Pintxos! Pintxos! Pintxos! The Basque word for Spanish “tapas”, pintxos are the cultural heart of San Sebastian, Spain. They are also my current culinary obsession. Pintxos are small plates served in-between meals (or in bulk to substitute as a meal), all day everyday, usually for as cheap as 2€ – 5€ and typically enjoyed with a glass of wine for equally as cheap. Enjoying the daily pintxo with a local Spanish red wine was definitely the highlight of visiting San Sebastian.
Going out for pintxos is a complete social event, with locals and tourists alike hovering over the pintxo bar grabbing multiple plates with friends. Some groups linger at one pintxo bar for hours, others grab one pintxo per bar and keep the party moving. Every restaurant has pintxos on display and up for grabs, not listed on the regular menu because the selection changes daily if not hourly. Some constant ingredients include assorted charcuteries over bread, baked cheese, a handful of shrimp and salmon varieties, mini burgers, etc. The baked goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto is to die for!
One night, we stumbled across a neighborhood party where each bar had literally hundreds of people piled inside and outside – sitting on the sidewalks, even overflowing into the streets – so packed that cars could not drive through the area. There were so many people out that we assumed it was some sort of national holiday or a huge annual event, but after asking a waitress we discovered it was essentially just a really, really good all-night weekly happy hour. Every Thursday night, the deal rotates to different neighborhoods of the city…
One pintxo + one drink = 2,50€. Equivalent to US $3. AMAZING!
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