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Apr 25, 2008 01:28 AM

Bar Pintxo

Avoid. So much money for so little. I registered for chowhound because it put me and my wife in such bad spirits.

The food wasn't bad, just mostly plain. Most dishes were prepared ahead and tasted like it. The cooked dishes were standard bar food with a weak Spanish flair. The jamon iberico was poorly cut. The wait staff was ridiculously slow.

And then there was the bill. We spent $100 on nothing. I can't imagine what a Spaniard would think of this place, especially one from the south where the tapas are free. There isn't anything authentically Spanish about spending that much on a snack.

Avoid Bar Pintxo if you have to pay attention to how you spend money. If you don't, then go to a better restaurant, go to Spain, or use the money you'd waste on this place to buy some rice for someone who can't afford it.

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  1. Pintxo is pretty hit-or-miss, but if you treat it as you would an actual tapas bar - duck in, have a couple of things and a nip and dash out - it is not that expensive. There are decent glasses of wine for $5, perfectly good croquetas for $6, and $9 plates of serrano ham. (The Iberico is more than twice as much.) If you spend $100 for two, you are living very, very large - and probably getting the complicated things like paella, grilled fish and razor clams that flat-out suck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: condiment

      I've had positive experiences there with a similiar approach, dashing over from the King's Head across the street for an Iberico & wine snack. But I expected to pay $$$ for a slice of pork heaven and didn't sample much else.

    2. I agree. My wife and I went a couple weeks ago. We love Joe's and enjoy Upstairs. This was a total miss. The food was not-authentic. It just didn't have the balance (or the low price) of an actual tapas bar. The items just had no balance. The bread was cut way to thick. We had a few items recommended by the waitress. I can't believe it, but we actually left half of each of the items -- tortilla, various tapas -- on the plate. They just didn't taste good. The only thing that we finished was the jamon iberico -- not because it was stunning (cut was really done poorly) -- but because it was so expensive. Oh, the wine was good, and we finished that because we needed something to wash down the bad taste...

      (And the bill came to a over $100 for nothing, the jamon iberico was only part of it)

      1 Reply
      1. re: ken

        Third this. I'm a fan of Joe's but was turned off by so many things here -- the tiny portions sitting pre-prepared in the sushi like compartments; the seats were very uncomfortable and all the different wines we tried were unremarkable. Overall NO bang for the buck and the quality of the food did not justify the cost either.

      2. I went about a few months ago and I should have posted my thoughts at that time. It might have saved you a visit. Your sentiments are exactly the same feelings I had a few months ago.

        1. while you are free to like or dislike the food at Pinxto, one thing is certain, you really don't know what a spanish tapas bar is about. In spain, tapas is not free, it is prepared in advance and is made to serve as a snack. Perhaps you feel it is too expensive, but Pinxto is what it is, a pretty good approximation if a barcelona tapas bar.

          2 Replies
          1. re: larud9233

            Agree with many of you. Had my first Pinxto experience last night. This is a place to run in for a quick bite and a glass of wine before a movie. This is not a place to dine. Also agree there is no balance to the food. Everything tasted the dimension. Its spring/summer and we are in an incredible time for fresh fruit and veggies and Pinxto is missing the boat.

            1. re: priscilla2

              Go to the grocery store if time is short and you want fruit and veggies - that is not what Pinxto is all about.

          2. I feel like there are enough negative reviews and unified Chowhound sentiment that Bar Pintxo should be officially written off.

            Great in concept, and everyone wanted to love it as Joe's is one of the best spots in town, but its a failure....

            3 Replies
            1. re: ElJeffe

              If it is a failure then I don't think it is entirely one of execution--though I agree it needs to be improved--rather I think more a failure of expectation. Many people seem to be going in with different notions of what it is supposed to be rather than what it is. It is a tapas bar, not a small plates restaurant (let alone a full service one) and not a gastropub. Although I have made a meal there once or twice, the primary idea, as noted by some of the other posters above, is to drop in for a drink and a light bite to tide you over until dinner. Aside from the peculiar absence of sherry, it actually does a pretty good job of emulating a typical tapas bar in Barcelona or Basque country. The variety is decent, the execution varies from spot-on (e.g. the croquetas or the dates) to just sad (the ajo soup) to awful (the ill-conceived crab wrapped with salmon) but most of the items are pretty good. The prices are not in fact outrageous for tapas--in San Sebastian or Bilbao, for example, the typical pintxos were 1.50 to 4 Euros (about $2.25 to $6), whereas most items at Bar Pintxo are $3 to $7, with some special items (the jamon iberico comes to mind) significantly higher. Wine prices by the glass are good, with several unusual (for here) choices and many available for only $5 or $6 a glass. Service needs considerable work, both in terms of efficiency and knowledge but is generally friendly.

              1. re: New Trial

                mmmm....Bilbao & San Sebastian. New Trial, I like you already. Those pintxos bars come 5pm embody all that is Spain.

                I agree the look, feel, and the pintxos themselves LOOK the part, but other than the foie gras and the gambas ajillo, everything else I've had there is poor.

                Nice, affordable wines however. I'd recommend dropping in for a glass before picking up a pizza at Joe's:)

              2. re: ElJeffe

                Failures close, but I doubt Pinxto closes any time soon. Things may change, but it will remain open as many do like the place - obviously, ymmv!