This week I was fortunate enough to have a free dinner courtesy of Withlocals (in exchange for writing this blog post.)
In a small apartment near Barcelona's Plaça d'Espanya my wife Paula and I met a home cook who uses the name Yosuz and a Finnish friend of hers. We were immediately served glasses of homemade summer white-wine sangria and started nibbling on fried pastry triangles which we dipped into a lovely smoky, roasted baba ganoush eggplant dip.
We all soon sat down to get know each other over a wonderful home-cooked meal of salty Portuguese clams, simple "Spanish-style" mussels and a seafood and pasta stew. The food was exceptionally fresh, not at all overcooked and I greatly enjoyed the difference from Spanish food in that coriander leaves were used rather than parsley.
For dessert we tucked into another homemade delicacy - this one pistachio ice cream served with an unexpected dab of tahini paste on the side which beautifully accented the nuttiness of the dish (see picture.) Yosuz had lived for some time in Egypt (as well as in Venezuela and England) and this was also reinforced in the perfumed hibiscus tea we drank before saying our thanks and goodbyes.
If our experience was indicative of what a curious, hungry person usually finds using Withocals then I highly recommend it to anyone visiting a foreign country or even living in one. It struck me as a great way to try international food of your choice and meet new people.