For lunch a couple days ago I was craving a sandwich from Mona Lisa. There are plenty of cheaper sandwiches in downtown, but on this day I was indulgent and was willing to pay $9 for a sandwich, rationalized by the fact that I would ride my bike around Little Italy for a while and because they're that good. (I didn't think to take my camera) I was happy that there wasn't a super line at the deli and I ordered my imported prosciutto sandwich with provolone. As I was about to check out, some men were asking the guy about some deli meats and he told them "that's not prosciutto, that's jamón serrano."
I lit up. Back in college, one of my best friends from school was from Madrid and my boyfriend at the time was from Barcelona and through both of them I learned to appreciate Spanish food. I even learned how to make my own alioli ('al' being garlic and 'oli' being oil) and Tortilla Española. Jamón Serrano is a dried cured ham that comes from a Spanish pigs and is usually served in thin slices on bread. I was gonna actually post this on the food blog, but whatever...I normally satisfy my craving for Spanish food at Café Sevilla during happy hour, but it's been a long time and I'd like to have it with more time flexibility, so with that, I'm glad to say Mona Lisa now carries jamón serrano. While not cheap (about $20 a pound) a quarter pound will be sufficient for an appetizer paired with an inexpensive bottle of Spanish rioja table wine, like Marques de Caçeres or Sangre de Toro. Mona Lisa also has good chunks of Manchego cheese.
You know I have to tie this to music, so I'll lead in that about 3 or 4 months ago, while surfing on MySpace, I found a band called the Pinker Tones from Barcelona. At the time they were planning a short US tour, and they played LA and I think SXSW, and I guess I thought somehow they'd hit the Beauty Bar down here while they were in the state. Alas, they did not, and while dancey stuff isn't usually my bag, now they're making a little noise stateside and Promonet is featuring them this month which means free downloads for you. Enjoy.From Promonet:
"The official ambassadors of cosmopolitan cool, The Pinker Tones bring us the sound of one of the world’s hippest cities – Barcelona. Renowned for its style and eclecticism, the city has spawned a music culture which absorbs an abundance of influences and eras and turns them into something relevant, fresh and fun.
Their debut single, “Mais Pourquoi”, recently hit number one in the Spanish dance floor chart, attracting reviews comparing it favourably with Quincy Jones, Euro-disco, Air, Lemon Jelly and somewhat bizarrely “italo sixties cocktail lounge music for beat afficiandos”.More On This Album