Rally Cars and Mexican Food

After our jaunt out to the Priorat and Montsant wine regions, we decided to stay home this past weekend and just enjoy Barcelona. There is still plenty we haven't seen in the city, and it seems that even just an ordinary walk to a lunch spot can turn into something new and exciting...which is exactly what happened to us this past Friday.

I have been CRAVING, I mean REALLY craving, Mexican food, so Brian and I decided to make a mission out of it.  We researched all kinds of restaurants online, read reviews of each, found which one was closest and still supposedly decent (I know, I know), and then set out to find it and hopefully not be disappointed!  We were pretty proud of ourselves, walking along our usual route down Via Laietana, when we decided to cut across the Cathedral plaza to take a back way through the Barri Gotic.  And lo and behold there was a rally car race?!

Tons of little cars were all lined up in front of the cathedral. Even though we were starving we stopped to investigate and take these photos.  That colorful, wavy roof in the distance is actually our market - the Mercat Santa Caterina.

There was a real raucous around this white-haired gentleman in the black jacket when we passed. There were several people taking his photo, and there seemed to be a general hush among the other drivers.

We googled his name off the window of the car above and he turned out to be

this guy

- Rauno Aaltonen. He's kind of a big deal in the Rally Car world.  :)

We kept standing around expectantly hoping and waiting for them to be green flagged to race. Although we couldn't quite figure out where and the heck they would be racing through the city. Turns out it was an exhibition of all the historic cars.  Ha! It's called the

Monte Carlo Rallye Historique

.  Good thing we moved on; I guess we would have been waiting a while.  But what did they need all those fire extinguishers for, right?

After we left the rally cars, we continued on our journey to Margarita Blue, the Mexican food restaurant that had the best location to good review ratio for our tastes.  Can you guess? CLOSED! Oh, Spain. Apparently it is only open for dinner these days, of course. So we wandered down the Rambla, found a sub-par outdoor restaurant, froze our butts off eating bland pizza and then headed to the Boqueria to do our grocery shopping.  And like a beautiful fountain in the desert we spotted this fabulous little sparkling gem....

The Latin booth! So we stocked up on tortillas, habanero peppers, canned jalapenos, habanero sauce, black beans, avocados and a couple Negro Modelos for the road and decided to make our own little Mexican creation.

Aw, the sweet taste of victory. A potato, egg and cheese breakfast taco with chopped habaneros AND habanero sauce for dipping. It's no Maudie's chips and queso, but it got our mouths reasonably on fire and gave me that beautiful painful tingling in my nose and ears. Have I mentioned that sometimes it's the little things?

And no, we still haven't made it to Margarita Blue or any other Mexican food restaurant. But it's still on the agenda. Along with Brian's church-castle at Tibidabo up on the mountain.