10 Best Pintxos in San Sebastian

10 Best Pintxos in San Sebastian

We traipsed all over San Sebastian, in and out of pintxos bars, to learn everything we possible could about the most well known, and least understood, Spanish cuisine. It was a sacrifice, trust me. By the end of our trip to San Sebastian I was so full all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. But, it was worth it to provide travelers to the Basque Country the 10 best pintxos in San Sebastian. Our List of the 10 Best Pintxos in San Sebastian Some of the following pintxos are definite must eats while touring San Sebastian. Others are the best pintxos we found, even if they weren’t the most traditional. These were the ones we returned for over and over, sometimes twice in one day. And, we had a little bit of help in creating our list of the 10 best pintxos. Some of these we tried during our Devour San Sebastian Pintxos and Wine Tour. Devour San Sebastian taught us all about how to eat, and order, the best pintxos in San Sebastian. Read what other travelers say about Devour San Sebastian here. Gilda – The Original Pintxo The original pintxos. The story is that a patron at Txeptexa liked the flavor of the snacks that were served at the bar. At the time, they included anchovies, pickled peppers, and olives. This patron liked them so much that he skewered them all together to try all the flavors in one bite. The term pintxo refers to the stick that was used to skewer the tasty treats. At Txepetxa, they’ve been offering the gilda every since, and...
Dining at Arzak in San Sebastian

Dining at Arzak in San Sebastian

Being surrounded in Spain by so much great gastronomy, we’ve made the decision to start exploring more of the country. And, we started with the “other” culinary capital of Spain, and that meant a trip to San Sebastian, in the Basque Country. And, on the top of our list was a stop of the 3 Michelin Star Arzak in San Sebastian. We drove about 10 minutes out from the center of San Sebastian, into a residential neighborhood. We actually managed to find Arzak, and park, without getting lost, so we were a little early. We walked into the entrance, which was part bar, part lobby, and as we would find out, part contemporary family living room. Everything at Arzak was family-like. And, that is the reason why I enjoyed it so much. We are not strangers to Michelin Star dining, having previously dined at the number 3 restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca. And, we’ve dined at a few other 3 Michelin Star restaurants, but this experience was, well, unique. When I made the reservation, I asked for a table with good lighting, or near a window, so that I could take photos for my travel blog. That was my only request. I didn’t even really introduce myself at all. Certainly not a reservation laced with special requests.  And, maybe I am fancier that I think I am, particularly with my burgeoning reputation within Spain, but we were treated quite well, solely based on this request. Going Behind the Scenes at Arzak in San Sebastian First, we received a detailed tour of the Arzak operation, where...
A Catalan Porro – How To Drink Wine in Costa Brava

A Catalan Porro – How To Drink Wine in Costa Brava

It’s no secret that Amber and I enjoy our wine, beer, cocktails, and well, basically any hot or cold beverage. A proper pint of Guinness on a wet day in Ireland, the sweet chicory deliciousness of a Vietnamese cafe sua da (black coffee with condensed milk and ice), or an aromatic gin tonic. These past five years exploring the world for food and drink have lead to some tasty drinkable discoveries. Then, we discovered the porro. Now that Girona, Spain, is home, we finally have the opportunity to dive deeper into our favorite beverage of them all: wine. A stone’s throw to the north of Girona, the Emporda wine region has a long history dating back to the 5th Century BC and the Phoenicians. Influenced by the Greeks and the Romans, today the region produces some of the best wines you’ve never heard of. Of course, it’s possible to drink Emporda wine and simply pour it into a glass. Or, it’s possible to be a bit more adventurous and use my new favorite drinking vessel: the porro. What is a Porro Picture a glass bottle, bulbous on the bottom, and narrowing at the top, with a small spout sticking out from one side, which contains an entire 750ml bottle of red wine. Instead of pouring the wine into a glass, the wine is drank directly from the porro itself. But, it’s not like just drinking straight from a wine bottle. There is an art to it. It’s necessary to pour the wine from the porro directly into the mouth. The goal is to lift the bottle higher and higher and farther and farther from the...
Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

We can hardly call ourselves “nomadic.” Not in the way that some of our friends have been nomadic. But, we’ve been without a certain home for almost 5 years. And, we realized it was about time to remedy that. There were a lot of factors that influenced the decision to settle after 5 years of travel. A lot of factors in saying farewell to the nomadic lifestyle. But, as this week is the 5 year anniversary of when we left the US, it seemed like the perfect time to explain our decision. Happy Travelversary to us!  What Is a Nomadic Lifestyle? We have nomadic friends. Friends who are way more nomadic than we have ever been. Our friend Kerwin (as in #WhereIsKerwin) claims Houston as a home base, but doesn’t have an apartment there. The Hecks from Hecktic Travels have been nomadic for the last 7 or 8 years until they recently settled down (for reasons out of their control). The Queen of the Nomadic Lifestyle has to be our friend Sherry over at Otts World, who just settled down after over 10 years of travel. The closest thing she had to a home was a storage locker in a borough of New York. In comparison to these folks, we barely can consider ourselves nomadic. We often explain the last 5 years this way: We left the US, we traveled for about 10 months, we had a home base in Bali for almost a year and a half, traveled for about 9 months, and then had an apartment in Bangkok for about 16 months, and then we traveled for...
El Celler de Can Roca Menu

El Celler de Can Roca Menu

The meal that requires more than one blog post. I wrote about our surreal dining experience at El Celler De Can Roca. But, I wanted to dive more into the menu items, for the true food lovers out there. Here is a recap of the over 30 different courses and bites we had during our 4 hour Can Roca menu. We chose the Feast Menu, with about 15 named courses. The other alternative is a tasting of their classic menu. The tasting menu is about 7 courses, where you have a choice for two of the courses. Of course, we went all in. And, I did the best I could with photos considering the lighting, and I did not want to disturb diners nearby. Bear with me.   The Can Roca Menu: Snacks We started with The World, a paper lantern, ceremoniously untied at the table, and opened to reveal 5 bites reminiscent of flavors from all over the globe. In this case, our world included: From Thailand, Thai chicken, with coriander, coconut, curry, and lime From Japan, miso cream with nyinyonyaki, the Can Roca version of a fried, breaded snack From Turkey, focaccia with lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onions, and mint From Peru, a Causa limeña, or a potato based bite with avocado From Korea, a panko fried bread, with bacon, soy sauce, kimchi, and sesame oil The next snack was a Can Roca-themed diorama, with black of white photos of each Roca brother when they were young. This presentation is called “Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona, a reference perhaps to the family’s traditional restaurant,...
Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

In part, this dining experience was not about the food. I mean, of course it was. But, having eaten in Costa Brava, and having learned about the history of gastronomy in the region, this was a pilgrimage. And, a surreal one at that. This was our experience dining at Can Roca in Girona. El Celler de Can Roca I’ve written about El Celler de Can Roca before. We were fortunate enough to have a little taste from the menu, after meeting all three Roca brothers, back in 2015. That visit occurred just after Can Roca won the number one restaurant in the world, and the whole world was a buzz about Girona. El Celler de Can Roca is set in a residential neighborhood, just outside the center of Girona. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is around the corner from the family restaurant and bar, Can Roca. But, the two restaurants could not be more different. Can Roca is traditional Catalan. A family run establishment, for everyday dining. El Celler de Can Roca is not for everyday dining. It is, indeed, a surreal experience. We’ve dined at Michelin Star restaurants before, and even 3 star Michelin Restaurants. But, somehow this was different, and I am not sure why. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Ferran Adria and elBulli in the region. Perhaps it was because we were dining at the number 3 restaurant in the world. Perhaps it was because we scored a last minute reservation, and only had less than 10 hours to let it sink in that we were dining at Can Roca in the first...
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