Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Pork Dreams

I’m feeling a little emotional… maybe it is the amazing lunch we just had here in Vic, an absolutely beautiful, clean and interesting city.  But let me go back a little.

We left Tarragona yesterday and I had a hard time leaving.  It is just so…. BEAUTIFUL there.  Tuesday we went to Montserrat and to be honest, we didn’t enjoy it too much.  Mostly it was a lot of tourists taking pictures and videos of some really special things and experiences (like, for instance, the black Madonna which is the patron saint of Catalonia. Click, click.)  Somehow I thought it would be a little more mysterious there, but all the gift shops, cafeterias, che ching che ching (that means $$$$$ in Shannon speak) sort of took any mystery or spirituality away, for us, at least.

After that we went back to Tarragona and bought fresh swordfish and veggies and cooked at home.  At 5 the next morning, I woke up and stayed up for the next two hours because this CRAZY storm blew in… constant lightning and thunder, for TWO HOURS.  And not just thunder, but an eight ton steel drum being pushed off El Capitan.  The house shook!  I am not kidding.  It SHOOK. I watched out my window as bolt after bolt of lightning hit the water.  I was, I admit, kind of scared.  Finally I laid back down and tried to sleep but even then I could see the lightning go sideways across the sky.  WIth eyes closed, it was like trying to sleep with a black and white TV on in the room.

I mentioned the storm to the woman at my favorite wine shop in Tarragona and she said, “we don’t have a lot of storms here but when we do, you had better run!”  Hehe.

Anyhow, that is not all of the rest of our time in Tarragona but I do want to get to yesterday, and to today, and to our lunch.

Yesterday we headed northwest to Vic, by way of Cardona because we wanted to see the parador there.  When we went to Montserrat we went down to Barcelona and then inland, so we did not see the mountain range from afar – we sort of just arrived and drove up.  Yesterday, we drove past it froma distance and it is truly amazing seen from a distance – a mass of otherworldly rocks sticking up straight out of the earth.  One can only imagine pilgrims headed there, they must have been completely blown away by the sight of it. 

It was a beautiful drive though, it seems to take longer to get THROUGH a city than it does to get TO a city at times. 

We are staying at the parador some 15 kilometers out of Vic.  It is very nice and has a view of some  craggy cliffs and a lake.  Today we came down pretty early, and walked around this awesome town… there is a Roman temple here plus a lot of really great modernistic and Gaudiesque architecture.  We had a tasty coffee, and looked in a lot of charcuterie shop windows (they are known for their sausages and other meat products here.)

In our walking, I had noticed this place called “El Merlot” that had a bunch of wine barrels in a long hallway in the front, and then a rustic looking dining room in the back.  It looked kind of cool, and we were up for an adventure (the menus are in Catalan not Spanish, so basically… forget understanding too much, even with my food dictionary I printed off the internet.)  So, we went back there for lunch.  We walked in and a woman greeted us.  OK, so I had heard that Catalans were reserved and distant. Uh, not this woman.  She said she could speak French or Spanish, and we mentioned English and she said “yeah, my English is PERFECT.”  This was with total humor and warmth.  She brought us into the dining room where an older woman (probably Mama) was grilling meats (pork, also lamb) and sausages (several pork kinds) over a wood fired antique iron grill.  Then there was a table with beans (with pork,)  fideos (noodles) with meat sauce (pork), potato salad, lentils, green salad, rice salad, pasta salad….  and a big bowl of potato chips. Basically you just help yourself to whatever you want, as much as you want.  Our jolly server brought over a carafe of white and one of red, the kind of carafe with a little pour on one side for direct in-the-mouth pours and a larger pour on the other for the glass. Our server demonstrated for us, the direct pour.  She was so awesome.

The food was fantastic.  Now, I can barely breath because my pants are so tight but it was oh so worth it.  Later in our meal, our server took, to a table of five guys next to us, four candy bars and a bottle of some amber liquid.  I was like, what is she going to do with that candy and alcohol? 

Mama came over from the wood fired grill, with two long pieces of grilled bread on a big platter.  Then she unwrapped the candy, and put it on the bread and made a sandwich.  A chocolate sandwich.  But that’s not all.  After she covered the chocolate with the bread, she took the palm of her hand and THWACK! hit the bread, smashing it down.  Several more hits (THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!) followed.  I pity the mugger who tries to rob this woman.  She practically broke the table, to the total delight of all in the room.  Then she cut up the sandwich with scissors and gave it to the men.

We just had a flan.  I totally wanted some of the chocolate sandwich but I was scared to have her make it at our table.  Well not really, but you know what I mean. 

The lunch cost us less than ten euros each.  On Saturdays they raise the price to 16 euros. I want to come back for that someday.

Off to relax at the parador… Girona tomorrow.

4 Responses to “Pork Dreams”

  1. Chris Says:

    It is SO much fun to read about your travels, Shannon! Are you going back for the chocolate sandwich? What kind of candy bar? And what was the amber liquid?

  2. Letha Saldanha Says:

    Hi Shannon,

    Now you are in Catalan with those 10 Euro meals! Enjoy…


  3. nancyhol Says:

    I LOVE reading about the food and wine! Other stuff too, but mostly food and wine.

    Hope the fun is continuing!

  4. Deborah Says:

    Chocolate, bread, mysterious amber liquid….I want to visit that restaurant!

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