Pintxo Roundup: Burger de Potro

Warning!! This blog post might offend many people out there. Please, don’t let this post change or alter your thoughts about the person I am. Because in the end….. Its just f*$^n’ food!

Where: La Urbana Burgo Bar, Pamplona, Spain

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Pintxo: Burger De Potro

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“Have you ever had horse?” 

“Uh……. No???”

“You want to?”

“Uh……. Sure???”

This is the conversation that a new friend I met during my visit in Pamplona had the moment we stepped in to La Urbana Burgo Bar. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to just to say yes to, well you know, eat a freaking horse!!

I was reading through the menu and I was already kind of iffy about having a burger. Mainly because it is actually quite difficult to find a good burger out here in San Sebastian. Maybe I’m just too picky or I’m spoiled by the great burger places we have in Seattle (i.e. Lil Woody’s, 8oz Burger Bar, Lunchbox Labratory, Dick’s Drive-Ins). But it seemed that this joint might have been pretty promising because it was super packed with happy diners who all seemed to be enjoying their burgers.

“Dos Troti por favor”, Mark asked the server. So we waited. With beers in hands. Anxiously waiting to taste the meat of…. horse…. To be honest, I was actually kind of nervous! I’m about to eat HORSE. Did I mention that it was also young horse?! It’s the equivalent to veal to a cow. That’s all I could really think about. It’s just like that moment when you get in line for a roller coaster you think you’re really wanting to go on. But as you get closer to the front of the line, you’re like, “Oh shit…. Do I really want to do this?”

But of course, as scared as you may be as you step onto that roller coaster, you end up walking off with a huge head-rush and having the time of your life. And this burger ended up being probably one of the better burgers I’ve had here in Spain. It’s meat was very lean. Very flavorful. And was almost a cross between venison and beef. I was quite surprised at how much I wanted to eat more and more of it. There was really not one thing I could complain about this burger. Well, other than wishing there was more!

Now I guess I can check ‘eating horse’ off my bucket list. I have told many people about this experience and the reactions and comments I have got from them haven’t been   really that great. But hey, I’ve always told myself that I’ll (almost) always try something once and in the end, I really am glad I had this experience. Who knows…. Horse burgers the next trend in America??? Most likely not… But we’ll see!

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Pintxo Roundup: Kallos de Bacalao al Pil Pil

Where: Bar Borda Berri, Donostia-San Sebastian

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Pintxo: Kallos de Bacalao al Pil Pil

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Probably one of my favorite Pintxo bars here in San Sebastia via Andoni. This is the bar where I had my first bite here in Spain. And I had the chance to revisit it after my trip to the Sammic Headquarters. I was really craving some seafood so Bacalao was my go to! I have been familiar with Pil Pil, which is basically an emulsified sauce made from oil and the protein of a gelatinous fish, but I have never actually got to experience it. So this was my chance! I’ve always been so interested in Pil Pil because it really captures the essence of flavor from the fish and transforms it into a very creamy and decadent sauce. I also really like the fact that sauce’s name has came about because it is supposedly the onomatopoeia (vocab word of the day!)  of the sound that is made during the rotation motion that happens in the pan when the oil is being emulsified with the cod proteins to make the sauce.

The dish in itself was everything I wanted. The bacalao was super tender and had a very rich flavor. The pil pil sauce really enhanced the fishiness of the dish without it being too overly-fishy. There was a nice border of alioli that encapsulates the cod and it’s sauce that really rounded out this whole dish. And like I have always said, alioli makes everything better! With a couple slices of fresh bread and a glass full of txakoli, my day was made and my tummy was so happy.

But what is part of the cod was I eating exactly? It wasn’t until a couple days after when I  decided to actually look up what ‘Kallos de bacalao’ really meant. And to my surprise, what I was served was Cod Tripe. Seen as a delicacy in many countries, this part of the fish is actually pretty difficult to find. I was really surprised to find that I was eating the offals of the cod, but it kind of makes sense because it had a texture unlike any piece of cod I’ve had before. It supposedly isn’t actually like the part of tripe you’d find on a cow, but actually is the natatory bladder of the cod, or for all you fans of Asian cuisine, the fish maw. Either way, this dish was very exceptional and definitely worth ordering again!

Pintxo Roundup: Bocadillo Con Todo

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So one of the greatest aspects of living in San Sebastian is that I have access to so much amazing food. I am surprised I haven’t started this earlier, but I have decided to start writing about random pintxos that I have eaten throughout my trip. My Pintxo Roundups are great because it makes me able to share the great (and bad!) food I have devoured. Also, it’ll be a great filler between my blog posts! So here we go with my first official Pintxo Roundup.

Pintxo: Bocadillo Con Todo

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Where: Nagusia Lau Bar, Donostia-San Sebastian

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So I got to admit, this isn’t the greatest of pintxo bars in Donostia that I have been too. It has a nice variety of pintxos with adequate quality of ingredients. I chose to feature this as my first Pintxo Roundup because it was one of the closest bites of food that reminds me of something I’d get in America.

I’m pretty sure it actually isn’t called Bocadillo con todo, which translates to sandwich with everything,  because it literally had everything that a sandwich should have. Not a puny little sandwich with a slap of cured meat, which i actually find quite delicious. I grabbed this bocadillo on the go on my way back to work because my stomach was growling and it was the most substantial looking thing on the bar. And at only 2 euros, you can’t go wrong! It consisted of a nice slab of ham, bacon, sliced tomatoes, cheese, and slathered in alioli. It was actually rather enjoyable and melded really well together, especially with the garlicky mayonnaise to bind all the flavors together. The bread wasn’t half as bad either.

I apologize now to all of the people who had to watch me mow down on this messy sandwich as I was rushing back to work. Atleast you all got to see me thoroughly enjoy this monster of a bocadillo!