Bar Zeruko. Pintxos From Heaven.

Part of the Donosti experience is going on a tour through the bars. A Pintxo Crawl. Todopintxos.com has a few themed routes that you can follow which are pretty good. I find the best tactic is to have at least two pintxos in each bar, otherwise you spend a lot of time waiting and walking between bars and far less time actually eating. And that would be the point of that!?

Many bars are really set up for this, Paco Bueno being a prime example. It’s an ideal place to start as pintxo crawl, right at the entrance of the old part, you can be in and out in 2 minutes having got underway. And there’s little doubt as to what to have – deep fried prawn or “prawn in its raincoat” as its commonly called. Iombi would be another, little doubt that the essential pintxo is the foie “iombi”. Have that, move on.

There are bars, however, that really demand more time. A Fuego Negro is an obvious one, where they have so many inventive, different “little things” that it would be hard to put your finger on exactly which one you would most recommend. What is their star pintxo? Who knows. La Cuchara de San Telmo is another. Well ok, if you have to choose one then maybe the foie. But you´d be missing out on so much. So, so much.

And I have to say that to the latter list, I would add Zeruko. I think it has one of the best pintxo menus in San Sebastian. Not just that it has two or three “star” pintxos, but it has such an extensive menu of truly inventive, memorable and unique pintxos that it demands some time. I´m always surprised at quite how much there is to have there. The pintxos along the top of the bar are the most striking of any in San Sebastian. And there´s real variety and depth to what they offer. And when you try something off their menu, just pick one at random, then another, then another…

Prawn Tempura. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian

Prawn Tempura. Better than Paco Bueno...?

And it may be a controversial opinion among pintxo crawlers of San Sebastian, but for me their deep fried prawn, their prawn tempura, outdoes even Paco Bueno. I get the impression my enthusiasm for Zeruko doesn’t seem reciprocated by locals. I´m not sure why, but it´s not a bar that seems to be talked off often, not in the same way as La Cuchara or A Fuego Negro. Maybe it doesn’t have the same hooks of those bars to make an interesting story. A Fuego Negro has the design and marketing, La Cuchara has well known chefs who have worked in Arzak. Maybe where Zeruko does let itself down is in the décor, the lighting isn’t quite right, the tables and chairs at the back look cheap, the location isn’t quite as inviting as others, they don’t seem to have the cool designs or cache of other bars. But none of this bothers me, in fact I quite like it. It seems somehow more natural, less studied. Don’t let it put you off anyway. In Zeruko they really take care of you, make you feel welcome and go out of their way to accommodate you. I should know, I once turned up with a group of 16 hungry mates and they bent over backwards for us.

They also have David Moreno Crianza as their house red. A lovely, easy to drink Rioja that goes with most things. Try it! The cellar is worth a visit if you´re in La Rioja, but stick to the crianza, the reservas are average.

Here´s a selection of some of the things I had last time I was in…

La Hoguera. Pintxo en Bar Zeruko, Donostia - San Sebastian.

La hoguera (bonfire): cod pintxo

Duck magret. Pintxo, Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian

Duck Magret with Raspberry Sauce.

Lobster Rose. Pintxo in Bar Zeruko, Donostia - San Sebastian.

Lobster Rose

Pintxo. Bar Zeruko., Donostia - San Sebastian.

One...

Pintxo. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian.

Two...

Pintxo. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian.

Three!

Black Pudding Pintxo. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian.

Black Pudding with Fried Egg Pintxo.

Black Pudding Pintxo. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian

Black Pudding, Foie, Pistachio.

Pintxo. Bar Zeruko. Donostia - San Sebastian.

Pedro de Ximenez Caneloni with Toadstool Pate on toast of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and golden idiazabal cheese.

Bar Zeruko. Pescadería 10, Old Part, Donostia-San Sebastian.
http://www.barzeruko.com

David Moreno. http://www.davidmoreno.es.

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About PintxoBoy

Scottish by birth and in my heart. Basque by lifestyle and in my stomach. Living in San Sebastián where I eat and comment about as many pintxos as I can. In my spare time I work in Marketing the renewable energy sector. https://pintxosboyinsansebastian.wordpress.com/
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7 Responses to Bar Zeruko. Pintxos From Heaven.

  1. Gigis_mum says:

    Mmmmm…. will my computer monitor short-circuit if I lick the pictures? Enjoyed your article too! 😛

  2. pintxolari says:

    Very nice review about Zeruko. For me, “La hoguera” (Bonfire) was and is an outstanding pintxo. It was the start of a “new Zeruko” (for those who don’t remember, Zeruko was a classic bar with old fashioned pintxos, but cheap 🙂 ). Josean, its main chef, made a revolution in the pintxo menu, and his best creation was, with no doubt, “La hoguera”. It is a funny pintxo, amusing as you eat each part in a set order, and indeed, the flavour is great. Just to say a weak point, the size of its portion is smaller than that in the begging (and odd way to save money). But still, is one of the best pintxos in all San Sebastian.
    Here is “La Hoguera” at todopintxos.com http://www.todopintxos.com/pintxos/pintxos.php?do=verficha&id=86

    PS. I must try that prawn tempura 🙂

  3. Oogbruder says:

    Wow. Appetising – and the photography is brilliant.

  4. Torncalfguy says:

    Great article and photos. It makes me wish we would be in San Sebastian longer, but we’ll just have to eat-go to beach-eat-go to beach as much as possible for our few days coming up in June. Oh, and we also need to go up Mt. Igueldo on the funicular, see the view, and ride the roller coaster–the 9-year old will need to get her “yips out,” as she would say.

  5. Gary Parker says:

    I was at Bar Zeruko in April 2011, and it was fantastic. Had (pictured above) La hoguera (bonfire): cod pintxo, Lobster Rose, Black Pudding, Foie, Pistachio and Pedro de Ximenez Caneloni with Toadstool Pate on toast of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and golden idiazabal cheese.
    Had to go back, had 10 diners, got the Chef’s tasting menu, sat at a table and watched the action at the bar.

  6. karen mcnish says:

    I am on a cycling mecca to pinxto country. Work as a chef on boats and needed to get off to taste somebody else’s food for once and needed to get some exercise as have gotten portly from too many days at sea. Thanks for all the info.

  7. Pingback: the lovers guide to: san sebastian | epicurUAEn

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