals tellings us to go to Portal, we thought, why not, lets give it a shot!

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and tried to walk in, which was an automatic fail, because the whole place was booked out and not only booked out for the rest of Friday, but for the entire weekend. The lovely maître d however told us to come the next day at 1pm, when the place opens and we could get a spot at the bar.

The Taberna & Wines Portal

So the next day that is exactly what we did and we walked in as one of the first folks for lunch (1pm is clearly too early for Spanish lunch time!). We were given a seats at the bar and because it was relatively quiet, the bar tender was able to chat with us and give us recommendations on what to order.

sardines-and-chips

We ordered 10 dishes covering a variety of things, such as Mollejas de cordero (lamb with sweet bread), Patatas Bravas ( baked potato with aioli sauce), and Verdura Gastromercat ( mozzarella and tomato).

verdura-gastromercat

patatas-bravas

mollejas-de-cordero

The highlight however were:

Turron de Foie turron-de-foie

Turron or nougat, are made with honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds. Almonds are indigenous to the region, so you know your getting some one the best turrons in Spain here. And when you combine that nutty paste with the soft consistency of Foie Gras, you are creating an explosion of flavour, like we have never had before.

Vieiras Asadas vieiras-asadas

The roasted scallops in a buttery cream sauce and  topped with bacon!! We just loved this dish. I mean anything with bacon, just makes things better ha! But in all seriousness this is dish, executed to perfection.

Berengena Asadaberengena-asada

Roasted Aubergine was spectacular. It was tender, packed with a lot of flavour. The upper bread crumbled crust, give this dish an amazing contrast between the braised flavours of the aubergine and crispy flavours of the crumble.

Tuna Tataki

tuna-tataki

This was the highlight of what we eat. This dish was at par with anything you would eat in Japan. The Sashimi was tender, almost buttery and was literally melting in our mouths. We highly recommend, getting this dish if you are good with seafood!

seafood

The other dish highly recommended, was the snow crab, which we did not have any space our stomachs to get to, but the bar tender could not stop raving about it!

We are highly impressed by Portal and our experience. Carlos Bosch and his partner and Chef Sergio Sierra have done an incredible job putting Alicante on the map with their restaurant.

TookTook Tips:

  • Make sure to get reservations, Portal is extremely popular with locals and visitors.
  • Book a table for a late lunch on Saturday, we recommend around 2pm and  stick around for drinks! The atmosphere is electric, fuelled by the amazing cocktails.
  • Try the Olive oil that they serve, it is amazing!
    copacopa-vino

Address: Calle Bilbao, 2, 03001 Alicante

Phone: +34 965 14 32 69

Website: El Portal

Hours: Open every day· 1pm–1:30am

Price: €€€

To-Bar – An Alicantino Meal to Remember 

Imagine walking into a restaurant not knowing what you’re going to eat, how much you’re going to pay, how much you’re going to get to eat, or what kind of cuisine it is. We walked into To-bar in Alicante under those circumstances.

Completely overwhelmed by the lack of control over the situation we were wondering if this was turning out to be a good idea in the first place. The waiter with great confidence and jubilation told us we are in good hands and have very little to worry about. We decided to go with the flow.

Bread, water, wine, salad, a host of appetizers, freshly caught shrimp ready to peel, first plate of meat and a second plate of fish, dessert, coffee, digestifs were all included. This turned out to be truly a local, authentic, Alicantino meal.

 

By the end of the meal we had no more space. No more wiggle room to move. We held our breath for the bill not knowing the damage to our wallets. How much was this experience really worth?

€ 17.50 per head! Our jaws dropped, we couldn’t believe it. For that price this meal was outstanding and worth every penny. Probably, one of the most value-for-money moments ever in our lives.

The atmosphere is great here, like a rustic tavern. Whether you are two people or twenty this place can accommodate any occasion.

Tooktook Tips:

  • Be sure to make a reservation as such an experience is in great demand for visitors and locals alike.

 

Address: Calle Músico José Torregrosa, 28, 03112 Alicante
Phone: 645 46 18 36
Website: tabernatobar.com
Hours: Open every day· 12–4PM | Friday and Saturday 9–11PM | Sunday Closed

Price: €

From the Tooktook Team

Barcelona: Born to be Wild

Summer might be coming to an end in most places, but in Barcelona the sun is shinning brighter than ever.

As you may already know, Barcelona is made up of various neighborhoods, with each offering its own style, charm, and vibes.

Today, we will be taking a trip through the neighborhood of El Born.

Cafe:

Cafés El Magnifico | Carrer de l’Argenteria, 64, 08003 | www.cafeselmagnifico.com | +34933193975

Really good coffee! Carefully sourced and toasted beans from various part of globe.

cem3

cem2

Food:

Tapeo del Born Carrer de Montcada, 29, 08003 | www.tapeoborn.cat | +34933101607

Delicious tapas with some great creativity and flavors.

tapeo

tapeo2

tapeo3

La Paradeta Carrer Comercial, 7 | www.laparadeta.com | +34932681939

Fresh Seafood purchased by the kilo. Pick your fish, the quantity and the way it’s cooked (fried, grilled, or boiled). Dig in.

paradeta

paradeta3

paradeta4

Tlaxcal | Carrer del Comerç, 27, 08003 | www.tlaxcal.com | +34932684134

Just some great Mexican food. The tacos are amazing here, so are the enchiladas and the guacamole.

tlxacal2

txacal3

txacal4

txacal5

La Taguara Carrer del Rec, 10, 08003 | www.taguara.es | +34932681572

Really good arepas. It’s standing only, which makes it a great place for a quick bite.

taguara

Cal Pep Plaça de les Olles, 8, 08003 | www.calpep.com | +34933107961

Tapas. This place is always packed and you eat at the bar.

calpep

calpep2

Picnic Carrer del Comerç, 1, 08003 | www.picnic-restaurant.com | +34935116661

Awesome brunch food.

picni2

picnic3

picnic4

Llamber Carrer de la Fusina, 5, 08003 | www.llamber.com | +34933196250

Gastronomic cuisine.

llamber

llamber2

llamber6

llamber7

Dessert:

Espai Sucre Carrer de la Princesa, 53, 08003 | www.espaisucre.com | +34932681630

Gastronomic tasting menu for desserts. Quite a unique concept with unusual flavor combinations.

Espai Sucre

Espai Sucre2

Espai Sucre3

Espai Sucre4

Bubó Carrer de les Caputxes, 10, 08003 | http://bubo.es | +34932687224

It’s a great and the right place to succumb to all your sweet tooth cravings. You will come across all sorts of goodies. Tarts, bakery items, cakes, macaroons, chocolates. You name they got it.

bubo

Vermouth:

Bormuth Plaça Comercial, 1, 08003 | bormuth.blogspot.com.es | +34933102186

bormuth

Etniko Carrer del fossar de les moreres  | Website | +34931882890

You can find some great vermouth here, but cocktails as well.

etniko

Shopping Night Barcelona. Eat and Shop, Shop and Eat.

It’s that time of year again. With the street decorations lit up at night, the festive season has begun and so has the shopping extravaganza.

Already hungover from and getting accustomed to the entire notion of Black Friday, Barcelona is going in for another round of shopping madness.

Barcelona might not have the biggest and brightest brands on offer, but what Barcelona lacks in that sort of creme de la creme of brands and truly biting winter weather, it makes up with its uncanny ability to make an excuse to get out of the house and make a party out of anything. Yes, shopping included, especially shopping. Welcome to the Spanish, if not the mediterranean, way of life.

You know what they say. Can’t beat ’em? Join ’em.

So if you have not spent all your extra cash last weekend or are yet to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones, then you are in luck.

Introducing Shopping Night Barcelona 2014 on Passeig de Gracia on Thursday December 4th, 2014.

And while you are in the vicinity. There are a few places you might want to go check out.

El Nacional | Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis 08007 Barcelona | http://www.elnacionalbcn.com | +34 93 518 50 53

It just opened a few months ago. This is a gourmet food court of sorts. It is a combination of a variety of spaces. Here you will come across a bar with little bite to eat, a , a brasserie, a seafood restaurant, oyster bar, cocktail bar, and a bakery. This place is absolutely charming and has a great atmosphere for any kind of moment all under one roof. No reservations.

elnacional

 

 

Bubó Bulevard Rosa Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona | http://bubo.es | +34 931 59 28 13

This patisserie can be accessed from within the Bulevard Rosa center on Passeig . It’s a great and the right place to succumb to all your sweet tooth cravings. You will come across all sorts of goodies. Tarts, bakery items, cakes, macaroons, chocolates. You name they got it. Please try the Long Cruixent d’Avellanes (warning: don’t eat if you have nut allergies).

bubo

 

 

Toto | Carrer de València, 246, 08007 Barcelona | http://ilovetoto.es/en | +34 934 67 67 29

This is a relatively new place yet it has already caught some deserved attention. The kitchen can also be seen from the dining area, which gives the place some additional authenticity. From the cocktails to the food you can spend your entire night here and it’ll be lots of fun. The pizza and the slow cooked lamb are two favorites that should be tried.

toto

 

 

Cafe Emma Carrer de Pau Claris, 142, 08009 Barcelona | http://www.cafe-emma.com | +34 932 15 12 16

If you’re looking for a hint of french food, a bistrot vibe, then come here. Here you’ll find a good confit de canard and you won’t be disappointed. The steak with the house sauce and fries are pretty good too. Take a step further and try the crab salad. And if you’re in the brunch mood get some eggs Benedict. Food coma warning.

cafeemma

 

 

Cafe Jaime Beriestain | Carrer de Pau Claris, 167, 08037 Barcelona | http://www.beriestain.com/ | +34 932 15 12 16

This place is awesome. Great concept. A cafe designed by an interior designer. I love the comfy and subtle homey decore and the food is good too. From the out-of-place bravas and tartar  to the baked goods and delightful deserts, this place will keep you coming back. Connected to the cafe, around the bend, you will find the Jaime Beriestain Concept Store full of cool and aesthetically pleasing objects that might be exactly what your looking for. From coffee table books to stained mirrors and what not.

jaimeberistain

 

 

Boca Chica Passatge de la Concepció, 12, 08008 Barcelona | http://www.bocagrande.cat/en | +34 934 67 51 49

The bar is actually part of the restaurant, Boca Grande on the ground floor. However, it physically takes up more space than the restaurant. I think the ambience and decor here is noteworthy on all floors (be sure to check out the bathrooms). Additionally you’ll find some cool cocktails here on their menu or give your concoctions a try. A great place to start or end your night.

bocachica

 

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Happy in Valencia

We would like to give special thanks to our awesome local Santiago Vernetta for sharing his Valencia with us.

 

Valencia, the home to la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and paella, has some great places to wine and dine. Hopefully, these places will purge any hunger pangs you might be having.

La Papparadella

The restaurant offers some great Italian food ranging from pasta, pizzas, and piadinis. It has outdoor and indoor seating. The ingredients are so fresh, whether it’s the greens in the salad or the bufala in the caprese. Some good ol’ wholesome food.

la-pappardella

Address: Carrer dels Brodadors, 5, 46001 València

Picoteo de Vicio

You can find some great tapas here. Awesome combinations and the way the food was presented made meal even more sensory. It is perfect for trying a little bit of everything and if someone orders something you like you can order it in the next round.

PICOTEO-DE-VICIO-1

Address: Carrer de Borriana, 26, 46005

La Petite Brioche Bakery

IMG_0714

Great place to walk over to for breakfast. With mini pancakes, scrambled eggs, quiches, cookies and a lot more sweet and savory things on the menu to start your day with a smile. And fresh orange juice.

Address: Calle de Sorni, 28, 46004 

La Parrillita Argentina

If you are a real carnivore, then this Argentinian place is the where you should go. The steaks and other meat dishes on offer are just top notch. Have some really good wines to accompany your meal.

parillita argentina

Address:  Calle de Salamanca, 7, 46005

LaLola

Their ingredients are all sourced from the central market around the corner. So everything is really fresh. With good lunch or dinner menus you don’t have to worry about when you come to dine. If you are you looking for a place to eat with outdoor seating on a sunny day in the center of town, then this is it.

Lalola-restaurante-Valencia1

Address: Pujada del Toledà, 8, 46001

Lambrusqueria

If you’re looking for a relaxed romantic dinner with a pleasant ambience and with the choice to be seated outdoors or indoors the Lambrusqueria is a pretty good option . Come here for the lambrusco, of course. Seems like a cool  place to hangout during the afternoons, with a more continental Europe pub feel.

lambrusqueria

Address: Calle Conde Altea, 31, 46005

La Pepica

This is a touchy topic in Spain and especially in Valencia. Where can you find the best paella in town? People have their favorites and restaurants have their specialities. We looked at the experience as a hole. Paella needs to be eaten by the beach. Therefore, the Malvarossa beach area is the right place to go.  With the numerous options on hand it is difficult to pick an outright winner. An institution since 1898 for paella in Valencia, La Pepica is known to serve the best seafood paella around. Levante is also a great spot for chicken and rabbit paella and would be a good choice if you are looking for something near the center of town.

valencia paella pepica4

Address: Paseo de Neptuno 6, Playa de la Malvarosa, 46011

 

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@tooktookme

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Barça, Barça, Barcelona!

Summer is over in Barcelona. Be that in November. All those days you spent relaxing at the beach and tanning on terraces on those sunny afternoons are now just distant memories. You might not admit it but your schedule has a vacancy. Luckily for you it’s Barcelona. There are no shortages of things to do and places to eat in this wonderful city.

Now that all of those beautiful beach bodies and six packs have gone into hiding you can enjoy the other wonders of the city.

First item on the agenda. Coming up this Thursday (November 28, 2013) is Shopping Night Barcelona on Passeig de Gracia. Shops are open from 8 p.m. until the break of dawn. Don’t miss it!

If you are looking to get a bite to eat there are many options in town. Here are some that are great for visitors and locals alike.

 

 

La Champaneria

image

Known for: Cava, Jamón, Cecina & Sandwiches

Info: Get cava by the bottle before 5 p.m., Usually Packed, No seating, No reservations, Closed on Sundays

Getting there: Metro Barceloneta

Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7, 08003

 

 

Kiosko

image

Known for: Burgers, burgers & burgers

Info: Usually Packed, No reservations

Getting there: Metro Barceloneta

Avinguda del Marquès de l’Argentera, 1 bis, 08003 

 

 

Bó de B 

image

Known for: Sandwiches

Info: Usually Packed, To go and dine-in, No reservations

Getting there: Metro Barceloneta

Carrer de la Mercè, 35, 08002

 

 

Bun Bo Vietnam

image

Known for: Vietnamese

Info: Dine-in.

Getting there: Metro Urquinaona

Calle Sagristans, 3, 08002 

 

 

Bar Tomás

image

Known for: Patatas Bravas

Info: Favorite for locals, Closed on Sundays

Getting there: Ferrocarril Sarria

Carrer Major de Sarrià, 49, 08017

 

Bon Profit! Bon Provecho!

 

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