Txikitear : Bilbao

‘Txikitear’, the closest English equivalent of which might be ‘to go on a pub crawl’ has to be the best verb in all existence. Unlike pub crawls in Britain, however, ‘un txikiteo’ (the noun) involves not only drinking at every pub you stumble across, but also eating a ‘pintxo’ or two at each. Bar snacks are taken to a whole new level here – they are well-presented, flavoursome morsels teetering on the counters of almost every bar you’ll pass. The past few weeks have included many a late night jaunt to different pintxo bars both with Chris and then with my parents – here are some of the highlights:

At the classic, old-fashioned bar Café Iruña in Bilbao:

  • An Iberian ham and Parmesan cheese melt
  • Smoked salmon with mango cream and nuts

At the more modern Irrintzi we had:

  • Pork skewers with pineapple and a dijon mustard sauce
  • Foie gras with tomato jam, Iberican ham and pistachios
  • Roast beef with horseradish sauce, spinach purée and crispy bits

El Globo also had some tasty pintxos and a lovely warm atmosphere:

  • Black pudding balls covered in nuts and topped with red pepper
  • Fried plantain wrapped in bacon and topped with an apple sauce

Next time: ‘txikiteo’ excursions in San Sebastian…


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