Another week down and we are inching towards full blown summer. So far, I’m enjoying the cooler weather and soaking it all in while it lasts. Waffles for breakfast make me happy. I prep most of it the night before so all I have to […]
Month: June 2014
A sparkling jewel a culinary mecca, San Sebastian has many pintxo bars to choose from. There is everything from traditional classics to the modern and experimental. Basically, if you love food and trying new things, there is something for everyone. To add more excitement, each bar has their specialty, the pintxo they are known for and which draws the crowds. Here are three of my personal favorites, the ones we found ourselves going back to more than a few times:
/1/ A Fuego Negro
Calle 31 de Agosto, 31 /Parte Vieja/
Let’s start off with a bang and begin at one of the more experimental bars, A Fuego Negro, located in Parte Vieja. This was the place I absolutely had to try on this trip. They were closed the first time we were here in the winter since they take a hiatus and reopen come spring so my expectations were building for quite a while. We enjoyed the food so much we made repeat visits to try a variety of offerings.
lomo (pork tenderloin) on toast
txitxarro donostiarra al kubo with garlic oil emulsion
bubble bath: consomme, garbanzo, sherry
bonito, guindilla peppers, pickled red onions
risotto with seaweed and green olives
anchovies, pickled garlic, oven roasted tomatoes
Plaza. del a Constitución /Parte Vieja
The very first place we had pintxos on our first visit to San Sebastian, 3 years ago. I loved the casual atmosphere and most of all, the gambas katafi completely won me over. I have dreamed of returning and cleaning them out of each and every skewer on hand. I definitely got my fill this time around and it was just as good as I remembered.
gambas katafi: my favorite. Hidden beneath the crunchy katafi layer is a skewer of shrimp
steak and egg
Tortilla de carne deshebrada
/3/ Goiz Argi
Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 4/Parte Vieja
Another outstanding bar, as mentioned above, we have returned for multiple visits to savor favorites such as the gambas (not pictured here) with light vinaigrette, croquettes, txipirones (calamari) and anchovies. This time we also had the chorizo sandwich, morcilla (blood sausage), and txangurro (crab) which were all great choices. Really, you can’t go wrong with anything here and I suggest stopping by for a tasty bite, you won’t be disappointed.
txipirones (squid) a la plancha
A few tips for enjoying pintxos:
*Try the txakoli, a light white wine produced locally which is poured from high above the glass giving it a mild effervescence
*Limit yourself to 2-3 pintxos per bar so you can hit up more places in an evening
*Take a chance and order from the handwritten menus posted even if you have no idea what you are getting. You might discover something new. This is how I ended up with Kokotxa de Bacalao (fatty chin part of hake) and what a surprise that was. I got way out of my comfort zone on this one.
*Resist filling up on all of the pintxos on display and make sure to try their hot pintxos (see above). This is where you will find the gems.
Also worth a visit:
La Cuchara de San Telmo: /Calle de 31 de Agosto 28/Parte Vieja/Known for: roast meats, new Basque cooking
Bergara: /General Artetxe 8/ Gros /website/
Zeruko: / Calle Pescaderia, 10/ Known for: creative spin on traditional flavors/Parte Vieja /website/
Another Good Resource:
Todo Pintxos: Excellent bar guide with extensive pintxo dishes and rankings /website/