Monday, July 27, 2009

Madrid Eats: Mercado de San Miguel

Quite often the simplest thing can be the hardest to write about. Despite the fact that we tend to visit markets wherever we end up in the world, I tend not to write about them, so as not to reduce an awesome experience into a shopping list. I would be remiss, though, if I didn't tell you about the Mercado de San Miguel.

My shitty internet research reveals that the Mercado is housed in a late 1800s/early 1900s building, which probably is true, but the powers that be have updated the place into a modern miracle. Nestled on the outer boundary between La Latina and Los Austrias, just a few minutes away from Plaza Mayor, the Mercado isn't the largest market, or the most exotic of markets, but simply one of the best conceptualized market I've seen in awhile.

I love me some Granville Island, but imagine if they got rid of everything extraneous, and concentrated all the great parts of the market into one medium-sized venue that (drumroll) SERVES BOOZE. I'm no lush, but Lord knows I hate all the restrictions the Man has placed between alcohol and my consumption of it. To add that extra proverbial cherry on top, the place is open late, which works out gangbusters for everyone.

The market generally works much like a cafeteria. There's a stall that serves fine wines of all sorts, another for tapas and other cooked items, one for cheeses, a vermouth bar, etcetera, etcetera, and one simply collects whatever they feel like for dinner/post drinks grub/whatev.

Most of the stalls stay open through the night, but there's a few that close up. There's not a lot of people looking to eat dried bacalao right at the market, but there's always an audience for little sausages in every corner of the world.

One of the more popular stalls was the oyster one, which was serving an array of oysters on the cheap: it was something like 2 euros for 6.

Another was a dessert stall, with fresh macaroons, gelato, chocolate, name it.

What was it about the Mercado that makes it work? It's not the design, and, despite how awesome each stall was, it's not any particular item that they sell. Instead, it's a market planned around a different idea: the market as a communal space or a venue, rather than simply one of commerce. Contrasted with a more traditional market, each stall was more geared towards selling items one could enjoy right then and there, as opposed to produce, meats or other groceries. The net result, and one that works, is a place where people gather and stay, rather than a place where people just shop.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Madrid Eats: Mom n' Pop Stylee on Calle de la Cava Baja and at El Mollete

Our hotel was just a bit north of the La Latina district of Madrid, which apparently is a more culturally-mixed area (read: more immigrants). This, of course, means that there's a ton of food to be had, and the area is known for its plentitude of restaurants, both tapas/pinxtos and full out ones (word to the wise: if you order a drink without ordering food right away, most places will give you a free tapas dish to nosh on until you order). On our walk there, we passed by a confectionary with basically a huge window box full of potato chips they were making on site - always a good sign of the destination ahead.

One major street for eats is Calle de la Cava Baja, which is lined with restaurant after restaurant for a good stretch. Of course, it being Spain, most of these restaurants were closed during our mid-afternoon stroll: as much as some may say that the siesta is disappearing as a norm, there's more than enough places that observe it to prove them wrong. There were way more places closed for siesta in Madrid than in Barcelona, but given the much hotter temperatures in Madrid, it's not hard to understand.

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the place we went to and didn't write it down, probably a result of sunstroke and sheer forgetfulness. But we did find a cute little place next to La Camarilla, one of the well-known tapas places in Madrid (we didn't go sheerly because we didn't know). This was a small little wine bar, with the owners busy watering the plants in the restaurant as we walked in. A little cupboard shrine had odd memorabilia that we figured were family keepsakes. It was kinda more like eating in someone's living room, which was fine by us.

As with most places, the daily menu on the chalkboard featured just as many (if not more) choices than the permanent menu, and we chose a few raciones - basically appetizer dishes for 2 or 3. Given our immense love of all things starch and cheese, we got this cheese toast with grapes. It should be no surprise that it came, of course, with olive oil drizzled on top, y'know, cause it needed it.

You can't be in Spain and not eat at least one sausage, and I ain't saying that in a euphemism-sense. This was an amazing chorizo or similar type sausage, drowned in oil, and served with enough bread to sop all of the goodness up.

I was also super curious about squid served in its own ink. As common as it is, I'd never had it before, and had kinda built it up in my head. This didn't quite live up to it, mostly because the sauce was thickened to the point of being a syrup, and kinda had this sweet/starch thing going that just seemed bland. With that said, it came with rice cooked in milk, which was by some of the best rice I've ever had (and, trust me: I've had a lot of rice in my life), so much so that I had to take a picture of it.

To be honest, I didn't think of the place as being much other than a good afternoon break out of the sun. I could probably characterize the majority of the places we went to in Madrid like that. Apart from a few highlights, I'll probably remember the city more of its museums and the posh Salamanca district than for its eats.

El Mollete, though, was one of these highlights. The place was only two streets over from our hotel, and yet the concierge hadn't heard of it. The ol' World Wide Web, however, had: it had made the NY Times' "36 Hours in Madrid" list as one of the places to go to:

"Don’t head to El Mollete without a reservation. The restaurant, set in an old charcoal cellar, has space only for 26 diners and is always full (Calle de la Bola, 4; 34-91-547-7820). Put yourself in the hands of the owner, Tomás Blanco, and hope he will serve you mollete (fried bread in oil), Gorgonzola croquettes, artichokes and scallops, and, of course, huevos rotos. No credit cards."

Other reviews I'd read basically agreed that the place lived up to the hype. It is a tiny, tiny restaurant, and the earliest dinner reservation (they're open for breakfast too) one can get is 9pm...not that anyone actually eats dinner that early in Madrid. With the after-opera crowd, it is next to impossible to get in unless you show up way later or have the patience to line up. There's a few larger tables on the top floor, maybe two small ones on the bottom, but basically you're sitting on stools or its standing room only.

We didn't order the mollete as they either ran out or only serve it during breakfast - not that I didn't pout about it for a split sec. We never went for breakfast either - our hotel had free breakfast - but apparently El Mollete is known across the city for having one of the best tortillas around. We couldn't read the menu or the daily chalkboard, but did as the NY Times suggested and let the owner/manager pick for us. The dude is as charming and down to earth as it comes: the staff is basically just him serving tables, a bartender, and (I'm assuming) one lady we saw come out of the kitchen. One picture of Francis Ford Coppola adorns the wall, and that's it. There's no fuss or muss here: it's about the food.

The crappy thing, then, is that our photos just don't do it justice. The place is dimly lit and small, and we didn't want our camera flash to annoy everyone. Don't hold our crappy pictures make your mind up for you. Particularly when it comes to this Galician octopus dish, which is quite simply one of the two best octopus dishes I have ever had (the other being at Cibo in Vancouver). The octopus sits in a lake of olive oil with potatoes, paprika sprinkled on top. The octopus was cooked to perfection, tender, juicy and brilliantly flavored with just enough saltiness to contrast the natural sweetness of the potato. The immense quantity of olive oil might put some off, but when you're using olive oil of this quality, you can learn to love it.

El Mollete is apparently known for eggs, so we had the huevos rotos too. Huevos rotos is kind of a broken egg (scrambled isn't quite right, but it's in that vein), cooked with potato. It might just sound like your standard eggs/hashbrowns breakfast combo, but there's something that just differentiates it. It's either the paprika or immense quantity of olive oil (a constant theme), but it's just different. And great. I love breakfast enough to think that eggs should appear on the menu at all times of the day, and the people in Madrid tend to agree. It's hard not to when it tastes as good as this.

The last dish we had was a grilled pork chop. I had picked up the Spanish word "lomo" earlier in the day, mostly because of my fondness for a Spanish pork chop sandwich. I'm not even 100% sure that "lomo" translates to "grilled pork" in Spanish, but heck, people understand. I'm also not sure what it is about every other country and their relative expertise with pork, but we have a pretty steep learning curve ahead of us here in Canada/US (I'd say North America, but a carnitas or el pastor taco are evidence that the Mexicans get it). Anyway, this was perfectly grilled, nice and salty, and a perfect end to the meal.

I really loved El Mollete, which was certainly the best mom and pop/traditional place we went to in Spain. I'd almost advise people to go there first, and work your way down to La Latinas if necessary. There's just alot of labour and love that goes into El Mollete, and it shows, both in the service and in the food.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Madrid Eats: Casa Ciriaco

After the awesome-ness known as Bilbao, we flew down to Madrid for a few days. By this point, we were getting pretty tired of early morning flights, and weren't ready for the 35-plus weather in Madrid either. All of Madrid appears to be under construction as well, while the city prepares itself for an Olympic bid. For the most part, it's true what they say about Madrid: compared to Barcelona, the pace is more hectic, and the people more abrupt. Not necessarily in a rude way, but Madrid definitely seems to thrive more on chaos, and the people reflect it. So - I'm ashamed to admit it - we actually tried to rest a bit in Madrid, even if only to get out of the intense heat.

With that said, I had half decided that I wanted to go traditional in Madrid, and had a craving for the roast porks, bulls tail, and other meats that I had heard so much about. Our hotel was right outside the Opera House, which faces the Palace, and surrounded by restaurants that have been around for the past century.

One of these places is Casa Ciriaco, which has been around long enough to witness an attempted assassination of King Alfonso XIII in 1906, and forms part of the setting for Valle-Inclan's novel Luces de Bohemia. We figured its longevity must have been well founded, and had read that it tended to be the least touristy of the grand dames of the old restaurant scene, being a bit further from Plaza Mayor and the Huertas district, both tourist centres. The place looks its age, an old neighbourhood restaurant that's been in need of an upgrade for awhile, long enough so that it would be a shame to do so now. Pictures of famed bullfighters, the royal mum, and other celebs from yesteryear decorate the walls, with the servers having probably worked there longer than I've been alive.

I'd read a few reviews, and the consensus was to try the Castellian soup, try the roast pork, try the bull's tail. As luck would have it, none of these things were available that day, so we tried a few other dishes that I'd read about.

One was an egg drop soup with bits of bread in it, which had an interesting mix of salty and a hint of sour to it, seasoned with healthy amounts of oil to make the medicine go down. It was good, but definitely far too much for one person to be able to finish it in one sitting.

The other dish was artichokes, which were cooked, tossed in olive oil, and topped with bits of jamon. Again, a good dish, but something one would have to share lest you get sick of it.

Without a digital SLR or good lighting, most of our food pictures are underlit and kinda look yellow. These pictures, though, pretty much capture what the dishes looked like. We both ordered chicken (in hindsight, I should've ordered the tripe): one roast, one stewed. I can remember the roast chicken being cooked perfectly, and the stewed chicken in one of the thickest gravies I've ever ingested. Beyond that, there wasn't too much more to make it memorable, but one can definitely see how the restaurant would be a Sunday family dinner fave.

We ended with a traditional Spanish flan or creme caramel. I don't think I've ever had a bad creme caramel, but this one seemed extra good, rich and caramel-y.

Overall, I can understand the nostalgia that would sustain a place like Casa Ciriaco, but honestly, I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you were traveling older folk.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bilbao Eats: Restaurante Guggenheim

As museums go, the Guggenheim Bilbao is pretty incredible. The place is something to behold from inch to inch: the Gehry building, the artwork outside (including this Koons flower pup), the artwork inside... it's really overwhelming, and a good example of how an institution that makes that large of an artistic statement will eventually mould a city's identity.

When it comes to Basque cuisine, most will tell you to make the drive from Bilbao to San Sebastian, which has more Michelin stars per capita than any other place on earth (for example, one of the fathers of new Spanish cuisine, Arzak, hails from San Sebastian). But when Food & Wine magazine calls Josean Martínez Alija, the chef at the Restaurante Guggenheim, "Europe's most thrilling young chef," you know you gotsta check it out.

The restaurant, located on the second floor of the museum, features a more standard bistro out front, but with the formal dining room in the back looking over the river. The place is posher than most museum restaurants; I can't remember chilling out at the Glenbow while sitting on Gehry designed chairs.

We both ordered the tasting menu, which we try to do in order to really get a sense of where the chef is coming from. This started with a chilled cranberry juice or tea, spiced lightly with cinnamon, which was just sweet enough to have flavour, but just neutral enough to serve as a palate cleanser. At the same time, the server put a huge aspirin pill in front of us, and poured a touch of water on top. After a minute, the pill grew into a wet napkin (the picture shows it just after the water was poured on it). If this was the opening act, we were anticipating some really crazy shit to go down next.

As an amuse bouche, we were served a small piece of bread that had been infused with herb oil (can't remember which herb). When I say infused, I don't mean that it was merely soaking in herb oil: this bread tasted as though it had been completely made out of herb oil, but with nary a drop appearing on the plate. And yet, at the same time, the bread wasn't soggy at all, but light and chewy instead.

Alija is known for emphasizing on local, with the menu spotlighting certain 'slow food' dishes. This white asparagus dish exemplified this: the white asparagus is lightly grilled, eaten with your hands, and accompanied by a juniper and chevril 'gel' dipping sauce, which really helped to heighten the natural flavor of the asparagus without over-complicating the mix of flavours.

The next dish played on the same theme, but took it to a whole other level. The menu listed it as "roasted aubergine flavoured with 'makil goxo', based on a yogurt emulsion* 'Farga' olive, a thousand years [sic] old olive tree)." As far as I can tell, this was an amazingly slow braised eggplant, cooked to the point of ridiculous tenderness but without having the eggplant fall apart, with a licorice flavoured glaze, and plated like a painting with the yogurt emulsion on the side, which helped to balance the strong licorice taste.

I can't overemphasize how beautiful this dish was plated, and wish that the picture did it more justice. At the same time, I'm not usually a licorice fan, but the level of thought and care put into this dish really elevated the eggplant above it, and it is, by far, one of the most memorable things I have eaten in my life. Here's a video of Alija speaking at a Pecha Kucha night: I don't understand a lick of Spanish, but if you forward to 3:35 or so, you can see the plating of this very dish, and the thoughtfulness involved.

The crazy flavors were toned down for the next course, which worked well as a bridge to the meat courses coming up. I could just describe it as a roast avocado in a squid broth, but the menu listing does it alot more justice: "vegetarian foie. (avocado), with a juice of baby squid, acidulated and coriandered." If you've never done yourself the favour of putting an avocado on the grill, do it: it brings out an incredible butteriness and sweetness to an avocado that can't be beat. You almost can't go back to having it raw, and it works well in guacamole too. This avocado was lightly salted, but the squid broth really took it somewhere else, adding an immense richness to the dish that made it something quite special.

A fish course came next: steamed hake resting on a wild garlic and caper sauce, with a touch of lemon and herb. Hake can often be quite dry, but this came out as moist as a halibut.

My meat course was "Thoughts of lamb grilled over a fire of dried vine cuttings, on a base of Tolosa beans and hints of hot spice." Or, in other words, lamb brains. For the most part, brains taste alot like sweetbreads (which are other glands), but these seemed to be even softer and mushier. In other words, they're certainly not for the squeamish, and the light foam in the sauce probably ain't gonna help either. I do remember this being quite amazing, but I probably remember it more as the time I ate brains.

My lovely companion, quite understandably, wanted to sub in another option. Instead of brains, she had a course of Iberian pork. I can't remember what this was served with, but take note of the colour: this pork was served medium rare. Again, not for the squeamish, but the rareness of the pork did help to keep the natural taste of this dish intact, and made it quite a rich, wonderful thing (well, the one piece I tried, anyway).

As a pre-dessert course, we had slices of pear with hazelnut, poached in a "Garmillas" cheese "serum" (whatever that is) with elder flower. This was a good touch of sweetness to bring us to dessert, but without being a diabetic, syrupy nightmare than many poached pears end up being. Nice, delicate and light.

The dessert continued on the licorice theme from the eggplant course, with a licorice ice cream, black olive ashes, and a "casein" of aromatic herbs. The casein is an amazingly rich cream, which was pretty necessary considering how strong licorice can be. I remember this dessert as being mostly about those two flavors, and don't remember much about the black olive ashes.

If there's one thing I love about getting a tasting menu, it's the free stuff that you're often served as well. Post dessert is an amazing thing that can bring tears to my eyes. This was either a berry-flavored mousse or a pannacotta of some sort, with a nice little Pocky-style breadstick thing topped with pistachio. By this point, we were full to the point of obscenity (considering this was a late lunch), so I can't say too much about it.

After years of having Adria and molecular gastronomy re-make Spanish cuisine in their image, it's interesting to see Alija and what he's doing in the wake: where do you go from such a notorious movement? If the tasting menu is any indication, Alija emphasizes the "naturaleza" elements of what both Adria brothers have been doing, but in a way that, despite all the technique and complexity that must go on behind it, showcases simplicity, or, as Food and Wine put it, "aggressively purist." The odd thing of it is, Alija also makes it seem completely decadent.

Bilbao Eats: Victor Montes

After Barcelona, we took a quick flight up to into Basque country and landed in Bilbao. I didn't know too much about Bilbao at first, and really only knew it for the Guggenheim. Guidebooks on the country don't help much: most have a quick paragraph about Bilbao and move onto the bigger cities. We weren't expecting much else, and planned for a quick trip in and out: land, go to the Guggenheim, have dinner, wake up and leave.

For the most part, our trip pretty much went as such, given the short amount of time we had, but Bilbao ended up being one of my favorite points of our whole trip. The city's picturesque, an old port town that, when in need of an upgrade, went to the ends of the spectrum and became an architecture wet dream. When your city's main tourist feature is the Guggenheim, that has its effects, and the city seemed like the perfect mix of quaint and modern.

Case in point: the picture above is a good overview of what central Bilbao looks like. A grand river flowing through, with downtown and the Guggenheim on one side and the more historic part of the city on the other, with one of the main bridges designed by Calatrava (who also did the airport, one of the prettiest I've ever been in) and the other framed by the museum. Smattered around the city were these tile pieces by famed French graffiti artist Invader.

We stayed in a little boutique hotel at the edge of Casco Viejo, the historic quarter. At the heart of Casco Viejo lies Plaza Nuevo, which is a giant square courtyard with various tapas restaurants lining the perimeter. In contrast with Madrid's Plaza Mayor, which is a tourist nightmare (when we were there, various Disney mascots were baking in the 35C plus weather), Plaza Nuevo feels like a local heartbeat, certainly what one would imagine when "public space" or "communal space" gets bountied about by urban planners. Heck, the only thing missing were accordion players.

One of these restaurants is Victor Montes, a classy old traditional Basque joint that exemplifies all that is good in an old, established neighbourhood bar/restaurant that has stuck to its guns for eons.

For that added touch of familiarity, the 'decor' at Victor Montes worked wonderfully. Generally, the whole place is lined with aged wines and spirits of all kinds; this picture is only one small fraction of the whole place. The only area of wall space that didn't have shelves of bottles had legs of jamon hanging against them.

We stumbled into Victor Montes early in the morning, which in Spain is about 11am. The main bartender/manager was busy slicing jamon for the day, but gave us a warm invite and asked us to help ourselves to a slice of tortilla, a Spanish omelette. Instead of the Spanish omelette you might find in diners here (ie an omelette with peppers), the tortilla is more of a deep dish affair, with layers of potatoes baked in egg. I ate a lot of these in Spain (thanks, hotels with free breakfast!), but this one was the best: seasoned perfectly, with just the right amount of savory playing against the natural sweetness of a good egg, and topped with a slice of jamon.

Later that night, we tried out other tapas (or pintxos, as they're referred to in Basque) places, including Wallpaper's pick Irrintzi (just okay). Most Basque places simply leave them lining the bar: grab what you want, and they count the toothpicks stuck in each tapa afterwards. This system works fantastic, because it basically felt like a glutton's dream come true - an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord with little guilt involved. Afterawhile, we found ourselves back at Victor Montes. For starters, we really just wanted to go to a great bar, and this place was an easy pick. In most places, when you order a glass of wine, your choices are basically just red, white or rose if you don't speak any Spanish. Our fave bartender was kind enough to give us different pours of wines from Rioja, explaining each one despite the place being packed to the gills. Also, based on the tortilla, we figured they would have great classic tapas.

We weren't wrong: Victor Montes had some of the best classic tapas we had in Spain. We had every combination of small bun/croissant, jamon, baby eel, cheese, sardine, anchovy, crab, egg, you could think of. My fave was the one that looks like a sunny side egg in the picture; instead, it was cheese with a fig paste and bits of jamon sprinkled on top, playing on the egg appearance. If the tapas aren't enough, there's a full restaurant as well, and an offshoot deli/wine store located at the other end of the square.

For the most part, I knew enough not to get too sour grapes in comparing all the grand features of Spain to the limits of home. There's no sense in bitching about the relative lack of street life in Vancouver (I won't even begin to think about Calgary), because there's just not the same type of population density or history...let's wait another hundred years before we compare. But these tapas places really do put our after-work drinks places to shame, don't they?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Barcelona Eats: Can Ros

After a few nights of nouveau Spanish cuisine, we were hurtin' for a paella. We asked a few locals where one can get a good paella in Barcelona, and the inevitable answer was always "go to Valencia." That just plain wasn't helpful, Spaniards.

Now that we live in The Age of All Info All The Time, a quick search landed us at Paella Professor. If you've got a whole blog devoted to one dish, I figure you gots to be a pro. Dr. Paella assured us Interpeeps that good paella does indeed exist in Barcelona, and mostly in Barceloneta. It's no coincidence, then, that this was the second most popular answer when we asked other locals.

Barceloneta is basically the port and beach part of Barcelona. The port side is a hop, skip and jump from Born, and features a big mall, a museum, and, uh, boats. The beach side has a W hotel under construction that looks like it could easily have been in Dubai, clubs that line one end of the beach, and the Gehry fish.

The contemporary architect that gets bagged on most seems to be Gehry. Fair enough, but he's payin' the bills, which is more than most people can say. Dude took this fish to Tiffany's and has enough cash to buy the Elephant Man's bones from the Estate, so there ya go, haters. This fish is in the middle of an odd mini-mall complex that has mostly nice nightclubs/lounges as tenants.

As you'd expect, then, the whole area features high with seafood joints, and that inevitably means paella. The one tricky thing about finding a good paella in Barcelona is every single place has one, mostly to draw in the tourists. There's a lot of crappy paellas: it's common to find a paella with exactly two shrimp, two mussels, two clams, two blah blah get the idea. It takes the soul out of it, and a good paella is a pretty soulful thing. Can Ros was recommended on a few different lists (including Paella Prof). It's located on a quiet side street that takes you from the port side to the beach side, and it feels more like being in a small beach town than in a bustling world city.

We got to Can Ros at 8pm or so, as we didn't want to miss the sunset on the beach, and we were still one of the first tables in. The place is old school traditional, and you get the sense that they've got their act down and don't mess around much.

With a paella on the way, we didn't order too much else. But, in keeping with habit, we ordered the tomato bread. It wasn't much to rave about, and the picture shows it all: two slices of good bread, two tomatoes, and a jar of mayoaioli. I really just wanted to show this so that you get a sense of how amazing the Inopia and Bubo versions are.

I also had to get the razor clams, cause I just can't get enough of them. I've never had razor clams this fat and meaty, and that's not even an inappropriate pun. Apparently a lesser family of razor clams are avail in the Pacific NW, but I've never seen them in Vancouver. People, we have to get on this.

To forewarn you, the picture of the paella doesn't seem like much. What we didn't realize was: (i) Can Ros does table-side paella service, meaning that they bring out the gorgeous paella pan to show off, and then serve it for you, and (ii) yours truly is too slow to take a picture once he's got a day of sun and a glass of wine (or two) in him.

What I can say about the paella is that it indeed was THE BEST PAELLA I HAVE EVER HAD. I've tried to make paella at home, thought I did an okay job, but I'm going to toss our pan out now. The rice was perfect: flavorful, with just the right amount of saltiness and acidity, soft but still slightly chewy. The rice's importance in a paella cannot be overstated: fuck it up and you've ruined the whole thing. Make it amazing, and you serve it in the heaping portions you see here.

This was the "Fisherman's Paella", and chock full of seafood. When I had first asked our server as to its contents, he had explained that it only had fish, but we soon realized that "fish" included "shellfish." This paella had everything, including giant crayfish, which isn't a usual thing. The key part of it, though, was that the seafood wasn't overcooked, which tends to be a common problem with run-of-the-mill paellas.

Can Ros has a lot of other seafood features on the menu, many of them non-paella. If I were that Japanese hot dog eating champ, I would've ordered the whole frigging menu. Instead, I had to take a picture of what the table across from us ordered, which was a seafood feast. I took this picture after they had already taken a few items to their plate: when it originally came out, it was probably closer to a 7 inch high seafood bounty of everything one can find underwater. Another table ordered a fish baked in sea salt. It might take an unhealthy amount of gluttony and envy to be eating the best paella ever and still crave every other dish around you in the whole restaurant, but I defy you to not feel the same way. It ain't weakness, it's instinct. After Can Ros, I can only imagine how amazing Valencia must be - now that we're home, I'm trying my damnedest not to think about it.