It’s an Atari Gastronomic Riot in San Sebastian. So many pintxos bars, so little time. Then when you find all those little delights laid out in front of you, you want to dive in and eat every single one of them.
As I’ve mentioned before, staying in one place the whole night is sacrilegious. I told my parents this and they scoffed at the notion. Can you imagine eating at four places in one night in New York or Los Angeles? Thus, the pintxos/tapas culture will never happen in America. No worries, just hope on a plane to Basque Country.
Atari Gastroteka (Atari is Japanese for “to hit the target” or “to receive something fortuitously”) was happening both nights I went. Luckily, the staff were impressed with my knowledge of Basque gin. Although gin and tonic (or just gintonic in Spain) is a British cocktail, the Basque infuse it with botanicals and serve in large goblets. While here, make sure to ask for regionally made gin. It’s a different taste experience.
When you get your gintonic on, don’t be afraid to ask what pintxo is what. If you’re a little shy or don’t understand them, just pick out what looks good. When in doubt, get the jamon or something that looks fried. It’s usually a meatball.
The first night I went, I was holding court with a few Japanese tourists and helping pick out food. I had such a good time, I went back again and made friends with a group Scots and Aussies. Thus, it’s a great place to meet new people and bond over rioja and baby eels.