San Sebastian so Far…

16 Jun

When I arrived in San Sebastian and looked around in the Parte Viejo, I saw tons of pintxos bars with signs that said, “recommended by the Michelin guide.”  I knew San Sebastian had the highest density of Michelin stars in the world, but I guess seeing them all close together drove that concept home for me.  I was so excited to do a pintxos crawl at night!

When I went back to my hostel, I met my hostel-mates and decided to go out with them to watch the World Cup in a bar.  Luckily, after the game, one of the girls in my group was a little hungry too, so we went to A Fuego Negro, an avant-garde pintxos place around the corner.  We enjoyed three interesting pintxos:

  1. “Ros Bif”–a small, sweet cracker with beef tartare on top and some stone-ground mustard.
  2. Brandade foam with pesto and sun-dried tomato
  3. “Cafe de jamón,” a small cappucino of ham soup with deep fried sweetbreads on the side.  A fun take on capuccino with cookies.

café de jamón with sweetbreads

Afterwards, I tried a bacalao montadito at a small bar.  It was delicious; the fish was meaty and subtle, and the peppers on top were soft and delicious.

bacalao with pimientos y pan

Today, I was supposed to eat at Etxebarri in the basque country, but there was no direct way to get there besides taking a 93 euro cab.  Nope.  Instead, I did what the locals do: head for higher ground (a bar) and drink/eat.  I ordered my favorite, café con brandy to start.  It was everything I had hoped for.  Although a sign said that the bar served a taco de foie, the woman at the bar told me otherwise.  She recommended a pintxo de solomillo, and I ordered one.  I actually wasn’t sure what solomillo was, because I thought it was cured pork, but I couldn’t remember.  It turns out that solomillo is a small filet of beef.  Excellent.  At the bar, they simply seared it and sprinkled it with flaky sea salt, and it came with a roasted red pepper.

solomillo con pimiento

This is some bare bones food.  But, it’s all amazing.  It’s like you can hardly get something bad around here.  The solomillo was perfectly done, it was juicy, and it was extremely flavorful.  I thought I was full, but when I left, I bought a small, crusty baguette at a bakery and voraciously tore it apart, consuming the better part of it’s crispy exterior.

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2 Responses to “San Sebastian so Far…”

  1. Jeff June 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    BUMMER about Etxebarri! I hope you find a way to get there… it’s totally worth it.

    • getinmebelly June 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

      yeah maybe i will. if not this trip, one day! i still ate my fair share of decent food (if not edge-pushing gourmet), this week, including orejas a la plancha. hoorah! how’s spain for you?

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