Spanish Standard Time

Hello foodies!

As a high school student, I went to my fair share of Indian grad parties. So, I’d say that I am pretty familiar with what my friends and I like to call “Indian Standard Time” (IST). According to IST, showing up on time means arriving one hour late. One time, I made the mistake of arriving at the time written on my invitation and was greeted with a near empty ballroom. With that being said, “Spanish Standard Time”–this is probably not a real term– is very much real and similar to IST. So in true Spanish Standard Time fashion, I decided to write this post…late and after I went to Spain over Spring break. Below are some highlights from my food adventures in Spain.

For reference, here are the timeframes for when meals are usually eaten in Spain:
Breakfast: 10 A.M.-11 A.M.
Lunch: 2 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Dinner: 8 P.M. – 11 P.M.
If you want to beat the crowd, just go at the time you usually eat at in America.

Madrid:

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Chocolat: https://www.yelp.com/biz/chocolat-madrid

The first thing I ate after I got off my flight was churros! Spanish churros are pretty different from Mexican churros in the U.S. Unlike the sugar-coated hot sticks of dough we have in the states, Spanish churros by themselves do not taste like anything. So, the churros are supposed to be dunked in the melted chocolate. Even though the melted chocolate looks like a cup of hot chocolate, it is a lot more frothier, thicker, and not as sweet. It pairs well with the churros. People drink the chocolate by itself too.

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Takos al Pastor: https://www.yelp.com/biz/takos-al-pastor-madrid

If you are in Madrid, you MUST go here. Bring a Spanish speaking friend too if you don’t know how to speak Spanish like me. I would say that this place is considered to be a fast food restaurant, but do not let that deter you from going. I waited for around 45 minutes, but it was COMPLETELY worth it. My personal favorites were the arrachera (steak) tacos and the (chicken) quesadilla de tinga. The food came out really quickly and was beyond amazing. The cheese inside the quesadillas was gooey and dragged out with every bite. Food here is truly authentic and reminds me of food served in L.A. taco shacks.

Barcelona:

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Creps Barcelona: https://www.yelp.com/biz/creps-barcelona-barcelona-3

What better way to relax after a busy morning and afternoon of walking and exploring? Creps Barcelona is a small, homey, and quiet restaurant. Inside, there are only around ten tables or so and a bar. Unlike Japanese crepes which tend to be slightly harder and crunchier, the ones served here are spongy, thin, and moist. There is a sizable amount of chocolate tucked inside the crepe too. As a side note, I never drink coffee in America, but the latte here was perfect. Personally, I think that European coffee is superior in every way to American coffee. The culture around coffee in Europe and America is different as well. People in Europe drink coffee leisurely and enjoy it in a nice cafe, whereas in Americans tend to just chug coffee to stay awake for the day. But then again, the entire culture and atmosphere in Spain is very laid back as well.

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Cervecería Catalana: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cervecer%C3%ADa-catalana-barcelona-2

Tapas! Spain is known for its tapas, which are small food dishes that are usually enjoyed with alcohol. I like to think of enjoying tapas as eating appetizer dishes. There are many tapas restaurants in Barcelona, but my brother recommended I go here. The restaurant is close to the Barcelona’s main shopping street, Passeig de Gracia, which has a lot of high end clothing stores. Cervecería Catalana is not too pricy, but still offers that fine dining experience. White table cloths and shiny silverware sit comfortably on top of every table. My friends and I each paid less than $10 (USD) for lunch. One of my favorite tapas is Patatas Bravas, which are fried potatoes drizzled with a sauce that is usually made of mayonnaise or is Tomato Aioli. Patatas Bravas are definitely a step up from traditional french fries. The potatoes are not too salty, but crisp on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. We also ordered fried calamari and bell peppers, which is the dome-shaped dish in the picture. This restaurant is definitely worth the visit!

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the restaurants and foods you should try if you’re in Spain, but hopefully I gave you some suggestions for places you can try if you ever visit the country!

Adios!

Peace Out Girl Scout,

Justin Yue
Penn Appétit Blogger

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