Restaurants: J’s Oyster Bar: Order Everything But the Oysters

From the outside, the place wasn’t much to look at – and from the inside, it wasn’t either. J’s was more like a dive bar with food than a restaurant, with many diners eating at the U-shaped bar that dominates most of J’s interior and a few at tables scattered near the windows. The clientele appeared to be mainly locals sharing gossip about other locals (and easily identified by ordering non-seafood dishes like chicken salad) and a smattering of tourists ordering many, many plates of shellfish in all its forms.

Restaurants: Cal Pep: Don’t be afraid, just eat.

Jay and I had been wanting to go to Cal Pep for years. Seven years, in fact – since the last time we visited Barcelona. At that time, we actually wandered by the restaurant (one of the top-rated tapas places in the city) several times, but first were put off by the long lines outside of it, and then when we actually went in, totally intimidated by the lack of a menu. With our poor to non-existent Spanish, we weren’t sure how we would order beyond pointing at the glorious seafood piled in the cases behind the counter.