Its not supposed to be this way. Well, at least in my mind. I hate eating badly on the road, especially when in Spain, the place Anthony Bourdain proclaimed was the best country in which to eat in the Western world right now. He didn’t go to Pao del Call on Girona’s narrow Carrer Forca, I imagine.
Then again, maybe he didn’t make the mistake of using Chowhound, an online message board/resource that has, up until this very second, been quite valuable to me in finding great eating spots around the globe.
What I really wanted to do was eat at El Celler de Can Roca, recently rated the second best restaurant in the world by the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The description on San Pellegrino’s site calls the restaurant “possibly the least well known restaurant to have ever held the much-vaunted number two spot on the list.” All that is about to change though. With elBulli shutting down soon many traveling food lovers are starting to wonder who will take the spatula from Ferran Adria. Many people believe it’s Can Roca, a temple of avant-garde (some would say molecular) cuisine run by the three brothers Roca
But eating there during my recent stay in Girona was out of the question; it was booked up for months. I went on Chowhound and found someone had already posed the same question that had led me to the site in the first place: where can I eat in Girona if I can’t get into Can Roca? The answer guided me here, to this sub-mediocre restaurant in Girona’s historical center. So I decided to do my own research, asking locals and restaurant insiders in Girona where to eat in Girona when you can’t get into the world’s second best restaurant (and preferably one that laid off the Andean flute music).
Here’s what I found:
Pere Massana, whose eponymous restaurant has earned a Michelin star, recently opened Nu, a great restaurant with a bad name. The menu is deceptively simple. Order “tomato, basil, vinegar, olive oil delight,” which sounds a description of Caprese salad, but at Nu it’s a golf-ball-sized sphere that, when bit into, oozes all the flavors of the ingredients described above. It’s revelatory. Almost as good are the blood sausage raviolis with pumpkin cream.