Xuxo from Bar Pinotxo (Barcelona)
If you are going to Barcelona’s iconic landmarks like La Rambla and La Boqueria, be sure to drop in at Bar Pinotxo. Hard to miss because it’s up front. As you enter the Mercat, veer to your right. There you’d find a corner bar with orange letters spelling Pinotxo Bar. Grab a stool, or stand behind whoever is sitting on it, ready to claim the stool once vacated.
Their xuxo is a bestseller. Tasted like a good, crusty cross between a doughnut and a croissant, but with custard filling. They put one piece on the plate then expertly halves it with a SCISSOR! Pair that with cafe solo or cortado or con leche, or ask for txocolat caliente. Yum.
Also tried the garbanzos to load up on more carbs 🙄 and mushrooms which they call bolet in Catalan. Not setas! The mushrooms were a bit salty but that’s fine to mix with and flavor my chickpeas. The waiters are very friendly and Pinotxo himself was there manning the bar and chatting up everyone.
There are more offerings from this very informal 14-stool bar like squids, clams, sausages. But we simply can’t eat more. Que aprofiti!
FUKUOKA AND ITS YATAI KIOSKS
You see them setting up the kiosks early evenings. And many stay open till very late at night. Even in this weather! The place is good to seat only 12 pax max, and the menu hangs outside the tent. Don’t expect to be understood once you’re seated on the bench. Just point away the stuff you like.
Busy. Most kiosks on full seating capacity but one can queue up and wait till the next fellow stands up from the bench. Food is cheap. Drinks are not. But they’d take you seriously as soon as you order a bottle of ¥600 beer. Then, relax and see what others order and point to the same stuff. This “food delivery system” always works. Don’t even bother checking out their tiny kitchen at the back lest you lose your appetite. Just remember to order the “hot stuff” like ODEN. I’m telling ya, it’s too hot no insect can survive it. 😜
What’s oden? It’s a traditional hotpot typically served with mustard as a winter dish. These days, you find oden to buy from konbinis or convenience stores like 7Eleven and Family Mart. When in Fukuoka though, one needs to try it in a yatai! An acquired taste, oden is typically an assortment of tidbits steeped in boiling dashi stock. Too hot you should take care pinching those bits with your chopsticks lest you drop it in the broth to splatter. Other kiosks serve yakiniku and ramen. There were long lines for those. But seriously? I can give this a miss.