Our first breakfast at the market was at a little booth run by a couple of fiery older Spanish ladies - we each had a cafe con leche (why can't I find coffee like this in Philly? It's so delicious) I had a lomo bocadilla (sandwich) and Ron had a spinach tortilla (like a frittata).
What's that with Ron's tortilla you ask? It's pan con tomate and you see it everywhere. Bread rubbed with a halved tomato, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. It comes as a side with breakfast, you get slices of it with a plate of ham or anchovies, all the baguettes that make those perfect little sandwiches are rubbed with tomato. And...it's perfect. I think I found my new go-to condiment.
We also had an incredible market meal at Pinoxto - the amazing and occasionally celebrity chef studded tapas bar (I've heard rumors of Eric Ripert!) in the market and home to the best chickpeas I've ever eaten. I'd read rave reviews about this place and the first couple of days we were in the market it was packed! But for some reason on our last day in Barcelona there were two open bar stools and Ron was quick to grab them. We sat in between an old Spanish man eating tripe stew and an American tourist who'd been there every day of her trip!
The guy in the bowtie? That's Juanito Bayen - the over 70 year old, too cute, owner of Pinotxo.
We ordered cafe con leche and a plate of chickpeas (per the friendly guy behind the bar's suggestion), sausage and some more pan con tomate. Apparently the thing to do is just ask "What's good today?" and trust that what you'll get will be really, really, good.
It sounds so simple and, really, it was but it was amazing. I searched for a recipe for those chickpeas and I think the secret ingredient might be blood sausage! I never would have guessed. They had pine nuts, balsamic, delicious olive oil and the perfect amount of salt sprinkled on top. I'll be attempting to replicate this dish soon maybe following this recipe, Pinoxto's Chickpeas, although neither of us remember raisins. But if this recipe is even close to what we ate I'll be making a batch of these weekly all Fall and Winter!
My only regret was not eating breakfast here every day.