One fine crisp September morning Mrs. Unlawyer and I found ourselves inside the La Boqueria market [its formal name is Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria - Ed.] off La Rambla in Barcelona. We really had no intent of sticking around for too long as we had to catch a train to Girona for lunch later in the day.
Then, I was excitedly dragged off by Mrs. Unlawyer to a corridor and pointed to a small restaurant near the entrance to the market called Bar Pinotxo. Now until that day I had never heard of this eatery but she insisted that we take our breakfast there, and so we braved the crowd and patiently waited for seats at the counter, of which we were soon rewarded with.
So we took our seats and thought of asking for a more detailed bill of fare but didn’t need to as proprietor Juanito Bayen – he’s the dapper guy with the bow tie depicted at the top of this entry – and his nephew told us what was available. There were also dishes on display under a glass case at the counter so all we had to do was point.
So after ordering some cafe amb llet – that’s coffee with milk – Mr. Bayen recommended that we each order a croissant-like, sugar-coated, cream-filled pastry called xuixo. It was breakfast after all.
Mrs. Unlawyer then asked for, and was served, the dish that she had read about and wanted to try: chipirons amb mongetes, or baby squid with white beans in a sherry sauce. What can I say: the tender squid, sweetish beans, and tangy sauce went well together. It was clearly the highlight of this meal.
I was definitely less adventurous than Mrs. Unlawyer that morning, so all I took was a regular serving of grilled botifarra, or Catalan pork sausage, with some salad greens. I thought that, well, one botifarra was the same as the other, but I discovered much later on that there are at least 30 varieties of them. There is even a market somewhere in the Barri Gotic that dealt in nothing but botifarra, or so I heard.
So we ate in a hurry, and gave up our seats to a group of Filipinas who asked us if the food was any good. We gave it a collective four thumbs up!
Bar Pinotxo is located at La Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona, Spain. Phone: +34 93 317 1731. Open Mondays-Saturdays 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Cash only (I think).