Yes, this blog has been posted about 2 weeks late, but I’ve been super busy climbing and enjoying life in the South of France. Thanks to a few summer thunderstorms that have slowed us down, this post has finally taken priority over going wine-tasting and eating more goat cheese..
When Chris and I arrived in San Sebastian after a pretty full day of climbing (and an even more epic search to find parking) we were pretty damn hungry and were ready to go out and do some pintxo-bar hopping. For those who don’t know, Spanish cuisine is pretty famous for its “tapas” which are pretty much small samples of food that are served on small plates, such as tortilla española, chorizo, stuffed peppers, fish.. etc. In the Basque country, where the local language is basque, tapas translate to “pintxo” (the “x” is pronounced as “sh” so “pintxo” is pronounced as peench-o”) and they are typically served on small pieces of bread. As a historial side note, basque is said to be the oldest language in all of Europe whose roots are still unknown, though it is definitely not derived from a romantic language. It’s totally different from Spanish and really rather interesting. If you go to the Basque country, you definitely have to go pinxo-bar hopping, aka go to different bars and have a drink and 1 or 2 tapas at each place. Though I do suggest you proceed with caution if you’re on a budget; while individual tapas are pretty cheap (1.50-3 euros each ), if you’re hungry this little excursion can add up pretty damn quickly. Before we set out Chris and I decided to be forward thinking and look up the list of the best pinxo bars in San Sebastian, the majority of which were located in the old town, where we were staying. So, with a list of 10-15 bars we set off with high hopes to fill our stomachs with some delicious Basque country pintxos and maybe try some local cider, or sidra, the typical alcohol of choice. We started off at Paco Bueno , which was supposed to be a traditional pintxo bar. I say “supposed to be” instead of “is” because we never actually ate there… it was closed. As were the next 3 pinxo bars we went to. We managed to squeeze in one recommended bar on the list called Bar Gandarias. were we sampled some really good solomillo, or sirloin steak, which is another Basque speciality. We stared our pintxo bar hopping late and on possibly the worst day to go, Sunday night, so out of a desperate hunger we walked into the next bar that looked sort of busy and open, which had the not so classy name of “Bar Sport”. However, despite the low expectations its name inspired, Bar Sport was as surprisingly decent find. We had around 4 tapas there until last call around 1 AM for a cheap price. We had one more night in San Sebastian the next day so we vowed to go again, hoping to have a bit more luck with finding recommended pinxo bars that didn’t have the “en vacaciones” (on vacation) sign posted on their door.
|Morcilla (blood sausage with rice)… so damn good.. so damn happy I am not a vegetarian anymore|
We got back, showered, and went for pintxo bar hopping round 2, this time leaving much earlier. However, we were yet again shut down as most of our destinations ended up being closed. So this time ,we just winged it and went to places that we hadn’t read about. At the end of the night I had a delicious Crème brûlée (I tried really hard to add in all the right accents) at our final stop, which I have recently discovered is the exact same thing as crema catalana, a dessert catalans like to boast is their own unique culinary invention. Well, I hate to burst their bubble but literally it’s the same thing people.. even on wikipedia they put “crema catalana” as another name for Crème brûlée. But hey, I’m not hating; you can call it whatever you want, it is delicious!
The next morning we packed up and headed back to go do some more rock climbing at Valdegovía!! Sorry I failed as a photographer in San Sebastián.. didn’t take too many photos!