Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Go-Go to GOPAL

Upon visiting Barcelona's Las Ramblas (a little too touristy for my taste), I was searching for Juicy Jones, a vegetarian eatery recommended in my slightly dated Rick Steves' Spain 2007 travel guide from the library. I never made it.

Upon passing by this sign....

I was immediately drawn into GOPAL, a homey vegan eatery.

Check out the vegan charcuterie! In the states, look for soy chorizo at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's or increasingly in natural foods sections in the produce aisle (where I spotted it at Stop and Shop in northern New Jersey). Add it to Spanish rice, and serve with sangria, or use in Alicia Silverstone's soy chorizo tacos.

Hamburgers are everywhere on the menus of Barcelona. This version is cruelty-free. With a drink and...

potatoes bravas, a popular potato dish you'll also see on tapas menus. A humane and filling meal for 6.90 euros (one of three daily menus combinations offered in addition to the regular menu).

I feasted on one of their daily menus. After a cup of gazpacho soup (served pureed, not chunky, the latter is more typical in the states), I savored a hearty stew of eggplant and chickpeas with a slice of whole grain bread (at last, since white bread is the norm); a polenta square with broccoli; and, oh yes, a small dulce de leche crepe. Yum! All for 5.90 euros.

If these cupcakes can be vegan, why can't all cupcakes be?

So happy to find the animal rights community on my travels. Everywhere, in every language, someone is using their voice for animals. Compassion knows no borders.

Finding GOPAL and other vegan eateries (I sought out a few others with the help of HappyCow) is like finding an abundance of clean drinking water in a desert. I'm already used to being a dieatary minority, but in Spain I felt even more alone. I even had a few shrug when I mentioned vegetarian (never mind vegan). One waiter in Madrid told me, "oh we don't do that here." Do what, serve vegetables?

I am always happy to patronize an animal-friendly establishment, and if I lived in Barcelona, GOPAL would be a regular haunt.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

I love, love, loooove soy chorizo. It tastes so much better than the meat variety. My favorite way to eat it is in what I call my "breakfast creation"--soy chorizo, mixed bell peppers, roasted corn, onions & garlic. Eggs if I can remember (which I never do, which I guess makes it a vegan dish, no?). A little salsa and maybe a burrito shell. Badam! Delish.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks so much!

I never had the meat-version of chorizo in my meat eating days (which ended when I was a teenager), so can't compare it, but glad to hear such enthusiastic praise.

That recipe DOES sound delicious - I shall have to try it with Trader Joe's soy chorizo. Thanks for sharing it. I love making scrambles with tofu instead of eggs, so why not chorizo?