This is my first trip to Barcelona since I went gluten free. The last time I was here I was with my friend Karenanna, and I swear I lived on Sangria, Bocadillos (sandwiches - usually ham and cheese - on a crusty baguette), paella, and tapas.
I love Barcelona. I was so excited to come back here for a few days and understandably nervous about what I would eat this time.
So I did my homework, coming up with lists of places other gluten free travelers had had successful eating experiences.
All that goes out the window though when your husband gets sick on the plane ride over.
We flew all night last night and while I managed about three hours of sleep (thank you earplugs and unisom) Jason did not get any. On top of that, his airplane meal did not sit right with him.
Still though, we got in early, dropped our bags at our hotel and hit the pavement until Jason was feeling too terrible to keep truckin'.
When your husband is sick as a dog and exhausted you generally end up on your own. All plans go out the window and you try to find somewhere close to the hotel that understands and can accommodate your dietary needs.
I was so relieved to wander into the Bar Estudantil across from the university of Barcelona. The waitress knew exactly what gluten is and provided me options of what I could have for dinner. (There were only two choices but I was grateful to be understood and eat a meal without fear of being glutened!)
So I had my sangria (excellent by the way) and grilled Chicken breasts with a salad. And I sat there listening to Catalan and Spanish flying around me. This is surely contentment - a full belly, rockin' sangria and life happening all around me.
Plus, how could life be bad with this little guy watching you from the next table?
So - here are a few tricks for finding a non touristy place to eat:
-Get away from the tourist zones. a block or two makes all the difference in the world!
-find a place that's PACKED with locals. If they're all speaking the language native to the country you're set
- don't be afraid to ask about specific dietary needs before you sit down
-And when in Spain... Drink Sangria!