Tart Basque cider is a must when in San Sebastian, poured high, as with Txacoli. Sour more than sweet, and flavoured intensely with the nectar of a jumble of heritage apples when I tried it at Petritegi at Astigarraga near San Sebastian, a traditional Basque Cider House, not far from San Sebastian.
Even if you don’t like cider – or think you don’t, I promise you that this is different to the commercial fare that we are more familiar with – you must go for the food and the experience.
A large wooden room greeted lined with tables with nothing on them bar plates, cutlery, napkins and a large stick of bread. The room was lined with large barrels of cider. Huge wooden vats. We proceeded to the tasting room down a hallway lined on each side with more barrels, into a large room, where one of the family waited manning the tap, waiting for me catch my cider.
Yes! You catch your cider. I don’t know how else you describe this. The tap is flipped, the cider arches high and proud and you giddily stretch and try and get your glass right beneath it to catch a couple of inches of it before the tap is turned off. There are no pints of cider here, you can have as much as you want, but in polite pours.
For eating, there were several cider house menus, including excellent children’s menus, with real food! They are real people after all. Why all the nuggets here? Our menu was €33 per person, including all the cider our hollow legs could carry. Be warned: the portions are large.
The food was very good. A fluffy salt cod omelette started us off. Very tender and light. We also had local sausage, served simply as it was.
Hake tail followed this, served as a flat fillet with perky slices of roast garlic on top. Gorgeous. We were not even at the main event yet (these portions serve 2).
Bone in rib eye steak arrived, sliced, charred outside and bright red, 700g for two people. In English that is a steak as big as your head, and a little bit if your friends head too. Great quality local steak with rich deep flavour and superb texture. A little salty, but with all that cider, a little salt is good.
Dessert was local cheese, membrillo (quince jelly) and walnuts, served in the shell with a nutcracker.
A Basque Cider House? Fun, delicious and terrific value for money. Do it.
I went to San Sebastian on the #SeeSanSebastian blog trip, created and managed by iambassador in partnership with San Sebastian. The editorial is, of course, my own. I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Eat Like a Girl, as always. All of our lives are too short for any alternative!
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