Magical culinary wonders await us behind the gates of Sant Josep market, otherwise known as La Boqueria in Barcelona
Another toda la vida establishment in Barcelona, Bar Pinotxo in the Mercat de la Boqueria may not be 'Cheers' where everybody knows your name, but it sure is where everybody knows Juanito. The mythical bartender, chef and entertainer at Pintoxo Bar, which in Catalan stands for Pinocchio, is a Barcelona legend and city emblem. One can't pass through Las Ramblas, Barcelona's busiest street without likely running into this famed kiosk. Friends of Ferran Adrià, cheek rubbing politicians, housewives and tourists, Juanito Bayen not only rules this corner, he owns the bulk of the attention. Nowadays not a single guidebook in Japanese, English, Dutch, or German is published without the inclusion of Pinotxo - but this doesn't stop the locals from stopping by for a meal, glass of cava, or a tallat (cortado in Spanish, a coffee with a dash of milk) and a Catalan xuxo, the most delicious sugar-crusted-custard-filled-fried-pastry you'll even wrap those paper silly thin Spanish napkins around.
This Catalan painter couldn't resist the renowned spot which is Pinotxo Bar in La Boqueria
Garbanzos a la Pinotxo, I believe the recipe depends on what's on hand at Pinotxo or what is in season at the market, however on my visit there was clear presence of Catalan butifarra sausage, pine nuts, parsley, and almost a Moroccan touch of cinnamon.
Juanito Bayen of Pinotxo Bar with his famous bow tie and Juan Luis Royuela of Quesos La Cabezuela got along like two peas in a pod. Brothers from another mother? Regardless we were served up a hell of a breakfast in La Boqueria.
Mercat de la Boqueria, Stall 466-467
Rambla de Sant Josep 91
Barcelona Catalonia 08002
+34 933 17 17 31
Closed Sundays and Catalan/Spanish National holidays
Mondays - Saturdays 6:00-17:00
*UPDATE: Gerry Dawes kindly let me know that my sources were wrong, and therefore many many pages on the internet regarding Pinotxo Bar. Unfortunately, La Boqueria lost another culinary soul; Albert Asin died in February 2011. Since then Jordi Asin has taken his place manning the gas stoves.
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