Located on busy Carrer de l’Escorial on the edge of Gràcia, Vermuteria Loú is a tiny, cozy venue that is exactly what we look for in a neighborhood place. The little terrace out front, with just four tables and a bar that opens to the street, encourages patrons to sit and take refreshment while observing the local street life. Continue »
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Drinking báijiǔ (白酒) always brings us back to our first illicit taste of hard alcohol – a shock to the system, going down fiery and leaving a shudder-inducing aftertaste on the tongue. And just as many first-time drinkers are left wondering where exactly the attraction lies, the same thing is true for baijiu – at least, until the aftereffects start to kick in. Continue »
With its high walls lined top-to-bottom with a colorful array of bottles, the tiny Quimet & Quimet, a charming tapas bar in El Poble Sec, could easily be mistaken for just another wine shop. But step inside this culinary cabinet of wonders, one of the most famous and beautiful bodegas de tapas in Barcelona, and you will be magically whisked into another world of edible and drinkable delights. Continue »
Until not long ago, Francisco I. Madero was a typical – and rather uninviting – street in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico, uneven and full of potholes, with narrow sidewalks. The avenue was constantly clogged with car traffic trying to make its way to the Zócalo plaza in the center of the neighborhood. In short, it was a mess. Continue »
Barcelona’s Avinguda del Paral·lel was, for the first half of the 20th century, a bustling boulevard of theaters, cabarets, circus shows and risqué nightlife. Nowadays, most of the grand buildings and the glamour of the thoroughfare have been erased by the rapid changes that have taken place in Barcelona, with just a few theaters and old bars from the glory days still open. Continue »
Sometimes bureaucracy can be a blessing in disguise. Cruz del Milagro, an informal restaurant in the popular nightlife area of Zona Rosa, was originally intended to be a simple mezcalería, a place where owners Dora Jiménez and daughter Diana Herrera, the third and fourth generation in a line of mezcal producers, could share the family brand, El Rey Zapoteco Mezcal, with the growing base of mezcal aficionados in Mexico City. Continue »
Once a mostly beer-free country, Spain – traditionally a land of wine drinkers – has recently started to develop a taste for the sudsy beverage, and Catalonians seem to have been the main pioneers behind this growing trend. The number of local craft breweries is increasing and so is the number of beer fans, who are also learning how to brew the drink at home. Put it all together and you have a young and adventurous market that is ready to experiment with tastes and textures to create stellar new beers with a distinct Mediterranean flavor. Continue »
De toda la vida is a Spanish expression that basically means “It’s been around forever,” and it’s a sure thing that the locals in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighborhood will utter those words if you ask them about Bodega Quimet. Opened in the 1950s by the Quimet family, the bodega (not to be confused with Quimet i Quimet, a popular Barcelona tapas bar) was passed down from father to son until 2010, when the younger (but nonetheless old) Quimet retired and brothers Carlos and David Montero bought the venue. Continue »
The economic crisis that has plagued Greece for the past five years has led to changes on the Athenian culinary scene, including the opening of three new types of venues that seem to be reflective of the times. The first two – cupcake places and frozen yogurt shops – are imports from abroad, perhaps indicative of a population in need of something sweet, comforting and affordable. On the other hand, the third trend, wine bars, digs deep into Greece’s roots, representing a fascinating phenomenon in a country that is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions. Continue »
Editor’s note: This is the second installment of “Best Bites of 2012,” a roundup of our top culinary experiences over the last year. Up next is Mexico City.
Greek wine has always been a bit of a hidden gem, excellent but produced in small quantities and thus more expensive when exported; as a result, it still has not gotten the international attention it deserves. Hopefully, the crop of wine bars that have recently sprung up in downtown Athens will help more people get to know Greek wines.
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