Friday, May 29, 2009

Change of address

ve been out for a while but just to make things better Gastrobaskandco continue in the new site: Merkatu , please let me know if you like it better, and don´t forget to keep visiting, we will be walking and eating around Vitoria-Gasteiz and surrounding areas.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

La Huerta Restaurant

More of the Pintxo contest.

In La Huerta the kitchen is open through a window so we were able to check out how the Chef was preparing the hundred of pintxos sold every night. As you can see, he´s holding the pan were the eggs for the first pintxo were made.

Huevos Rotos & Lobster.
I wanted to try it because the combination sounded a little strange, but it was good, not as a winner good, but good. The eggs were made with all the juices of the lobster, so all the pintxo tasted like it, it was nice but I´ve tried, and shown, betters. Don´t you think?
Blood Sausage Fries with bean soup.
The sausage is mixed with some nuts and breadcrumbs, then roll into some kind of corn crumbs and fried. They were good but they only tasted like the sausage, as it has such a strong flavour it is really hard to combine it with anything but sweet or spicy. I guess a no-no for this part of the pintxo.
The soup was really good, homey flavour. I wish they would have done something better with it so it would had the chance to be at the finals.

Let´s try it harder for next years!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Asador Sagartoki

This bar/restaurant never stops surprising us. It has won a lot of contests in the past years and people from all Spain comes to visit it. So we never doubt their pintxos were going to be awesome.

This is a look at the bar in a normal Saturday night, always crowded.
And the pintxos are:

a) Pistachio mousse mixed with chopped green and white asparagus, pistachio and bread crumbs "soil", more pistachios, edible flours and cooked whole asparagus.
b) Milk Chocolate 2009: crunchy chocolate-caramel cake with a scoop of caramel ice cream.

Awesome, delightful, spectacular, an amazing experience.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Carey Bar

In no particular order this was the first Bar to visit for the Pintxo taste: Carey Bar.

This is the bar itself, a small place, brand new and with a nice modern-cozy feeling.

These are samples of normal daily pintxos they offer, shown on top of the big bar table so you can see what you can get. Pinxtos look very nice and artistic.
These are the two in contest:

a) Gazpacho (cold tomato-bell peppers soup) in the glass, fresh marinade anchovies with green olive jam and sprouts, over s super thin slice of toasted bread.
b) Foie Patèe, thin slice of mushroom and rose petal preserves, all over a crunchy toast of bread.
Delicate and delicious flavours, really a good choice.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

VII Contest "Pintxo de Alava"

From April 3rd to 17th we can enjoy of the best creations in town. 60 bars participate in this contest of the best Pintxo of the City, each bar offers two pintxos in contest, besides all the ones they offer daily. So there are lots of Pintxos to try, and gladly a lot of them look very very good.

I may not be able to try them all, but I´ll do my best, at least to try the ones that seems more interesting.

First of all we have to understand what a Pintxo is. It used to be a little snack, able to be eaten with your hands and mostly all the time was served over a piece of bread and eaten within a couple of bites. Nowadays it´s more likely to understand a pintxo as miniature dishes.
This year, the judges will be the famous chefs: Ferrán Adriá, Martín Berasategui, Juan Mari Arzak and more.
So with this in mind we start our tasting.
No particular order, I´ll let you know which one I like the most, and which one wins.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I´m not a big fan of sauces, but since a while I´ve been remembering one I tried long ago in a Catalan restaurant: Romesco Sauce.
It has all the flavours of Spring and more, but I had never prepare it before cause for some reason it sounded a little intimidating, well, not anymore, with this recipe there is no fear at all, so simple, yet incredible delicious.
One day I use it in a spinach-ham Sandwich, and discover why should I change mayonnaise for!! The next day use it with chicken in a salad and the third day with some boiled potatoes garnishing grilled fish.
You may think it is way too much romesco, but it´s not.

I kept it in a jar, and from now on will be a "must" in my refrigerator.
In the recipe mention that you can freeze it, but there is no time to do so once you try it.

I know I know, looking for a Spanish recipe in Martha´s web site, well, Martha knows a lot of things, and all of them are great!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Best Pintxo of the Year

And here it is!! this is THE best pintxo of the year, looks incredible and tasted even better. You can find it in Niza bar in Pamplona. The name "Porky Porky".

It´s all pork, part bacon, fat and meat, all cooked together to form a compact piece of meat, cooked on the grill until crispy and golden brown. Taste like smoked bacon-ham, so imagine!
No regrets at all, it is a tiny portion to think on health issues, so just enjoy.
Check on the potato cookie that decorates the top, has written the name of the pintxo. And the little piece on the side, is a bit of the same but much more crunchy, the perfect bite.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pintxo Bar

What if you go out for drinks and find this:

and these:

sitting in the´s pretty fun & funny. These are called PINXTOS and the Basque Country is famous for them. Although not all of them are similar, or even close, this one bar, Niza, is kind of modern, so the style to show up their beautiful bites is very "modernO" too.

There are different preparations, and it´s very hard to decide what you´re having.
They have in show: artichoke with gold power (very fancy), varieties of tempura (seafood, veggies, pork, etc) and red bell pepper stuffed, which we got.

It was crusty on the outside, and smooth on the inside, this Piquillo pepper is quite similar to red bell pepper, which has been stuffed with some kind of meat preparation like bolognese sauce, and then all fried in tempura.
How do they manage to do it, no idea, but it was very delicious.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good & Easy

After months of rain and snow, today the sun shine and I really felt like going out for a walk. As so, there was no time to waste preparing lunch, but I didn´t want to sacrifice flavour, of course, so the option taken was a big toasted bread, scallions, and eggs, so easy and sooo good.

A couple of eggs are just fine for me. The result, eaten in 10 minutes, while preparing myself for the walk. And of course, no regrets!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Lunch

As usual, Mondays I don´t get very seems like forever all day long, even at lunch hour, which is always one of the best parts of my day, but today I had to eat out, choose this:
In my always interest to try new things I choose fried sardines, have heard they were good, so why doubt?
The thing is, they tasted good, not great, but oh my, so many bones, even when there are many you can just bite, but I ended up eating almost nothing, leaving a LOT of bones around..and decided to keep going as today is Monday..tomorrow will be a better day!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Me

Spring is almost here and there is a little bit of a pressure to start eating nothing else but salads. Although I love salads, I like to eat them because I want to, and not because I have to. In all my life I´ve been on diets, everyday thinking about calories, fat, fiber, etc. And I´ve realize that when I have been relaxed about it, I have lost more weight eating all kind of foods than when I´m on a strict diet. So I guess our body is wise enough to make us happy.
Eating is such an important part of my life that being on a constant diet, hasn´t help at all. Yesterday I decided to change my mind, I will start eating what I want but really enjoying those moments, at least if you are putting calories in your mouth make them worth it.
So I started, Pizza way.

Whole wheat dough, (made it because I had this kind of flour, not because it is healthier, that is it) good mozzarella, Raff tomatoes, fresh garlic sprouts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
Made and eat it conscientiously and with a lot of care. Have to tell that in a normal Pizza night I would have eaten all of it watching TV, this time I had half of it, taste is slowly, relaxed and enjoying every single bite. Love it, as the Pizza was great, but love it more, seeing half of it still in the baking sheet.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A healthy snack

Spring is almost here, we`ve been having a warm and sunny week, but for sure it is not something to be too confident about, there´s still a big chance of some cold cold days ahead. But even so, felling the warm sun around makes you feel healthier and lighter, so even when it was big game night, I decided to go veggie, and make vegetables in tempura. It is super easy, healthy and really delicious.
You can use just any kind of vegetable you like, with hard texture so they can be easy to grab with your hands. I use bell peppers, red and green, carrots and fresh garlic. But for sure we could have added some asparagus, small corns, mushrooms, etc.
The tempura is just flour, salt and cold water. I always start putting the vegetables one at a time in the batter and then in the hot oil, but after the first batch I pour the whole thing in..just being careful to move them in the fryer so they don´t get stuck together and fried in a bunch.
Drizzle some soy sauce over and put a big amount of this delicious tempura in a huge plate in the center, so everyone can grab a piece of this healthy and super delicious snack.
It is not to stay fit, but its the idea to eat as much vegetables as possible, and this is a good choice, I truly recommend it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Saint Blaise

Yesterday we celebrate Saint Blaise, but before I tell you this story, you must know that in Spain there are LOTS of Saint´s celebrations, and every one of them has it´s special food related tradition.
The first one of the year, we celebrate in Vitoria-Gasteiz, is Saint Blaise who is believed to intercede in cases of throat illnesses, especially for fish-bones stuck in the throat. Because of this, around this time of the year, bakeries are offering these "Rosquillas of Saint Blaise" so you can take them to Church for being blessed and then eat them, with the confident that you will get no throat pain during the rest of the winter.
These rosquillas are made in four different flavours: chocolate (on the left), annisette (on the right), almonds and sugar glaze. And the dough seems to be like sugar cookies, but a little tougher, they taste good but they are even better if they can make miracles in you!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just Food

Sometimes I feel the necessity to go out and shop, but the real deal is shopping for food, not in the market, not in the grocery store, but in gourmet kind of stores..I just love them, and can´t hold on my wallet for one second if I get the chance to see things I don´t find often..doesn´t matter if with that same amount of money I would have been able to buy a nice pretty shirt, if I can pay for a jar of White Asparagus from Navarra region.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Bocadillo is a sandwich made with half a baguette, yes, half of it!!!! at first you get to see this huge sandwich and imagine that there is no way you could eat it all, but "yes, you can"!!!The filling is as simple as great, Spanish Ham and green bell peppers. The Ham was specially good, as it was cooked in a pan without any oil a couple of seconds to make it a little bit crispy, and the peppers were softly boil in olive oil until they became soft and almost sweet (which you can prepare in advance and have them store in the fridge for further use). So simple, so real, so healthy and so great. Give it a try, you can´t go wrong.
p.s. the cheese was an extra that I asked for, of course not needed at all, so ended up leaving it on the side, just like it came from the kitchen.