Tag Archives: Sangria

Frank’s Bar @ Hotel Arts Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain

I finally landed in Barcelona! There’s something so easy and refreshing about BCN airport. It’s small and modern (with a Custo store) and no fuss. I grabbed my bags and a Spanish sim card and left to queue up for the bus tickets. I played with the machine for a half an hour and realized I could have bought a ticket on-board. (Yay.) Moving on to center city… It was an entire year since my last Barcelonian-rendezvous.

(Pictured Above: Jenzie visits Casa di-Ip in Summer of 2015) Last year my friend Michael was supposed to host my only evening in Barca, but he had other plans on the agenda and decided to fly to NY instead. All good…He left a key with me and I got to chill with his cat.

Meet Ralph! Ralph was the best company I had in Barcelona during the summer visit in 2015. <3

There was even more of her to love this year. <3

Our BCN adventures began with a quick trip down to Bogatell beach to sun bathe and nosh with some of Michael’s friends and locals.

While tanning, I picked up a gorgeous tapestry (which will now make an appearance on the Jersey shore this summer) along with some local fare. Nothing like some refreshing cerveza and Lay’s on a hot beach day!

(Pictured Above: Jenzie lounging on Bogatell with a sangria.) You don’t even have to go far for refreshments since the beach vendors are so efficient. I picked up a round of sangria for us, because “When in Barcelona…” Cheers!

After our afternoon at the beach, we took a walk around town and I took some pretty pictures of old buildings, fountains and doors.

I realized that over time there had been a burgeoning appreciation for tourism. Evidently I’m not the only one photographing hand painted signs of CAP PIS TURISTIC.

I had been admiring the local art at a leisurely pace because you know, vacation… I soon realized how fast Michael can walk.

It’s okay though…Every now and again he would wait for me to catch up.

After a quick trip to the local grocery store to buy snacks we never ate and some wine for pre-gaming, we got ready for our BIG night out on the town.

Since this would be another short and sweet trip, I researched quality food and drink options once more. We started the night’s fesitivities at Hotel Arts. They have quite an impressive entrance with a bridge like fountain structure (pictured above) hydrating plants below. The child in me could have run straight through this adult SIZED sprinkler. However, the night was still young and it was way to early to get in trouble with the law.

Inside at Frank’s Bar:

My initial impression was that Hotel Arts was out of place (for Barcelona). I couldn’t help but feel like I could be anywhere, not there! It was a bit “up on itself” for the laid back and ever-so-slightly bohemian culture we all know and love. The lighting was very dim in contrast to the bright and beautiful day I was leaving behind. I was now entering the land of dark teak wood, black lacquer and marble. This is Frank’s bar. While there are some windows to peer out of the cocktail lounge, you can’t see the beach or the marina. (That is what the roof is for.) Frank’s is not the place to go if you want to feel “beachy”.

However, all nice places have their purpose and Frank’s is best left for the sophisticated and “mature” crowd that might be passing through town on business, or convening for a special occasion. While the hotel came across as super posh, I was excited to see that cocktails ran 10 euros a piece. That’s a bargain for a New Yorker! I asked if they could make a drink recommendation and the bartender insisted I try the passion fruit martini, which did not let down! I love anything tart… BOOM.

Since cocktails weren’t as expensive as I’d anticipated, I was able to pop into Menchen Tomas for a Bar(th)elonian Souvenir! Still waiting to wear that jacket. <3

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Bacari – Playa Del Rey – Los Angeles, CA

My cousinPeanutPimpMama1-300x300 (a.k.a. partner-in-crime) moved out to L.A. a couple months ago. The family misses her dearly, but for me it just means I get to hang with her in NJ sometimes AND I have a reason to get on planes to CA for foodie-FUN-filled visits! PPM is overjoyed to have all of the amazing material she has collected in the past eight weeks. It all started off with brunch at Bacari in Playa Del Rey.

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On my last flight out I took Delta from JFK to LAX which meant I got to visit the only kiosk I will touch in terminal 4, Le Grand Comptoir. I don’t sit there because their food is any good. Their wine list is quite decent though!

In spirit of my Cali-visit the evening’s selection was a Pinot-Gris by Russian River Valley.  I also ordered a salmon tar-tare which was less good. Some olives got the job done and I was off to my gate.

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Recently I retired a piggy-neck support cushion from the Xpress Spa that I purchased en route to Thailand in 2012. My glass of wine helped me make the game-time decision to purchase a new whale. The head is fatter than the rest of the body and allows options to rig-it as you wish (against various crevices, nooks and crannies on-board) almost as though it were adjustable!

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When I fly west at night it feels like I get two sleeps instead of one and leaves me “fresh as a daisy” for the day ahead. I arrived at cousin Kristen’s apartment in PDR to see that we were all on the same page.

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When I woke the next morning, I learned all about easy do-it-yourself Paleo-creations like snausage-hash with sweet potatoes that teeter on not being all-that-sweet. Can someone say cheater?
imageAfterwards, we hopped in the car to head downtown for brunchiez @Bacari.
imageThis euro-inspired resto is perched on one of the many hills of PDR and happens to be one of the most obscure shapes I’ve ever seen a restaurant occupy. It feels like it should have been a surf shop, or was…The bottle-covered ceiling is eye-catching and could make a great conversation piece for awkward first dates!

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Bacari was booked out and we were rezzy-less and forced to perch at the bar where we sipped freshly-juiced mimosas. The color of the OJ was the most exuberant shade of orange I had ever seen! This is one of the many breakfast-tails they offer (by the bottomless pitcher) for extra-thirsty customers.

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To break it down… The menu is made of small Italian-inspired plates called ‘Cicchetti”. Tapas… Small Plates… Cicchetti… You get it.

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By the time we got a menu we were ready to re-juice. Sneaky sneaky Bacari.

imageWhat we ended up with clockwise: Creamed Kale (top), Shakshuka (bottom right) and tofu scramble (bottom left). I liked the overall experience but the runny egg on the spinach threw me. The shakshuka needed some salt (but what doesn’t?) and the winner was the tofu scramble. It’s really hard to get a good tofu scramble that doesn’t continuously remind you that you’re eating tofu scramble. Did I mention it was a tofu-scramble?

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All that hard work made us thirsty so we decided to try some of Bacari’s sangria which is also available “bottomless”. Bottomless is definitely the way to be around here.

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After that bevvy we had to get going. It was raining in L.A. and there were places to be.

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Art to shop for…

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Beers to sip!

<3 PPM

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