Spain Eats

I have been to Spain twice before, once at age 23, once at 27. This time was different. This time around, while traveling with my very good friend, Jen, I truly got to enjoy Spain. Over the years, I've learned how to accept myself and body for what it is, allowing me to finally truly enjoy all types of food, without labels of carb-free, gluten-free, etc.  

Years ago, you would never catch me eating ice cream and then later in the day, a cheese plate, but those two experiences ended up being two of my best memories of this trip. Sure, I did eat a ton of salads and worked out most days, as I do promote BALANCE. Acceptance will always be a continuous journey, but the road sure does taste better with some pan con tomate.   

I've decided to share some highlights of my meals in Barcelona, Seville, Jerez, with a special appearance from Lisbon, Portugal, which I was able to visit for four glorious hours during a long lay over. Special thanks to my amiga for allowing me to take countless pictures of food before she was "allowed" to eat it. 

Tortilla Espanola is a MUST. It is a traditional spanish omelette, made with fried potatoes and onions. The one below was eaten at 10:30 pm upon arrival to Barcelona at Cu Cut, a great restaurant in the Eixample neighborhood. 

tortilla espanola rocks my world. 

tortilla espanola rocks my world. 

"Let's go have a meal!" 

On our first full day in Barcelona, we wandered the streets and sights for 10 miles. That night, we wanted a meal. We found La Polpa. To start, I had vegetables with Romesco sauce, followed by sweet and sour grilled salmon with fried tofu mixed with eggplant. Jen started with marinated octopus with mashed potatoes, and then moved on to swordfish with tomatoes, jam, dried black olives and crunchy kale.  The Rose was too sweet but we had it anyway. Jen's quote, "The wine didn't marry well with my food." 

Sweet & Sour salmon and fried tofu is a really good idea. 

Sweet & Sour salmon and fried tofu is a really good idea. 

If there is hummus, I will find it. 

After a few days of eating typical spanish fare, we were craving some vegetarian food. Our favorite spots, Angelika's Kitchen and Souen were thousands of miles away, but we found Teresa Carles, right near the beginning of Las Ramblas. 

if I could eat this every day, I would. 

if I could eat this every day, I would. 

We started by dipping fried chickpea critters & pita into sweet potato hummus, chickpea hummus and smoked eggplant hummus.   We then "made our own salads", which consisted of more than 10 ingredients each. I highly recommend Teresa Carles if you're craving fresh healthy food.  

My salad had pumpkin AND seaweed, which probably wasn't the best combination, but I just wanted everything. 

My salad had pumpkin AND seaweed, which probably wasn't the best combination, but I just wanted everything. 

We absolutely love Milk Away, a tiny juice bar on a Seville side street. We returned a few times and took pictures. 

The two highlights were the owner and a banana oatmeal smoothie.

The two highlights were the owner and a banana oatmeal smoothie.

When it's 95 blazing degrees, Abuela is the spot. The ice cream put us in an incredible mood for some good wandering, leading us to Alcazar for hours & hours. 

For better or for worse, tuna is everywhere.

It usually comes on a salad, but is not limited to. 

It usually comes on a salad, but is not limited to. 

Confession: hotel breakfast buffets really do it for me. 

Unlimited eggs and muesli, sign me up. 

Unlimited eggs and muesli, sign me up. 



If you listen to me only once in your life, please let it lead you to Maestro Marcelino.

During an extremely hot afternoon, on a winding side street in Seville, Jen found Maestro Marcelino. She stood with her head pressed up against the window, saying, "we are coming here, we are coming here." That night, we did just that.

It is a tiny place, with only four tables. The walls are lined with all types of meat, canned fish and variety of olive oils and dips. The waiter must have thought we were nuts, as we were acting extremely excited about our cured meat plate, smoked salmon on flatbread, membrillo & cheese on another flat bread, along with a decorative cheese plate with jelly & raisins. There was also some green olives and crunchy bread dipped in olive oil.  It was a really amazing experience, recommended to all who would like a true celebration in their mouth. 

Italian food in Seville! We were literally waiting at the door when La Gallina Bianca opened at 8:30 pm. Jen was thrilled with her prosciutto & ricotta pizza, while I got to pour honey all over a rocket lettuce, ricotta cheese, pine nut and orange salad. Balsamic covered shrimp then followed. 

For a farm to table experience in Seville, La Bartola is a must!  We sat at the bar and had quite the food party. Two words: beet sauce.

Four hours in Lisbon

First stop was a fresh limonada stand in the Bairro Alto neighborhood. Second stop, birthday lunch with mushroom crostini, tuna with veggies and sea bass with hummus & bok choy. Fourth stop, an artisanal chocolate shop, where we bought chocolate covered coffee and various other delicious blends. 

Things that make me wonder...

What is this peculiar orange sauce? Sadly, this may have been the worst thing I've ever bitten into. Slimy cod and secret sauce isn't for me. Don't even get me started about the flaky white bread and potato chips. 

Why is melted chocolate & coconut in a mug with a side of Baileys the best combination ever? #thankyouhotelbar

Whose baby is this and why is he on a water bottle? 

What is better than sipping Cava on a hot summer day in Seville? 

Why is it good to go, but also so good to return? Especially when you return after 18 hours of traveling, to blow out some 32nd birthday candles on some chocolate fudge, all while wearing your pajamas. 

Eating Israel

I just spent ten amazing days traveling throughout Israel with my parents and younger sister, Jillian. Yes, there was a lot of sight-seeing, but, there was also lots of eating! The food was out-of-control delicious! Every meal we ate, we would say, "no, this is the best thing I've ever eaten."  I set out to document all my bites and share the highlights.


Falafel & Friends In Jerusalem

During our first full day in Jerusalem, we were determined to find good falafel. We were strolling around the Mahane Yehuda Market and stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall spot that was dishing out the goods: falafel (obviously), along with pita, hummus topped with lamb, hummus topped with mushrooms, a stuffed red pepper, a stuffed zucchini, a taste of bean soup and shared two diet cokes for balance. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. 


Fresh Falafel In Tzfat

After spending the morning in the Banias, and subsequently hearing bombs from Hezbollah, we decided to go to the mystical city of Tzfat to regroup and have some lunch. We ended up finding a falafel stand, where we watched each little perfect little chickpea ball being made. Hot root vegetable soup and french fries were also involved. Note: this is what my family looks like while eating and feeling very cold at the top of a mountain. Hoods are essential.


Mediterranean Birthday At Suzana

For my Dad's birthday, we went to Suzana in the art gallery filled Tel Aviv neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. A couple of years ago, my sister and I had lunch there and were still talking about it. The following meal, we will now talk about for the next five years. We started with Rosé, fried cauliflower, string beans in tomato sauce, grilled eggplant topped with labne & feta, Jerusalem artichokes and falafel with tahini. For our main, my mother and I ordered fillet of bass with wild rice. Jillian had shrimp in olive oil, citrus & garlic, and my father had a red pepper stuffed with meat & rice. We ended the meal with chocolate mousse cake and tea with nana (mint) to help digest it all. 


Seconds At Suzana

When the Scheinfeld's find something we like, we stick with it. A few days later, we ended up returning to Suzana for seconds. We started with the same sides, but for my main, I had salad with grilled vegetables, shredded feta & fried halloumi cheese. My dad had potato leek latkes, which were pretty damn special. We also had a visit from the cafe cat. For no particular reason, my mom named him Eddie.  Suzana is officially my favorite restaurant in the world. 


Tel Aviv Street Chicken 

After walking a few miles to the Nachalat Binyamin Market, we were quite possibly a little hangry. My dad saw a sign for Kosher Chicken and the decision was quickly made. Exactly four minutes later, we were feasting on perfectly-spiced chicken, tomato onion salad, rice and roasted potatoes. When I have meals like this, I am reminded why I am no longer a vegetarian. Bless this dear, sweet chicken. 


Tuna Salad At Bla Bla

While in Tel Aviv, we spent most of our time on the beach. A few steps away from our lounge chairs was Cafe Bla Bla. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate their salad with tuna and egg, five glorious times. I don't know what they put in that tuna, but, whatever it was, it had me coming back for more. 


Breakfast For Dinner

Everyone knows, my favorite meal of the day is breakfast! Usually at home, I have breakfast-for-dinner at least twice a week. I was craving my usual, so Jillian and I went to Benedict, a 24-hour diner. We both ordered Israeli breakfast, which is eggs any-way-you-like with multiple sides; tuna, cheese, eggplant dip. I love eggs. 


Rock The Casbah

One Saturday night, Jillian and I went out with Israeli friends in Florentin. The neighborhood has a Williamsburg-vibe and is quite fun. We enjoyed some shrimp with glass noodles at The Casbah, followed by a fair-amount of beer and pool at a local bar. 


Tapas Worth Dancing For

On our second to last night, we checked out Tapas Ahad Haam as per recommendation of Jillian's friend. We were not disappointed after a meal full of Yaffo-style calamari, Turkish shrimps, scallops with black mushrooms, black rice paella, spare ribs and artichoke hearts with spicy labne. There may have been some vanilla ice cream involved. Due to a combination of happy taste buds, wine and soul music blaring over the speakers; we literally danced in our seats. After some deliberation, I've decided not to share the dance video. 


'Cause We Have To Eat In-between Meals, Too

Worth noting: salted cashews from the hotel bar, chocolate milk in bed, crunchy cereal bites,  soy cappucinos from Landwer Coffee, cake from Aroma on a random bench, and finding an almond tree during a hike in the Golan Heights. 


I hope this post either made you hungry or want to visit Israel. Quite possibly, both.