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May 14, 2011 11:20 AM

Picky, Unadventurous Eater in San Sebastian

We will be in San Sebastian three nights in June. My husband will eat anything, but I am very unadventurous. I looked at the menus of the restaurants we were recommended such as Bodegon Alejandro, Urepel, and Kokotxa and all the "menus" feature veal cheeks, wood pigeon, turbot, hake.....all of which I don't eat.

We plan on eating Pinxtos a couple of nights, and I think I will be able to find enough to eat.

Any other restaurants in that same price range with a wide range of choices would be appreciated.

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  1. It is a shame you won't try these foods - I can't see how Hake or Turbot can be offensive as they are simply a variety of white fish. That said the best strategy is to go ALC if you are so conservative and thus make certain the restaurant doesn't only do degustation (i,e. Mugaritz).

    Most places will substitute some courses on degustation but I suspect your narrow tastes would be an unfair challenge for them. Pinxtos will be OK if you choose carefully - but SS is famed for their cutting edge dishes so best to select visually rather than off the menu.

    I do encourage you to test your limits though, the quality of ingredients and cooking in SS is superb and it can challenge pre-conceptions and open your palete to new experience - my partner learned to love blood sausage here, a dish that had never passed her lips, and now eats infinite varieties in many countries.

    1. I am as alarmed as Phil to find that you consider conventional fish such as turbot and hake adventurous food. I wonder what kind of fish you consider unweird.
      All the good restaurants in Spain deliberaely keep a short, market-driven menu. I remember Bodegon Alejandro having a relative extensive menu, which means 3 to 5 choices per course. You may find something to eat there, but probably not, if even turbot and hake are out.
      I agree with Phil: San Sebastian is an epicurian's heaven.Your husband will have an grand time if he is allowed to go to the good restaurants.

      1. Thanks for your thoughts.

        I am sure I will be able to find something to eat wherever we go in SS, and I definitely want my husband to be able to experience the great dining opportunities in SS.

        I won't eat turbot because last summer in Provence I ordered turbot at a well regarded restaurant in Avignon. Three of us in our group ordered the turbot, and none of us could eat it, including my husband. It was gelatinous and tasteless, and I did not eat fish for three months after that. So I don't think my husband or I will order turbot again!

        That being said, as I read over my post, I realize I do sound weird to anyone who is a true foodie. I truly wish I did eat more things, as I know SS is a food paradise.

        3 Replies
        1. re: glsebs

          It is shame you had a bad Turbot experience it is a great fish and eats very well, Which was the restaurant in Avignon that cooked it so poorly - my experience of the Michelin starred ones there was very good - lots of tourist traps though.

          1. re: PhilD

            I had a bad experience with beef once. I still eat beef and never thought that beef in general could be so easily dismissed. It would like saying you once encountered rain in Rome and would never go back because Rome sucks.
            San Sé is a great place for non-adventurous eaters to experiment. The food there is extremely creative and winning. If one has the chance to travel there, might as well enjoy it fully.

            1. re: PhilD

              The restaurant in Avignon is Hiely. It was the first time any of us had eaten turbot as it is not a common fish serve here in the US. The one person who ordered the beef said it was delicious.

          2. Sounds like you're going to be eating a lot of patatas bravas. They're good, but they'll be tiresome.