New Yorkers have a warped view of the word, but in Spain, a bodega is primarily a place to sell, serve or store wine. Better yet, they’ve also been known to have good food. La Bodegueta de Cal Pep is a great example, located on a side street near Barcelona’s Mercado de Sants. This is more or less a two-person operation, with a bristly woman pouring wine and vermut, and a large man monitoring the tiny plancha. People sit on wood stools at marble tables, or stand at wine barrels, and imbibe while waiting for food, which can take a LONG time to arrive. A menu of conservas appears on a worn pastel yellow wall, but scour the case of fresh seafood and produce instead, which are infinitely more enticing. Options included tiny clams, Necora crabs, razor clams, nizcalos, and cochinillo, suckling pig.
Savory chunks of suckling pig resemble tiny moon rocks, but with a marinade that centers on pimenton, a smoky Spanish variation on paprika. The pig’s prepared a la plancha with padron peppers and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt flakes for only 6€, a remarkable value.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.