If you read my earlier post, you will know what this means. Dirty napkins are kinda gross, but it’s what you want to see when you’re trying to decide on a tapas bar. Unless you already know the reputation of the bar, you have to rely on the napkins. Strange as it seems, you want to hit up a bar with its floor littered with used napkins. That’s how you know it’s good. The more trash, the better.
This site was a reliable source for finding delicious tapas bars in San Seb, as well as informing readers on what the restaurant’s newest and most popular tapas were. I spent a lot of time here searching out various pintxos that I wanted to try. Since San Seb is full of excellent places, it’s difficult to choose when you only have so many hours in the day! It’s fun to browse the site and vote for your favorites. I certainly did.
At Bergara, lunch time was busy and many tapas were running out. Not to worry, there’s still more on the hot menu that is not out on platters. And, you can always enjoy more wine while waiting for the cold platters to be replenished.
This place was awesome. I’m not usually a fan of calamari, but it was so perfect here, I couldn’t complain. I’ve never had calamari that was grilled just right, seasoned perfectly, and so supple in texture. I got all of that at Goiz-Argi. This was one of the most crowded places we went to that night, for good reason. We were butt-cheek-to-butt-cheek with everyone as we tried to make our way to the front of the counter to order.
The super amazing calamari (txipiron). Looks great, tastes even better!
Not that we weren’t a little full from the superb food and drink at Goiz-Argi, but there were more bars to try that night. Onward to Borda Berri (below).
Borda Berri is on the same street as Goiz-Argi and it was one of the first places on my list for the night. The first time we passed by, the crowd was spilling out onto the sidewalk. This place was busting at the seams! Since I was hungry as usual, we decided to go to another slightly less crowded place with the intention of returning later in the evening. Now it’s later, and we’re seated at the bar ordering another round of tapas. I loved the tomato featured above and the rabbit and squid were also tasty. No meal would be complete without a glass of txakoli to wash it all down.
Our last spot of indulgence on this trip was actually the first bar we went to on our first night in San Seb. Astelena was our favorite and I found myself wanting to begin and end every sublime day in this city with Astelena. They had a knack for combining traditional flavors with innovative ingredients. I tried and succeeded in ordering new items on this night, but found myself wanting many of the pintxos we had on the first night. Of course, this being our very last night, I was not holding back.
As you can see, all this deliciousness is laid out before your eyes and right under your nose. I snicker at the thought of the health department in the USA having a fit over this. It’s plenty crowded and guess what? No sneeze guard! Ha. That’s what makes it taste so darn good.
You have to order with a quickness for two reasons: 1) you’ll get passed over for indecisiveness and 2) the no-nonsense lady behind the bar has way too many other fools waiting to order. Just start picking anything that looks interesting and don’t bother asking questions. Try something new.
At the end of the night, it was clear to me who could eat more. I won. Not sure I should be bragging about that, but when it comes to good food that’s impossible to come by at home unless I make it myself, I just have to go for it. Here’s to yet another satisfying, belly scratching night .Cheers!