Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good Eats

A long time ago, I was in Barcelona, Spain. This was before they had the Olympics and cleaned the place up. We were supposed to go ashore on the buddy-system, but I had a job with some weird-ass hours, so I just went ashore by myself, whenever the frak I wanted, and nobody said anything to me.

There was a wide plaza up from the waterfront that was called "the Ramblas", or something like that. It was sort of like being on a street with a median that was 100 meters wide; there were outdoor cafes along it. The entertainment was limited to people-watching, which on at least one occasion, included watching some dude slap his girlfriend around until the Guardia Civil showed up and hauled him off.

The Guardia wore some goofy-looking black lacquered hats that looked like pillboxes with a flat piece behind them. Some of the Guardia carried submachine guns. The Police Militare also patrolled the streets and they had SMGs of some flavor. Word was that only a fool messed with any of the Spanish cops.

A lot of the buildings had dark-grey stone facades. Whether the facades were that color because of decades of smoke or that was the natural color, I never knew. When I looked up at the buildings, especially on the side streets, I could see pockmarks from bullet impacts, presumably from street-fighting during the Spanish Civil War.

So anyway, in my meanderings, I found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that, among other things, served half of a chicken, a big plate of steaming hot French fries and a beer for 250 pesetas which, if memory serves me correctly, was about three bucks American.

Maybe my taste buds had been hammered by the long- frozen French fries and blasted chicken that was standard fare in the Navy, but that fresh chicken and fries which that restaurant served up was unbelievably good. I made at least four trips to that little place and each meal was as good as the one before. I never saw anyone from any of the Navy ships in port then at that place and I kept my mouth shut, believe me.

1 comment:

Allan S said...

Reminds me of a port of call in the Grand canaries. Another large 250 lb sailor and I closed up a hole in the wall bar when they lowered the steel shutters and locked the doors, Uh oh, we thought it was going to be another one of those F..k the Yankees broohas, (No offence intended), again (We're Canadian), two big sailors vs 6 or 7 Portugese.....turned out they were just bringing out the food the bar didn't sell that day....what a feast! Sure beat getting the crap beat out of you....Allan