One of my great joys of living in Catalunya is the quality of the food we eat. We can shop for the freshest food in our local markets and our restaurants are known worldwide for the quality of their cooking. My usual strategy is to eat breakfast at home, then go out in the middle of the day to one of my favorite local restaurants where I can get what we call the Menú del Día, the fixed-price lunch that nearly all restaurants offer on weekdays. This is a generous three-course meal that includes an appetizer, main course, dessert, bread, and water or wine. All this for €10-€18—a real bargain. After a meal like this, I don't need to eat much in the evening, So I snack or eat some of the local ham and cheese, a bowl of olives, or whatever appeals to me. I have scouted out many of the local restaurants and have a list of a half a dozen that I cycle among.
Even those of us with dietary restrictions can be accommodated at these restaurants. They have come to know us and what we can and can't eat, and make substitutions without complaint.
Since Girona is home to several Michelin-star restaurants, the quality of the cooking is exceptional. When we want to splurge we have our choice of three or four restaurants that aspire to be Michelin-star restaurants and offer truly gourmet fare. These meals will set you back €25-€50, but they are memorable.
There are, of course, several tapas bars where we can select what we want from a huge selection of small dishes set out on the counter. The waiters collect the empty plates and keep track of your bill. Another option we enjoy is a local fish restaurant called Arroz Y Peiz, which translates as Rice and Fish. There is a large ice-filled table groaning with fresh seafood near the door and the server hands you a glass of the local bubbly while you make your choices. You choose the fish and shellfish in the quantity you want and they prepare it the way you like. You can add a salad, a paella, and dessert if you like. We come away very satisfied. These options are a little more expensive than the Menú del Día, but they are enjoyable for a change. We treat ourselves to meals like these when we want a little something extra but are not in the mood for gourmet fare.
I can truly say that I have never been so well fed in my life, and with a little care about how much I eat, I’ve not even gained weight.