Spain has left a huge impression on me.
I do not know where to start in order to describe what attracts me of the country. It is a combination of things. Architecture. Big plazas. Museums. Atmosphere. Culture. Night life. Inhabitants. The connection I feel to the country since it colonized the island I come from.
Food is another aspect that made me fall in love with Spain. To me, it feels great to walk around town while stopping to devour delicious morsels.
In San Sebastian, the small snacks offered in bars and small establishments are called pintxos (the “tx” sounds like “ch”).
Pintxos are related to tapas, the main difference being that they are spiked to a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread. A younger generation of chefs has introduced the hot, made to order pintxos to the scene. They serve individual portions of reinvented classics. This modern version is not held together by a toothpick (they are served in small plates).
I must confess I cannot follow the txikiteo (pintxo crawl) rules very well. You are supposed to have one or two things in a bar and move on. Or, you should try the house specialty and move on.
Every time I entered a bar, with a long counter covered entirely with pintxos, my eyes doubled in size. I started to survey each offering. Once I asked for a plate, I proceeded to fill it will all the things I wanted to try. Problem is I wanted to try everything.
The first night in San Sebastian, I was able to visit three places (and I was very full on establishment #3). On my second day, I made a conscious effort to pace myself. It was not easy but I was able to make it to Borda Berri, one of the bars offering a modern take on pintxos.
Places like this have menus written on a chalkboard (instead of pre-made food on the bar). Even with a menu, I had problems restraining myself. All the offerings on the menu sounded delicious. Plus, you were able to take a peek at what other people were eating. Plus, the smells emanating from the kitchen were so enticing.
Well, we ended trying half the menu. And, things do not end there. We liked the place so much that we went for lunch the next day and tried the rest of the menu. I know. I know. I already said I have some restraining problems when it comes to food.
The thing is that we enjoyed the food at Borda Berri enormously. I know there are other places offering the same food concept in the city. We are looking forward to go back to San Sebastian and the Basque Country.
In here, I am including descriptions of what we ate.
Grilled octopus with quince paste
Toasted goat cheese
Veal cheeks in red wine
Octopus in its own ink
Duck breast with plum sauce
Pork rib “kebab”
Steak with grain mustard and piquillo peppers
Pineapple covered in coconut foam
If you enjoy good food, adventurous eating and a fun, social scene, San Sebastian is the place for you. I am recommending all travel loving friends to visit ASAP. Therefore, I recommend you to go to. I am sure you will thank me later.
Have you been to San Sebastian? What is your favorite establishment?