Gros Pintxo Tasting and San Telmo Museum

Before coming to the beautiful city of San Sebastian there were obviously things that I was worried about. For starters this trip was my first time traveling solo. On its own this did not worry me much however being in a German airport alone definitely did. After landing in Munich, I had about 6 hours before my flight; as many know, this meant I had a lot of time to burn. A quick bite to eat and 3 gate changes later I had made it to my plane. After boarding it did not take me long to fall asleep, I was dreaming before takeoff. After landing, I reached out to those that were on the group flight to see where we could meet. Luckily Bilbao has an extremely small airport, so this was not much of an issue. We then swiftly made our way through the rolling hills until we made it to Donostia (San Sebastian in Basque). After making it to our hotel for the trip I quickly remembered my biggest worry for the trip, my diet.

Gros Pintxo Tasting Tour

Having grown up as a picky eater and now wanting to expand my palete I can say it is extremely challenging. Before coming however, I told myself that I would push myself to try new things even if I did not think that I would like them, because I might surprise myself.

After our Spanish language class today at Lacunza half of us headed off for our pintxo (pincho) tasting tour in Gros. This started off with us meeting up with Professor Zabalbeascoa at Bar Zabaleta. We began with the best Tortilla de Patata that we have had yet. The inside was the perfect consistency, and it was just barley holding itself together. With our tortilla we each had some Petritegi, a brand of amazing cider that has been around since 1526. And last but certainly not least we each had a Gilda pintxo. Named after a movie character, the Gilda pintxos were definitely “hot and spicy.” Although I was not able to even finish this pintxo that consisted of olive, peppers and anchovy, I am definitely proud of myself for trying it.

One of our next stops led us to another bar where once again others were much braver than me, trying a pig feet pintxo. They both said that it tasted good however that they would not go for it again. It was accompanied by a duck liver, they both did not like. I stuck to my roots and had a basic ham and goat cheese pintxo.

Goat Cheese and Ham Pintxo

After that, they also tried fried squid with ink dyed breading. This was topped with a blue sauce that they both agreed was different than something they have ever had before. Overall, “it tasted good, but the breading was a bit much for me” although the plates were wiped clean.

Fried Squid Pintxo

Our second to last stop on our tour brought us to Matalauva (directly translates to kill the grape). When first opening the owner had not yet acquired a food serving license and therefore was only allowed to have a microwave and hot plate. After discovering that this had worked for them, even after acquiring their license they chose to keep it that way as it is today. Here we had many different things. First salmorejo pacense which was essentially tomato soup thickened with bread. The flavor was amazing however, it is meant to be eaten cold which thew me off. Next up, and my favorite item here was, flauta de pan de cristal con panceta joselito. This was a thin piece of bread wrapped in extremely thin cut ham. There was something ever so slightly sweet about this that made for a great taste. We also had láminas de txuleta (chuleta) en salazón. Once again, the natural flavors were amazing but the texture just was not for me.

To wrap up our pintxo tasting tour we did not finish with pintxos at all, but something debatably better, gelato. For the past week we have been stopping by one specific gelato place but today Professor Zabalbeascoa brought us somewhere new, and it is definitely worth the longer bike ride out.

San Telmo Museum

After the tour, we met up with those that were not on the tour to go to the San Telmo Museum. With free admittance on Tuesdays, it was a must for us all. There was a limited time exhibit with many posters for events held in San Sebastian, however my favorite were those about old automotive races. Before seeing these, I had no clue that there was anything of the sort hosted in this amazing city.

Another ehibit that they had was one about bicycles. They had many old bikes and it showed how they have evolved through time. My favorite personally was the old Norco downhill mountain bike. Being most familiar with this style of bike I was able to see they have changed over time. Another standout was one that raced in the first Tour De France. In the exhibit it did not even have tires!

Overall, our time in San Sebastian so far has been amazing, and today just added more to the memory books.