es un pacho

~ my nameless taberna of choice of the moment at the foot of Calle de la Murtra ~

My taberna friend Juan is eating something that looks like pieces of green apple and scallion in an amber broth with ice cubes. What is it?

Sopa frio? I asked him, and he said something sounding like Es un pacho.

Another guy came in and said something to him I didn’t catch and Juan replied to him in the same way, so I guess I’m not the only one.

A lot of these tabernas seem to be the same, one to another. One thing is none seems to have a menu that I can see, and everyone just comes in and knows what choices there are. At ten in the morning I watch amazing things come out of the kitchen: open-faced sandwiches topped with semi-mystery stuff melting along their considerable lengths… snails… jámon for an older couple that came in after me, hers with melón, his with piña. How do they know?

…I notice now a hand-chalked sandwich board outside, so I guess there is something in the manner of a menu after all. What is lomo? And plancha? Was Juan saying ‘pacho, as in, gaz-?

If I live here, I’ll have to learn Catalan, too.

Is my forearm sticking to the table just because of surface textures or because it’s sticky with juice from my nectarine, which is turning out to be the signature scent of my mornings here?

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