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Has anyone been to Txori?

j
jammin Jan 14, 2008 04:22 PM

How was/is it?

  1. h
    hschreck Apr 5, 2008 05:30 PM

    I've been looking for a place like this. I cannot wait to try it. Does anyone know of any other places that have small plates similar to this? With maybe more of an american food feel and with more cheeses?

    2 Replies
    1. re: hschreck
      landguy Apr 6, 2008 08:59 AM

      Sounds like you should check out Lark. Have to say I went to Txori and was totally unimpressed with the food quality. Not sure why but unlike the great tasty food at their Harvest Vine.restaurant, the food here was bland and unremarkable.

      1. re: hschreck
        PinkPeony Feb 17, 2009 11:21 AM

        I personally like Ocho in Ballard even better than Txori. They have more variety between dishes and the tapas are a little larger serving size. I split 6 tapas at Ocho with two other friends, added a round of sangrias, and we were satisfied. I don't recall a lot of cheese plates, but the blue cheese stuffed dates we had were amazing! Enjoy!

      2. i
        itsonlyfood Mar 1, 2008 02:51 PM

        While the little plates are almost all delicious, the octopus the best, the meatballs just
        so-so, we found the chairs uncomfortable and the tables too small. Yes, I know that is the style, but at these prices, a bit of comfort and space is desirable if one wants repeat business. One very strange thing---one of our party has a wheat allergy and asked to leave off the toast bases of her dishes. The server was mortified to report that the kitchen refused to do this. Makes no sense. Wine list--big mark-up. Flan was outstanding.

        3 Replies
        1. re: itsonlyfood
          y
          yummers Mar 1, 2008 06:00 PM

          We stopped in last night; I'd have to give it a mixed report. Most of the bites were tasty, good bread, friendly service. But: the prices are way out of line for the type of place they are trying to be. Yes, Seattle has more than enough high rollers whose eyes never wander over to the price side of the menu, but they want atmosphere, and Txori doesn't have it. It *could* be a nice, proletarian-ish dive, a place you would pop into for some fun and a few nibbles, but the prices would have to come down. Based on the wines I'm aware of, the markup was about fourfold, and it ought to be possible to shave about $1 from the price of most of the mini-plates. Then they would have a constant crowd, and people would order with abandon.

          Instead, we walked in at about 10:30 on a Friday night. The place should have been hoppin', but only two other tables were taken. The other folks were ordering very carefully, nursing their pricey glasses of wine and eating maybe 2 or 3 bites apiece. We did the same. Yet there are huge economies of scale in this type of food, and it is a shame to have so little demand.

          So, based on this very limited experience, I'm afraid they are not going to make it -- which is too bad in light of what they have the potential to be.

          1. re: yummers
            b
            bluedog67 Apr 5, 2008 05:03 PM

            Reviving this post for my recent visit:

            We really enjoyed it. We arrived just before 7 on a Friday, and it was full, but we were quickly welcomed to the bar, and drinks arrived quickly. It got even more busy after that. Less than 15 minutes for a table. Service was great, with all the staff bringing plates as they came up, but our main server attentively watching our drinks, and bread needs. Our food arrived in a stream, sometimes a flood and sometimes a trickle, but that seemed to be the fun of it. We added a second round of bites after finishing our first go, and the momentum continued. Food was great. I have not been to San Sebastian, but this seemed the closest to the tapas i had in barcelona. Octopus was amazing, so tender, as was all seafood dishes, I could have drank the clam broth. The garbazo beans with spinach and garlic crispy yet creamy inside.

            Yes, it is a different type of eating, and if you make a meal out of it - $80 easy, so it seems odd when you only had "snacks". but that said, we were quite full. We had 2 cocktails each, both were excellent and well prepared, but pricey, least value on the menu.

            In short, we had fun and the food was good, and off the path of the usual seattle small plates.

            1. re: bluedog67
              t
              tedfood Apr 7, 2008 04:50 PM

              I have been all over the Basque and Cataluna regions and have to say that Txori comes close ro replicating the tapas bar experience. However it is impossible to match the atmosphere and food in Spain, a totally different attitude towards food. Just imagine hundreds of tapas bars, each with dishes that are slightly different than the last. Generally speaking there is continual debate on which bar has the best "-------" (fill in blank with a particular dish). That experience does not exist outside of Spain. I for one will settle for Txori, it's pretty damn good!

        2. h
          hhlodesign Feb 25, 2008 02:05 PM

          I've been a few times, since I live in the neighborhood. I'm not as impressed as others here.

          One of my fondest food experiences has got to be wandering the streets of San Sebastian until sunrise eating pintxos and drinking canas. That being said, I'd say Txori does a decent job trying to replicate this kind of establishment in Belltown. The problem lies in the fact that Belltown is not San Sebastian. One cannot wander from bar to bar for a quick snack and drink. The way we eat is fundamentally different from those in Northern Spain. So when I go to Txori, it tends to be for dinner. In order for one to have a full dinner at Txori, I'd have to order at least 10-15 of their bites sized pintxos. At an average price of $4.00 each, that's $40 to $60 before tax, tip, and wine.

          It's a fun place for a quick snack and some wine, but I hesitate to call it a dinner place.

          4 Replies
          1. re: hhlodesign
            e
            equinoise Feb 25, 2008 06:57 PM

            hhlodesign:

            I too have great memories of wandering the narrow alleys of Donostia, eating pintxos and drinking wine on the honor system. Did you ever have the stuffed crab claws? I can't remember what it cost for a visit at one of these places or a single pintxo--I think my visit was before the Euro. I imagine that in the current market, it is much more expensive then when I was last in pais vasco. I only wish that Seattle had venues with the same informality and congenial atmosphere as San Sebastian.

            I feel that the offerings at Txori do evoke the quality and portion size of the native pinxtos experience. I must be a less hearty eater than you. Between my wife and I, we probably shared about 12 pintxos and, with the frequently replenished bread, we were satisfied. As I noted, my complaint about the total bill was the cost of the txakoli by the glass, far in excess from the house fizzy stuff poured out of the keg (or the tap IIRC) with reckless abandon in S. Sebastian.

            1. re: equinoise
              porky pine Feb 25, 2008 07:20 PM

              They have sangria for $4. I can't wait to go.

              1. re: equinoise
                Cafe Mich Mar 2, 2008 07:48 PM

                Pardon my ignorance, but what the heck is "IIRC"?

                1. re: Cafe Mich
                  j
                  jaydeflix Mar 2, 2008 08:52 PM

                  If I Recall Correctly.

                  As in... IIRC, you can type 'What does IIRC mean?' into Google and get an answer in the first hit. =)

            2. a
              archieleech Feb 25, 2008 12:27 PM

              Just to add to the chorus, I've been there twice and it was really fantastic both times.

              1. kerwintoronto Feb 22, 2008 11:58 AM

                Is this the establishment:

                Txori
                2207 2nd Ave
                Seattle, WA 98121
                Phone: (206) 204-9771

                Sounds interesting from the below comments. Just back from a trip to Barca and will be ready for a decent tapas fix in a week or two when I am in Seattle!

                1. klsalas Jan 22, 2008 08:53 PM

                  I have been there three times since opening. It is great. Reminds me of some of the better tapas places we found in Barcelona such as Taller de Tapas and Inopia. However it is Basque style.

                  The only objection I have about Txori is that the service has been a bit off. Our waiters have been very friendly and mostly prompt in coming over to our table but pretty much each time (except for the first visit when I was there at 3:30p) I have had a noticably long wait for the food I have ordered. They seem to have enough kitchen staff for the maybe dozen tables. Also, last time we were there they were out of bocadillos before 6pm. Dinner was just starting. The waitress said that she thought maybe they were not going to serve them until after 10pm but the owner said that they were just out, having served all of them during a busy lunch. Out of bocadillos? It's bread with aoli and/or oil and either ham, chorizo or tortilla, all of which appeared to be otherwise available. Weird. Anyway it is no picnic to get a table at Txori during peak times, during which parking in Belltown is also a trial. If you need to drive to get to Txori just know they appear to still be working out some kinks. I am eager for that to happen because it does have a great atmosphere and amazing food.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: klsalas
                    e
                    equinoise Feb 22, 2008 08:31 AM

                    First visit last night. The feira de pulpo (octopus, potatoe, parika, oil), mejillon en escabeche (mussel), the tuna salad mixture with egg and achovy stuffed olive, and the roast pork with green pepper were each outstanding. They were serving a basque cheese listed on the board that was phenomenal too; can't recall the nombre en espanol. The calamare en su tinta was a bit overwhelmed with su tinta, mildly cloying. My only complaint was the price of the xurmant, the only txakoli (mildly carbonated white wine) available. At $7.50 per glass, it is a far cry from the economical txakolu offered at the pintxos bars in San Sebastian.

                    1. re: equinoise
                      terrier Feb 24, 2008 06:34 PM

                      IIRC, the cheese they serve is idiazabal. I've bought it before at PFI, and it is darn good.

                      1. re: terrier
                        e
                        equinoise Feb 24, 2008 08:56 PM

                        Yes, they do serve the cheese you mention. The one I tried was, according to the server, a new addition/special, and it was very impressive. They served it with quince paste. I looked through my cheese book and I couldn't find the name.

                      2. re: equinoise
                        e
                        equinoise Feb 15, 2009 11:15 AM

                        Return visit about one year later. They seem to be holding it down. Tonight we delved into the raciones, and the oxtail with potatoes was outstanding, the beef cheek special very good, the serrano ham platter predictably toothsome (and the pintxo with ham on bread with a light smear of tomato and garlic). The calamre in su tinta was still overwhelmed with ink. Service was prompt and courteous. Total check for 3 raciones, 4-5 pintxos and 3 drinks was reasonable at about $60. Others complain of the portion size, but if you sop up the sauces with some of very good bread (columbia city bakery, i think) there are adequate calories. This isn't the Olive Garden after all. The place was packed by 6, so I'm not concerned for their economic prospects.

                    2. s
                      savvy savorer Jan 19, 2008 07:09 PM

                      really great food and atmosphere, the bites are really small, one bite tapas
                      I love the place though!

                      1. l
                        Leper Jan 19, 2008 02:17 PM

                        Txori has carefully avoided trying to be a wanna be El Bulli. (Unlike many Chicago and East Coast restaurants that feel a strange need to convert carrots to foam.) The piquillo pepper-salt cod-potato could be a signature dish. Other outstanding dishes were the grilled pear-bluecheese-walnut offering and the cured tuna with cavier. Txori would be a Chowhound destination anywhere; what a delight to have it in Seattle.

                        1. chefj3 Jan 14, 2008 05:49 PM

                          I thought it was very very delicious; well-executed, truly small plates, ranging in price from $2.25 (!) to about $6. You can actually try 6-8 different things without breaking the bank.. our favorite dish was shaved chilled/poached foie gras (like a torchon) on a very thin slice of granny smith apple resting on a little croustade. Oh yeah, it was finished with a tiny sprinkle of Spanish fleur de sel.The textures and flavors were perfect, and it was only $4 iirc.. I was also impressed with the server's knowledge and pronunciation of Basque food and wine terminology. Very well-trained and informative. Can't wait to go back soon!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chefj3
                            j
                            jammin Jan 19, 2008 07:36 AM

                            I finally got there last night, tiny space, but great food, really amazing small plates. And chefj3 you are right the foie was wonderful. Good fun, interesting crowd also. Any foodie/chow should try (although it was hard to get in and I want to go back so maybe everyone should ignore)

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