Cuines Sta Caterina – Barcelona, Spain

Cuines-Sta-Caterina_003

Cuines Sta Caterina

(34) 93 – 268 9918
Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, 16
08003 Barcelona, Spain

www.grupotragaluz.com

Open Hours:
9:00 – 23:00    Sunday – Wednesday
9:00 – 24:00    Thursday  –  Saturday

Inside the Santa Caterina Market, one of the less touristic food market in Barcelona, is Cuines Sta Caterina.  Yes, it appears slightly touristic at a glance,  but don’t let that keep you away.  It is a quality restaurant with real food, outdoor dining and a few different ways to eat; from standard tables to styled dining bars.

When planing our visit to Barcelona, were a bit disheartened to miss the Calçot season  (November – April).  This is one of the joys of the Catalan countryside.  We were very lucky to find the end of the harvest at Cuines Sta Caterina.

Calçots are a type of spring onions unique  to Cataluña, and traditionally they are grilled on high fire, wrapped up in news paper and then served on upside down terracotta tiles.  One eats them by completely peeling the the outer charred layer and generously dipping the onion in romesco sauce, it gets a bit messy but, my god is it really worth it!

If for nothing else, we will forever be in debt to Cuines Sta Caterina for allowing us this whet our appetite for this amazing culinary experience!

Cuines-Sta-Caterina_006calçots  en la brasa
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_014Calçots
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_009pimientos de padron
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_012 pan con tomate
Cuines_1Tabove photo tapas bar © Grupo Tragaluz
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_004
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_005
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_001
Cuines-Sta-Caterina_002

Uno Astro Lodge – Tulum, Mexico

Uno-Astrolodge-019

Uno Astro Lodge

(52) 1 984 165 0035
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, lote 8, Km. 8
Tulum Quintana Roo. CP 77780, Mexico

www.unoastrolodge.com

I wish I was at Uno Astro Lodge right now.  This hippy paradise outpost, with the perfect beach and warm water lapping towards the palaces; with their organic beauty.  We were escaping the horror of  the Papaya Playa Project  …  and we just walked in and luckily for us there was a room available.

During our stay, there was an spiritual retreat at the hotel and part of their program was to build and play harps.  This created a lovely soothing soundtrack as one walked the hotel grounds.

The astrolodge has no electricity, which what makes it great for a full disconnect.  They are full on eco – with an organic vegetable garden, wind turbines to power the reception computer (only electrical area on the grounds).  Also featured are composting toilets (much better that what it sounds like!) and – most importantly – hot water.

Aside from the majestic beach, comfortable rooms there is a viewing tower, which is a wonderful place to take in the rise and fall of sun or moon or stars.  There is also a large gathering platform that is used for Yoga, meditation, dance, etc …

Uno Astrolodge harkens back to a time when Tulum was a real hide-a-away unknown to the New York masses; where one could go for a low-budget reconnect with the earth.

If going off the grid is the new luxury; then Uno Astrolodge is an easy 5 Stars!

Uno-Astrolodge-004
Uno-Astrolodge-020
Uno-Astrolodge-008
Uno-Astrolodge-010
Uno-Astrolodge-011   mezzanine bed
Uno-Astrolodge-032astrocafe
Uno-Astrolodge-026view from Tower

 

 

Pure Veggie House – Hong Kong

pure-veggie-houseabove photo © Pure Veggie House

Pure Veggie House

(852)  2.525 0552
3/F, Coda Plaza,
51 Garden Road,
Central, HK

www.topstandard.com.hk

Open Hours:
10:00 – 22:30    Daily

Pure Veggie House is fantastic!  Not very easy to find, but one of those gems when you do.  I mean, we would NEVER have found this place on our own. A local friend brought us here – which involved a taxi ride up the hill to a nondescript corner;  a narrow lobby and elevator up one of the ‘chopstick’ buildings and then we finally spilled out into a vegetarian oasis.

Hong Kong has a verticality that is beyond what I was able to imagine – and this was after we had been to Tokyo – where you routinely head to a 4th floor for retail.   Pure Veggie House, may not have been the highest floor we visited (we topped out at the non-blog worthy hotels 110th floor bar) – but considering that it was situated on top of a mountain to begin with – it may have been the highest in overall elevation 🙂

Each dish was lovingly crafted with ingredients cultivated from the restaurants very own   ‘Kang Zhi Yuan Ecological Farm’.    Sauces, spices, flavors sung.  In Hong Kong, we found the few vegetarian spots to be the best, as the food was much less greasy and much more palatable.   So grab a taxi and head “up” to the Pure Veggie House 🙂

pure-veggie-one5above photo © Pure Veggie House
braised lotus seeds wrapped in sliced winter melon
pure-veggie-one11above photo © Pure Veggie House
Matsutake Mushroom pouches  with black truffle sauce
   pure-veggie-one4above photo © Pure Veggie House
Steamed vegetarian dumpling & Steamed dumpling with soup
pure-veggie-one7 above photo © Pure Veggie House
Glutinous dumpling w/ sesame & peanut powder, Deep-fried sesame glutinous rice ball
pure-veggie-one6above photo © Pure Veggie House
chilled king oyster mushroom sashimi
pure-veggie-one3above photo © Pure Veggie House
Shredded turnip puffs
pure-veggie-one10above photo © Pure Veggie House
Bean curd skin roll with assorted mushroom
pure-veggie-one9above photo © Pure Veggie House
Sesame Roll
pure-veggie-one8above photo © Pure Veggie House
Red dates pudding
  pure-veggie-one12above photo © Pure Veggie House
Deep fried enoki mushrooms with spiced salt
pure-veggie-one2above photo © Pure Veggie House