"If I could only eat one thing, I would have pa ambtomàquet, which I really miss. They take bread and rub raw garlic and raw tomato on it, and it is delicious, just fantastic. There's no other place in the world that really prepares bread that way. Also, you have to have the ham, the jamón serrano, the one that isn't cooked. It's cured, like prosciutto. It's just amazing. The jamón you can get anywhere in Spain. It's not a Barcelona specialty, but the pa amb tomàquet is a Catalan thing."
"Set Portes, the Seven Doors, is right at the port. I had great squid paella there. It's one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona, the place to go if you're entertaining family because it has that kind of classy ambience. If you're looking for something kind of fun in the middle of the night and you don't want to get dressed up, there's Flash Flash. It has delicious hamburgers, and they mix all kinds of things, garlic or scallions and other ingredients, into the hamburger meat. They have great tortillas, Spanish omelets, and very good desserts. That's more uptown, but in any of the open-air restaurants by the port you're going to get a good seafood meal. Lots of places have white gazpacho, which is another Barcelona specialty that not many people know about. It's a little strange, made with pine nuts and garlic."
"From Set Portes, which really does have seven old doors, you can walk out from there into the port area. It's a terrific area just to stroll around, because often they'll have some great antique clipper ship hanging around, and the most beautiful sailboats and huge, gorgeous yachts from around the world. There's an area where everybody roller blades down there. The port is a nice area to walk in and there are lots of open-air restaurants and bars. You can get sangria there, but it's not really the local specialty. People drink beer and a wine that's kind of like a blush, but lighter. They also drink cava, a sparkling Spanish wine. It's like champagne. I'm kind of partial to Cristal champagne, but cava is good."
"Palau de la Música Catalana, the Palace of Catalan Music: That's where you would go to hear a great concert of either classical music or flamenco guitar. Paco de Lucia was there when we were there. Fantastic flamenco acts come through also. Other- wise, Barcelona is not really a flamenco city in terms of dancing. Nor is it a bullfighting city, which didn't bother me one bit. The Palace of Music, although not designed by Gaudí, has a similar style. It has mosaic tiles and beautiful turn-of-the-century decorations - very colorful. I haven't been in any concert hall like it in America."