Author Topic: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)  (Read 3616 times)

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« on: November 26, 2013, 10:28:05 AM »


We are planning a trip there next year, anyone have any good suggestions?


....
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Offline biskuit

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 11:08:51 AM »
Mike - it's been a few years now since I've been, but San Sebastian is one of the most incredible food destinations in the world. We chose one nice meal (lunch, at Akelare - though it's a very hard decision vs. Arzak) and pintxos hopped like crazy for two nights - which is the really mind blowing thing, so much amazing food, so fun, so affordable (especially relative to the fancy meals). We also made the drive out to Etxebarri - which I think you absolutely must do, knowing your interest in all things grilled.

Full report of our trip (starting in Rioja, then San Sebastian, then Bilbao) at http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11077

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 02:54:39 PM »
Mike - it's been a few years now since I've been, but San Sebastian is one of the most incredible food destinations in the world. We chose one nice meal (lunch, at Akelare - though it's a very hard decision vs. Arzak) and pintxos hopped like crazy for two nights - which is the really mind blowing thing, so much amazing food, so fun, so affordable (especially relative to the fancy meals). We also made the drive out to Etxebarri - which I think you absolutely must do, knowing your interest in all things grilled.

Full report of our trip (starting in Rioja, then San Sebastian, then Bilbao) at http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11077

Thanks, CodePoet (Deanne) found a great deal on a trip, and we have not yet decided whether to fly into Madrid or Paris, but for that the "tour" is booked..

We have put off our trip to Spain two times to attend other things here or in Mexico, but we are THERE this time.

....
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 02:27:56 PM »
Mike - it's been a few years now since I've been, but San Sebastian is one of the most incredible food destinations in the world. We chose one nice meal (lunch, at Akelare - though it's a very hard decision vs. Arzak) and pintxos hopped like crazy for two nights - which is the really mind blowing thing, so much amazing food, so fun, so affordable (especially relative to the fancy meals). We also made the drive out to Etxebarri - which I think you absolutely must do, knowing your interest in all things grilled.

Full report of our trip (starting in Rioja, then San Sebastian, then Bilbao) at http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11077



Again, I can't thank you enough, I have done some searching myself and have found a place over in Bilbao..   Obviously you rented a car, that is the only part of the puzzle we have not put together, well that and the flights.

Also thanks for the wonderful "set" on Flickr, here is a link to it in case it is NOT in the above posts..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/sets/72157622304177231/


.......
 
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 05:41:37 PM »


No kidding   Huge documentary coming up.  A wonderful trip, a FANTASTIC place. and several days before it is "come home" time for us.


 I have a NEW appreciation for the Pinxtos way of life


......
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 06:35:38 PM »


Just arrived back home after a wonderful 9 1/2 hour flight..   sorting pictures and deciding what and how to do them  properly..


..........
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 07:09:42 PM »
Mike - it's been a few years now since I've been, but San Sebastian is one of the most incredible food destinations in the world. We chose one nice meal (lunch, at Akelare - though it's a very hard decision vs. Arzak) and pintxos hopped like crazy for two nights - which is the really mind blowing thing, so much amazing food, so fun, so affordable (especially relative to the fancy meals). We also made the drive out to Etxebarri - which I think you absolutely must do, knowing your interest in all things grilled.

Full report of our trip (starting in Rioja, then San Sebastian, then Bilbao) at http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11077

I again cannot thank you enough Brad (Biskuit)..     We did miss Arzak, (walking distance from Villa Soro) but we did get to Akelare, Etxebarri and Rekondo.  Rekondo has 127,000 bottles of wine in his cellar..   Pictures will be coming I promise.

We had almost 4 days in Madrid (2 before and 2 after) our trip to the Basque country and to France (also the Basque country).   I have done some posting on Facebook if you care to look, but I will be putting pictures on Flickr in the next few days too.. 

.....
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 09:03:25 PM »
Building a sensible page to highlight what we have experienced.

Flying into Madrid and a short two day self-tour there

The drive to the Northern (Basque) parts of Spain and to San Sebastian

The Drive and experience over to France ( Biarritz ) and to a small town St. Jean de Luz

The 4 day tour ( a paid tour by San Sebastian Food ), and those individual days


Gastronomic societies (txoko in Basque)
The cooking class and the experience in the of the usual men-only "clubs"/"societies" but this one included a few women, our chef/instructor being one of them. 
The market (before the class) experience and all of those wonderful pictures
The class and the dishes and group

Day two of the "tour" going to 3 Bodegas that were only similar in the fact that they make wine

Bodega # 1  and a snack along the way -  Bodega Muga
Bodega # 2 and a fine lunch in their great (but off season) restaurant. -  Bodega BAI GORRI
Bodega # 3  With a family that has been making wine in this location (in a cave) for 500 years - Bodega Carlos San Pedro

Day three an INCREDIBLE dinner and tour of Rekondo Restaurant a tour of this man's wine cellar with 127,000 bottles of wine. 
Pictures of all of that

Day 4, all of the days involved Pincho/Pinxtos tastings at the many places in the Old Town section of San Sebastian

Driving back to Madrid over the mountains in a snowstorm ( only about 40 minutes worth ), and popping out on the other side of the mountains to GREAT weather and conditions.  ( add pictures here )

The adventure of the Hilton at the Airport, and the cabs we took to go intown rather than chance finding a place to park in "scooter city"/ Madrid.   

A full day riding a double decker tour bus, taking pictures of monuments and things that will not easily be understandable without a map and an explainer.

The flight back and the disappointment that they TOOK OUR JAMON/HAM at dept. of Agriculture customs inspection


http://www.akelarre.net/public_home/ctrl_home.php?lang=en

http://asadoretxebarri.com/en/

http://www.rekondo.com/

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« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 01:23:11 PM by Mike GadgetGeek Stock »
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 01:28:20 PM »



MwS>- GG>- Let me share some sets of pictures, and you can ask questions.  My thanks again to Biskuit and others that have paved the way for us. We did go off the beaten path a bit, and loved every minute of it.

This was an epic trip from my perspective.

If any of you want to plan a trip, contact these folks, they were perfect in every way.

http://www.sansebastianfood.com/

There will be way more than food pictures in these sets, but there also will be some amazing food.. (only one miss in 10 days as far as food goes)

Day one and two: Landing in Madrid a walk around Madrid Including the drive to San Sebastian

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643032876475/

Day two: not including the drive from Madrid to San Sebastian

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643043069734/

Ekelare restaurant, one of the 10 ten meals I have ever been served.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643175616204/

Part of our "tour" was a whole day of market and then cooking a half dozen dishes with a top chef/cook from San Sebastian.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643190870325/

A part of the tour, a night at Rekondo restaurant located high on the hills West of San Sebastian, notable for it's great food but also because of it's amazing wine cellar with over 127,000 bottles of wine.  Truly the wine was relatively inexpensive, and food was delicious.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643187170543/

http://www.foodsfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageSGT/0,9459,35868_6865953_6910589_4447402_0,00.html

Rioja Uncovered, wine tour from San Sebastian Food; an all day 3 Bodega tour of three decidedly different Bodegas.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643225798133/

Our last day in San Sebastian, a relaxing day with a trip up the mountain to take pictures down on the city.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643233260155/

Near Biboa is Etxebarri restaurant, the best restaurant I have ever entered. chef Victor Arguinzoniz, has trained a small cadre of cooks/apprentices and seems to keep them for several years.  The fellow we met is cordial and outgoing and respectful of the chef. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49637895@N00/sets/72157643239262745/


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« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 02:55:39 PM by Mike GadgetGeek Stock »
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 04:42:22 PM »
Fantastic pics.  I'm drooling. 

You mentioned you ventured into the French side.  We plan to pass through a bit of the French Basque country ("not Biarritz--the other one," says my wife who's doing the planning) on a France trip in July.

The Dirty & Rowdy hat was a nice touch.  Did you bring back any wine?


Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 07:08:35 PM »
Fantastic pics.  I'm drooling. 

You mentioned you ventured into the French side.  We plan to pass through a bit of the French Basque country ("not Biarritz--the other one," says my wife who's doing the planning) on a France trip in July.

The Dirty & Rowdy hat was a nice touch.  Did you bring back any wine?

Thanks we had a wonderful time..  the wine tour was outrageous.  Going down into that 500 year old cave and drinking wine was oh-so-cool.  and the wine is good.   

I did bring back some wine but our Jamon Iberco was confiscated by the FDA on this end.  I lost $80.00 worth of the best Iberco they had, bought as gifts (with a slice or two for us)..    I'd PM Jason Molanari for some instructions should I be you.  I did it wrong..  We brought back a bunch of jarred peppers and some saffron, and a few other things but they cut open the vac-packed bags of ham and tore them up, tossing them into the trash.  I thought they had a ham party planned but they did not.  I was horribly pissed, but our total experience overshadowed that mis-step.. 

I just posted some more pics on Flickr, and will work on the Etxebare pictures tonight or tomorrow. This tour that we took through San Sebastian Food was way worth it. 

here is there link, take a look, (or let  your wife take a look)..

http://www.sansebastianfood.com/

.....
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 09:50:33 AM »
Mike, my philosophy on bringing back food from afar--smuggled or legal--is that maybe it's better to just leave the food as a memory of a great trip than to try to recreate the magic in it's non-native environment.  I've been to Spain before, but I didn't bother trying to smuggle ham.  Hmm.  Well, I used to bring back beer from Belgium before it became easier to find it here than over there.

I'll check out the rest of your pics.

Speaking of food travel pics, I expected more from Larkemon's Vietnam trip.  We'll see.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 10:16:05 AM »
Mike, my philosophy on bringing back food from afar--smuggled or legal--is that maybe it's better to just leave the food as a memory of a great trip than to try to recreate the magic in it's non-native environment.  I've been to Spain before, but I didn't bother trying to smuggle ham.  Hmm.  Well, I used to bring back beer from Belgium before it became easier to find it here than over there.

I'll check out the rest of your pics.

Speaking of food travel pics, I expected more from Larkemon's Vietnam trip.  We'll see.

The jamon packages were bought as gifts, I'll know to order it online the next time, but I looked and it is about six times more expensive than what we bought at the San Miguel Market in Madrid.   I'll get over it, perhaps by Halloween.   

........
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline LizR

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 02:51:17 PM »
Thanks for sharing , Mike! Looks like an amazing trip.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: San Sebastian Spain (in the Basque country)
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2014, 04:03:04 PM »
Thanks for sharing , Mike! Looks like an amazing trip.

Two more "sets" of pictures left, I had to take a break..   the trip from Bilboa back to Madrid, and the whole day on the tour bus "Madrid Tours" in Madrid.. 

Thank goodness for CP, she got us GOOD seats on the way back, we could recline entirely, turn the lights off, put the eye mask on and sleep for a few hours.  I did watch a movie, and listened to some music and they did feed us seemingly continually, but the 9 1/2 hours went quickly with some sleep in the middle.  I would go back again, but now that I know the lay-of-the-land, I'd not do a tour, but the "tour" with San Sebastian Food was without a doubt the best one of those things we have ever attended.  I am not wound down yet Liz.    :o

.......
Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

 

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