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Barely Blogged: Corned Beef-and-Cabbage-Free

Cadaques: A press dinner convinced me to return on my own dime and because of the spacious interior seemed like a safe bet for a last-minute Saturday night birthday dinner for a friend. We split a bottle of cava and ordered a slew of dishes: romanesco cauliflower with romesco sauce, squid ink fideos, four types of charcuterie, a beet and idiazabal salad, boquerones, and tortilla. (Thankfully, we were eventually granted a four-top or it wouldn’t all have fit. Despite a half-empty restaurant at 8pm, they were extremely protective of seats and I was told that all tables were reserved. Getting one took some convincing. I was not the only person who felt like something was amiss—I was bracing for an altercation between the manager and a large party who was being given the bum’s rush after ordering more food.) The standouts were the inky black broken noodles with camouflaged nuggets of squid, topped with a fat blob of aioli, the mangalica (same as mangalitsa) ham, a deeper-hued, meatier tasting slice than typical Serrano and a mild, nearly fluffy mound of morcilla sitting on a slice of bread.

Matchless: Last night I ate a handful of fries from a shared plate while listening to Iron Maiden and drinking Maker's Mark on the rocks followed by a shot of Jameson some time between 3-3:30am.I had leftover foil-wrapped Cadaques tortilla (and squid ink noodles) in my purse, but felt weird about whipping it out.

Mercantile Grill: One of the lesser Irish pubs in the Financial District. I only go about once every three-four months and the only reason to pay a visit is because you’ll always be guaranteed a seat even during peak lunch times—and yes, during St. Patrick’s Day mayhem. Two pints of Bass and an ok cheeseburger (I’d already eaten corned beef and cabbage at home the night previously) were enough for me. My biggest gripe with pub fare in general is the fries. Flabby, mealy steak fries are not french fries and they make me sad. I do prefer them over potato chips, though. I hate it when sandwiches come with chips. That’s the worst.

I will be eating at Marea tomorrow night (another birthday dinner, my treat) and can't decide if I will full-on blog it or barely blog it.


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