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Travel Resource: Culinary Backstreets from Istanbul Eats folks

August 30, 2012|By S. Irene Virbila | Times Restaurant Critic
  • Culinary Backstreets details where to eat off the beaten path in four cities: Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and Barcelona, with more to come.
Culinary Backstreets details where to eat off the beaten path in four cities:… (Culinary Backstreets )

My friend Antonia is planning her first trip to Barcelona, Spain, and I’ve been trying to give her some advice on where to eat. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, so I know that not all my restaurant recommendations are up to date. When I was interviewing former Rustic Canyon chef Evan Funke recently, he mentioned he’d just been to Barcelona and sent me a list of his favorite places. Two of them I know well and remember fondly -- Pasadís del Pep  and Bar Pinotxo in the iconic La Boqueria market on the Ramblas.

I passed those tips on and pointed her to the website Find. Eat. Drink.  for a PDF guide to Barcelona  compiled from chefs’ tips. I also steered her toward a new and potentially very useful site from the folks behind Istanbul Eats. It’s called Culinary Backstreets  and right now features guides to four cities -- Istanbul, of course, plus Athens, Shanghai -- and Barcelona. (Mexico City is coming soon.)

Culinary Backstreet’s correspondent in Barcelona is Hollis Duncan, an American graphic designer now based in Spain. Earlier this year, Hollis founded Food Club Barcelona, “a video blog  dedicated to documenting the best plates of food in Barcelona, whether at churrerias, traditional tapas bars or Michelin-starred restaurants.” The short videos have a distinctly homemade quality, but they do give an instant read on the atmosphere, crowd and look of the food. You can read about some of the same places at  Culinary Backstreets. There isn’t a huge backlog of posts since the site only started a couple of months ago. But if I were headed to any of the four cities, I’d definitely check in with Culinary Backstreets to see what’s new and interesting.

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-- S. Irene Virbila
Twitter.com/sirenevirbila

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