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Bar Pintxo

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posh Apr 25, 2008 01:28 AM

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. c
    condiment RE: posh Apr 25, 2008 10:05 AM

    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
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      petradish RE: condiment Apr 25, 2008 11:12 AM

      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. k
      ken RE: posh Apr 25, 2008 10:29 AM

      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
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        TracyS RE: ken Apr 28, 2008 11:20 PM

        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.

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        peterx RE: posh Apr 26, 2008 12:25 PM

        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.

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          larud9233 RE: posh Apr 28, 2008 01:13 PM

          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
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            priscilla2 RE: larud9233 Jun 10, 2008 09:46 AM

            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 same...no 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
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              carter RE: priscilla2 Jun 10, 2008 10:18 AM

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

          2. ElJeffe RE: posh Jun 10, 2008 01:17 PM

            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
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              New Trial RE: ElJeffe Jun 10, 2008 06:59 PM

              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
                ElJeffe RE: New Trial Jun 10, 2008 10:03 PM

                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
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                carter RE: ElJeffe Jun 10, 2008 07:53 PM

                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!

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                NatKal RE: posh Apr 18, 2009 11:45 PM

                We went to Bar Pintxo last night and had a very positive experience. We did have to wait about 20 min for a table, but once we sat, the service was great. The energy of the place was really inviting and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Our server spent quite awhile recommending wines and pairings and we did end up spending over $100 for two, but that was just because it was our first time there and we wanted to try many different things. I think it's a great place to stop for a couple glasses of wine and a little something yummy after shopping on 3rd Street. We both left very happy and actually quite full.

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                  ahuacatl RE: posh Apr 19, 2009 10:10 AM

                  I don't think I bothered to comment after my first visit a few months back. We only tried the desserts, but that was enough. I wish I could say that they were serviceable, but they weren't. As mentioned above, the place looks the part. Service wasn't great for us. I've been to Spain and I'm familiar with what the deserts are supposed to taste like - same is true of the others in our group of four.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ahuacatl
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                    NatKal RE: ahuacatl Apr 19, 2009 07:10 PM

                    I didn't try the desserts, but I think a common problem with places like this, and much of the chowhound crowd in general, is that they go knowing what stuff "is supposed to taste like" and unhappy if it's not exactly that. I'm not looking for my experiences from other countries or culinary styles to be recreated to the T, but rather to have a taste of someone else's take on things. I think it's easier to appreciate and enjoy new places when I go with an open mind, not thinking I already know better than the chef.

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                    Adsvino RE: posh Apr 19, 2009 09:21 PM

                    I actually liked what I had there (except the paella with squid ink-terrible). Yet we spent even more than you, around $160 for 3 or 4 tapas, the paella and 3 glasses of wine each. It did feel like a rip off and I haven't returned.

                    I think this type of place only works if it is cheap.

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                      AquaW RE: posh Apr 19, 2009 10:06 PM

                      I've only gone during happy hours -- where it's $6 for 6 tapas, $4 sangrias and $3 stellas. For those price it's not bad, but not particularly stellar. Though they do have a pretty big collection of Spanish wines by the glass (and lots under $10) for the adventurous oenophile. And their staff is actually pretty knowledgeable about those wines too, two that I ordered were pretty spot on.

                      ~H.C.
                      http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

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