Donosti Dining Update, vol VI

In the months that I haven’t been able to write much here (explanation coming soon), a LOT of new places have opened in San Sebastián.  Everything from pizza joints to normal pintxo bars to little spots with lots of love behind them. I’ve seen them open, I’ve tried (most) of them, and I just haven’t had time to keep you in the know.   So I am happy to be back with a Donosti Dining Update, where I run down three of those new spots.  This time around they aren’t quite brand new because I have quite the delicious backlog, but....enjoy!

prontxio casa de comidas © Marti Buckley

PRONTXIO : CASA DE COMIDAS

PRONTXIO 2  © Marti Buckley

Prontxio is a spot that opened late last year.  A labor of love at the hands of Loren, a chef who has passed through some of the smaller independent restaurants of the city, it features a short, changing prix-fixe menu that caters to the locals and the businessmen in the area.  

The entrance is an unassuming bar, with a small selection of pintxos, one slightly different than the small selection you might find at a bar around the corner—the tortilla is above average and the rest of the pintxo menu is a carefully selected and high quality combination of charcuterie, conserves, and classics like ensaladilla rusa.

Prontxio 3  © Marti Buckley.jpg

The downstairs holds a small, bright dining room where Loren serves up the menu and a plato del día.  At €7, ordering a daily plate for lunch is something affordable enough for more than once a week, although it's not going to leave you bursting at the seams.  When I stopped in, I chose the attractive option of ordering two half plates for €8.  This day, that meant tomato and feta salad with guindillas, as well as a dish of young white beans dotted with chorizo. The idea is food from here, with a slightly updated air, plated and served in a way that makes you give the dish more importance. 

Prontxio 4  © Marti Buckley.jpg

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Prontxio : Casa de Comidas
San Martzial Kalea, 6 (CENTRO)

gure txoko © marti buckley.jpg

GURE TXOKO

gure txoko 2 © marti buckley.jpg

Gure Txoko is another example of a neighborhood bar doing it right.

Its space is small (although there is a dining area downstairs), consisting of a bar, a few stools along a perch on the wall, and a handful of tables in the back area.  Its decor is questionable, distressed wood and graffiti inspired logo, but hey, somebody seems to be expressing something and that is worth more than any soulless professionalism.

gure txoko 3 © marti buckley.jpg

We're here to talk about the food, however. Gure Txoko riffs on the various classic modes of pintxos, including a version of each in its arsenal: hot pintxos, cold pintxos on the bar (very classic, shrimp with mayo and hard boiled eggs, etc), a couple cazuelas in the corner (usually for more "daring" options like tripe and other offal), and a selection of cured fish and meats made to top freshly toasted bread (a la Antonio, see below picture).

gure txoko 6 © marti buckley.jpg

But the real gem, what makes Gure Txoko an absolute must-stop on any Gros pintxo tour, are the croquetas. When the bar opened, they had eight different types of croquettes on the menu. Eight. Neither of which was your typical classic.  They amplified the croqueta selection: spinach and goat cheese, stew,  spicy chorizo with camembert, shrimp and monkfish, pheasant and black truffle, cured pork loin and torta del casar cheese, ostrich and mango, and Jabugo ham.

And now, they have added 12 additional croquetas, an incredible, unprecedented selection that blows boring Basque menus out of the water.  It's one of those things where you are like DUH, finally someone took the blank canvas that is bechamel and added some delicious stuff to it!  Go with friends so you can try them all.

gure txoko 4 © marti buckley.jpg

For the most part, the execution is good. The toasts with vinegar-cured fish need a touch more mimo (toast me that bread a little more! Up the quality of that olive oil! Give me a contrasting texture or flavor on top!), and on the menu of hot pintxos you have to know what to order (try the confit duck burger and the oxtail), but, honestly, this bar has my heart just for the croquetas. Seriously.

gure txoko 5 © marti buckley.jpg

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Gure Txoko
Usandizaga Kalea, 5 (GROS)

eguzki © marti buckley.jpg

EGUZKI

eguzki 2 © marti buckley.jpg

I LOVE Eguzki.

This bar, with a fresh yet not aggressively modern look, hides in the back corner of Gros. It feels like stumbling on to the gold at the end of the rainbow.  While I am the first to be skeptical in the face of a bar trying to do something "different", the difference with Eguzki is the fact that they also adhere to tradition and fulfill their role as a bar de barrio.

eguzki 3 © marti buckley.JPG

You will find the traditional favorites, like olives and calamari, but with an updated presentation and a modern touch. Olives are served in a jar, marinated with vermouth and a splash of Tabasco; Calamari are top quality and come in a basket with a bit of squid-ink-tinted alioli.   The list of vermouths is also mega-extensive, and when the bartenders serve up a marianito they do it with a few extra drops of bitters and gin along with some dehydrated citrus fruits. In other words, with love.

eguzki 4 © marti buckley.jpg

The bar is lined with pintxos in the same tradition, all neatly and impeccably presented.  On the menu, there are about a dozen hot pintxos and small plates, like a buttery fish carpaccio and a smoky cut of steak with big chunks of potatoes.  It's a real neighborhood treasure. So don't go ;)

eguzki 5 © marti buckley.jpg

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
WIFI: 👎
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Eguzki
Secundino Esnaola Kalea, 44 (GROS)

Donosti Dining Update, Vol IV

New spots are opening in San Sebastián faster than I can keep up with them. Especially as things get busier and busier. My desire to explore them is somewhat dampened by the fact that very few of them are truly outstanding.  Why? A confluence of factors, an important one of which being that San Sebastián is opening up to the world. Foreign concepts are the trend, but they are so often low-fi copies instead of the product of true dedication and research and innovation. That said, some of them are nice neighborhood spots.  So anyway, my apologies!

For those of you curious as to how this works, you should know I head off to new places with the idea of slotting them here. However, if a place pleasantly surprises me, instead of appearing in the Donosti Dining Update, it will get its own post. You should also know I pay for my meals and don’t mention my intentions when I head off to dine.  For a key to the slightly unconventional rating system, scroll down to the bottom of the post.  The first edition was here, the second here, the third, Gros-centric edition here, and here goes number four:   

drinka san sebasti�n bois et fer

DRINKA

Jan, edan eta gozatu (drink, eat & enjoy) is the motto of this new spot, lighting up the Antiguo from its posh, vaguely Nordic digs (by Bois et Fer) on Calle Matia.  The owners of the miniature Zurriola favorite, La Consentida, have opened a spot with a more grown-up aspect: Drinka.

calamari drinka san sebasti�n

The menu is still a loveable, picky-eater-friendly mixture of fried stuff, cool dips, and hamburgers.  But now, like these fried calamari, they come in design-y dishes that are Instagram-ready. The place is often packed with diners since its October 2015 opening.

nachos drinka san sebasti�n restaurant

 You, dear reader, can judge from the above foto, but I recommend sticking with the more local specialties, like the made-from-scratch croquetas or the famous hamburgers, which include one made from tuna.

The best thing we tried at Drinka was the goat cheese salad, with caramelized goat cheese, bacon, corn nuts and spinach.   It's food for the people, food for enjoying, food not for thinking too hard but just to serve as a pretty background for a pleasant experience.

Is it worth going to Antiguo for? No. But definitely worth a peek if you are in the neighborhood.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆  ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
Gobackability : ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Drinka
Calle Matia, 50 (ANTIGUO)

BELGRADO

Some of the city's most charmed proprietors tackle what is one of the most difficult real estate slots, gigantic, cast off to the side of Gros and exposed to intense winds (which sounds like a chorrada but is a major factor in choosing where to go on a cold, rainy, Donosti night).

belgrado san sebasti�n bar

I'm happy to report that they do it not by repeating the same mistakes with a different Pinterest palette, but by testing what, for San Sebastián, is a new model of business.  They take the casual, homey vibe of their ever popular Centro café, Koh Tao, and transport it to Gros. On the way, they pick up a couple extra businesses to a)help with the rent and b) make the spot a one-stop-cool-shop. 

koh tao belgrado san sebastian

You can find standard drinks, cocktails, hummus, guac and hamburgers, as well as vermouth, coffee and snacks. Everything is outsourced, except for the menu of snack food and the drinks.  Pastry is by Meyvi, wine shop is by ardoteka Goñi, clothes by Letitare and Viva la vida, and eclectic gifts byFranck FischerKoloreka, and the jabonería de la Almendra.

letitare belgrado

To sum it up, it's a nice, sunny anchor on the east side of this little town that likes to think it's a big city. Bustling, with wifi, everything looks happier at Belgrado; even the occasionally dismalservice becomes something to smile about.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆  ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Belgrado
De Navarra Hiribidea, 2 (GROS)

 

pizza papparazzi

PIZZA PAPPARAZI

Tucked away up on a hill in Egia, this pizza joint has been called the best in Donosti by American pizza eaters I know.

calzone san sebastian italian

I'm not sure if it's the best, but it's definitely the most similar to the American-style pizzas, due in part to the crust style (thicker, not overly crispy) and the abundance of ingredients (lotsa cheese).  It's pizza...nothing revolutionary, but a good ace to have in your pocket when nothing but an old-fashioned pie will do.

pizza san sebasti�n

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★  ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👎
Martimeter :  ★☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Pizza Papparazzi
Virgen del Carmen Kalea, 4 (EGIA)

Donosti Dining Update, Vol III

New spots in San Sebastián are opening at a pace faster than I can cover them. Overall, the places tend to be Spanish riffs on global trends, from coffee snob spots to all-day kitchens with ambiguous international menus, which is a bit disappointing. However, I am committed to cutting through the noise and the Pinterest knockoffs to find the gems out there.

For those of you curious as to how this works, you should know I head off to new places with the idea of slotting them here. However, if a place pleasantly surprises me, instead of appearing in the Donosti Dining Update, it will get its own post. You should also know I pay for my meals and don’t mention my intentions when I head off to dine.  For a key to the slightly unconventional rating system, scroll down to the bottom of the post.  The first edition was here, the second here, and here goes number three, a Gros-centric edition.

 the exterior of khaki campbell, in gros

the exterior of khaki campbell, in gros

KHAKI CAMPBELL

This new spot in Gros aspires to hip international greatness. Somewhat inexplicably, the menu is divided into snacks, traditional plates, 'farm and flavor', Mexican plates, and Italian ones. The decor is really cozy, with wood-and-pipe furniture by Batlló Concept. 50 cent glasses of wine are advertised on a board outside. There's a DIY salad bar. There's a lot going on.

So when I stopped in to eat a few times, I wanted to try to capture a little bit of everything. The salmorejo (above) is another good litmus test for a bar, along with the croquettes (below). The salmorejo was outstanding, with a fine presentation that was both practical and not stuffy, its neat little dish of ham and eggs served alongside a generous bowl of chilled soup.

The croquetas were just fine.

One of the waiters could not be bullied into telling me a single dish to order, but the second one made it up to me by neatly suggesting his favorite plates from each category.  He suggested these pimientos de piquillo stuffed with squid (a plate of for for 10€). They were quite good, above all thanks to the rich sauce covering them. 

I couldn't help but order something from the Mexican menu, ugh, I'm such a sucker. We ordered the cochinita pibil, which came in little flour tortillas with a side of avocado and pico de gallo. Well....the meat was tender but the dish could benefit greatly by a little detail or two (pickled onion? something green?) and the 'guacamole' was missing salt and acid.  Not bad but not amazing, and sad because the hard part (the meat) was the highlight.

All in all, it's a fine place, invaluable for a kitchen open all day. It feels a bit pricy when it comes to the traditional dishes, and for me it seems to be a spot more valuable to residents of Donosti than to visitors, who would likely be unimpressed by the renditions of foreign food. Quite a nice place to just be, however.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆  ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Khaki Campbell
Ramon y Cajal Kalea, 3 (GROS)

FAM KAFE

Gros's favorite pedestrian street has birthed yet another of its favorite businesses: a cute coffee shop (the other favorite being a realtor...at last count there were five).  Fam Kafe is a tiny shop with a short list of coffees.  Nary a chair in sight, the idea is grab your coffee and go. It's an agreeable enough spot to do so, with its wood-heavy decoration by hometown designer darling Bois et Fer

The sweets come from local cutesy baker Sweet Lulu and can range from banana cake to cookies to brownies.  They are better than your average wannabe American baked good served up in town, but we all know what that means...

The coffee, from roasters Zabala in nearby Tolosa, is adequate. I would recommend the cortado and the café con leche before the americano, which is brewed in true American style but was inexplicably watered down with even MORE water before being handed to me. *sad face*  All in all, a cute spot with pleasant enough service.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👎 
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Fam Kafe
Peña y Goñi Kalea, 15 (GROS)

AITZGORRI

Finally, a bar has settled into the old Narru spot, after ill-fated Pecaditos. The bar is Aitzgorri, and it's just what Gros needed: another pintxo bar-slash-restaurant. Okay, that sounds sarcastic, but I swear it's not.

Ham croquettes are a great way to start to get to know a bar. Shape is the first way to distinguish a homemade croquette from a frozen one. You don't want them to be too perfect, and small balls are often a sign that they are made in house.  These were creamy, seasoned, and correct all the way around.

It was a pleasant surprise to see a special house vermut preparado on the menu. A few drops of some magic potions and a vermouth that yours truly had never seen, Las Endrinas.  

This newcomer to the neighborhood actually just placed in the finals of the Pintxo Championships of Basque Country, right alongside the acclaimed Zeruko, with a pintxo of game bird, mushrooms and crunchy cheese. I opted to try some of their more traditional pintxos, which were adequate and could hold their own with most pintxos in the old part, from the morcilla (above) and the bacalao ajoarriero (below).

All in all, Aitzgorri is a solid addition to the neighborhood. A new spot to take friends that are visiting on a Gros pintxo route, with little dishes that aspire to greatness.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
WIFI: 👎 
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Aitzgorri
Calle Usandizaga, 20 (GROS)
http://restauranteaitzgorri.com

Agree? Disagree? Have a new place I need to cover? Just leave a comment.

SAN SEBASTIÁN RESTAURANTS & HOW I RATE THEM

Since this is my blog and I can do what I want, I have curated a strange group of criteria that summarizes the way my brain breaks down a restaurant experience. Ratings are from 0-5 and highly subjective.

$€$€ : Tuning in to how I felt looking at the check. The general price to quality ratio, the relation to how good it was to how much I paid. 
Vibeyness :  I'm super sensitive to ambience. Love low lighting and textures. Don't like virtual Pinterest reality.
Gobackability :  How likely is this place to be somewhere I make a regular haunt?
WIFI:  👍 or 👎, self-explanatory, ¿jyes?
Martimeter : The general feeling I have about the place, an unexplainable rating yet perhaps the most important of all.. 

Donosti Dining Update, Vol II

So, the first Donosti Dining Update was quite the success, not to mention I slept better having covered these places nagging on my subconsciousness.

So, time for round two. 

For those of you curious as to how this works, you should know I head off to new places with the idea of slotting them here. However, if a place pleasantly surprises me, as happened this week, instead of appearing in the Donosti Dining Update, it will get its own post—soon. You should also know I pay for my meals, don’t tip off the restaurateurs that I am a blogger, etc (as if these wonderfully down-to-Earth Basque folks would even care).

The first edition was here.  But now it’s time for Donosti Dining Update, Vol II. With that prologue, here goes my semi-weekly collection of new(ish) spots in San Sebastián, made to keep us all in the know.

LA COCHINITA PIBIL

People in Donosti have to have somewhere to eat, too, you know. Somewhere they can feel at home, go every day without breaking the bank, and have their tastebuds oh-so-slightly teased.  That's where places like La Cochinita Pibil come in.

This bar used to be a frozen-in-time tribute to the 1980s, before ownership was transferred in the last year. Fortunately for us, this transfer was made to some pretty hip residents, which translates to a laid-back, cool clientele.  Which, in a neighborhood bar, is really all one is looking for, right?

That, and FREE FOOD.  La Cochinita Pibil takes a page from the playbook of Southern Spain and offers a free tapita, or little plate, with the purchase of any drink.  In addition, they offer a daily plato that rotates as well as a constant menu of pintxos and small plates with just the slight deviation off of the beaten flavor path, like the couscous. I like to overlook the fact that couscous hit its trend peak in the late 90s and instead focus on the fact that everything is sufficiently salted and reasonably rico.

cochinita_ensalidilla.jpg

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ★  ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👍
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

La Cochinita Pibil 
Calle de Fuenterrabía, 38 (CENTRO)

 

ESSENCIA

Essencia is another spot that's not outrageously new, having opened sometime in the last year. It's a useful bar to have in one's back pocket, however, for one reason: the list of libations.  The current Essencia is a reincarnation of the wine store, formerly located across Calle Zabaleta.  In the new space, the wine shop lives upstairs, on top of the fully functioning bar. Why do you care?

The man behind the magic is Dani Corman, one of the region's foremost wine experts, who specializes in champagnes.  While my specialities currently lie in vermouth, baked goods and pickles, champagne is on my short list.

Because of his passion for wines, in Essencia you can find 100 wines by the glass, 50 sherries, and a wide selection of vermouths and other interesting drinks. In this bar they aren't going to slosh your glass with the same two-euro-a-bottle of verdejo.

The food may not be quite as remarkable, but it is simple and based strongly in local products.   You will find adequate classics, with the menu's strength lying in the raciones, or small plates. Try whatever's local, whatever's in season, and just make sure to drink something.

$€$€ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👎 
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Essencia
Zabaleta Kalea, 53 (GROS)
http://www.ardodenda.com

 

CASA SENRA

The guiri darling of Gros is BACK. Casa Senra, always open and always dependable, with its colorful waitstaff, closed last year under mysterious circumstances. The whisper of what would happen faded after several months, until the spot abruptly re-opened last month.

So of course I had to go back and place an order like the orders of the old days. For me in Senra that means brava patatas, croquetas, and baby squid, or txopitos (is all that fried? oops).  After we ordered cava only to find out not a single bottle was chilled, the txopitos came and were so, so sadly soggy. 

In my grief, I turned my eyes upwards, only to note the beautiful oak caserío style beams were painted a half-assed white. On only one side of the bar. Great, a historical nod to Pinterest.

The croquetas were decent. And honestly, I'll probably go back to try a few more things off the menu. But I question if Casa Senra has been restored to its former guiri, over-priced yet dependable glory.

$€$€ :  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👎 
Martimeter :  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Donosti Dining Update, vol i

On my blog, I've always covered whatever I want—from the days when I used to post about cooking in my tiny Alabama kitchen to now, writing about all things Basque as I go on five years here in San Sebastián.  Five years is a long time, a sixth of my lifetime, and it recently hit me that this will be the place I've lived the longest in my adult life.  It makes sense, then, that I have seen a lot of changes here in San Sebastián. Old, wood-covered bars closing and turning into mini-Ikea outposts; tourists beginning to cross the bridge into Gros;  the birth of pintxo pote; the importation of cocktails, brunch, and cupcakes; and a general awakening, for better or worse, to the existence of an outside world.

This, along with the emergence from a nationwide recession, means a lot of new businesses opening, many of them restaurants, cafés and bars. If there's one thing I'm short on, it's time. And I've always written my blog with an eye for excellence, insisting on covering only spots that really blow me out of the water.  But that means I miss a lot of coverage, and I feel like I am letting my readers and visitors to San Sebastián down.  

With that prologue, I would like to introduce the Donosti Dining Update, a semi-weekly collection of new(ish) spots in San Sebastián just to keep us all in the know.

san sebastián restaurants & how i rate them

Since this is my blog and I can do what I want, I have curated a strange group of criteria that summarizes the way my brain breaks down a restaurant experience. Ratings are from 0-5 and highly subjective.

$$ : Tuning in to how I felt looking at the check. The general price to quality ratio, the relation to how good it was to how much I paid. 
Vibeyness :  I'm super sensitive to ambience. Love low lighting and textures. Don't like virtual Pinterest reality.
Gobackability :  How likely is this place to be somewhere I make a regular haunt?
WIFI:  👍 or 👎, self-explanatory, ¿jyes?
Martimeter : The general feeling I have about the place, an unexplainable rating yet perhaps the most important of all.. 

That said, here goes the first-ever Donosti Dining Update:

Gerald's bar

Gerald's Bar comes to San Sebastián straight from Australia, bringing with it the Anglo-Saxon sensibility that is, fortunately for them, just beginning to catch on in San Sebastián. The menu marks its differences in the enthusiastic presence of seasonal vegetables, herbs and spices. Think Australian restaurant that serves its idea of European food opens branch in Europe serving a cuisine twice-removed.

We had quite a few plates....stewed garbanzos, salmon with dill, lamb shank with eggplant and potato, and a citrus mousse.  All familiar plates if you read English-language foodie glossies, but for the locals of San Sebastián I think there is a bit more of an exotic air. For me, the vibe, the charcuterie and cheese plates, and the longer-than-average wine-by-the-glass list are the main attractions.   I appreciate the foreign touches, like a bit of luxurious butter with bread to start and tunes from *gasp* a record player. ¡Qué guay!

$$ :  ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ★ ★ ★
Gobackability : ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
WIFI: (look for in future editions...i forgot to ask, ok?)
Martimeter :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Gerald's Bar
Calle Iparragirre, 13 (GROS)

ambigu EStación

Okay, Ambigu isn't all that new— I think the first time I went there was a year ago. However, it's been on my longstanding list of new places to blog about and I wanted to get to it.  Housed in the former parte vieja branch of Iturrioz, it was one of the first bar-cafés to inaugurate the trend of "different" design, of paying attention to details and doing so in a way that is not typically Basque.

Ambigu has a menu made for sharing.  Don't expect pintxos...the only consistent offering is a croqueta.  These are full and half raciones, and they are not your standard San Sebastián fare:  green salad with strawberries, bacalao ravioli, pea and scallop risotto....

We had a wrap and their patatas bravas. They fell somewhere between normal bravas and excellent bravas. A pinch of salt could have made the difference.

Apart from their dinner menu, Ambigu is notable for its brunch and breakfast offerings.  A rare find in San Sebastián, that's for sure.

$$ :  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★  ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★   ☆ ☆
WIFI: (look for in future editions...i forgot to ask, ok?)
Martimeter :  ★ ★  ☆ ☆

Ambigu Estación
Calle Aldamar, 12 (VIEJO)
http://www.ambiguestacion.com

chocomint

No sooner than a street or plaza is made pedestrian-friendly, you can count on a few coffee-shop/bakeries to pop up. Chocomint, with its oh-so-cutesy logo and branding, is one of these.  First feeling: happiness. Not another bakery chain.  First feeling checked upon our visit....the majority of the baked goods sold there are from a larger, locally based chain.

As far as homemade goods go, you can look for the mini- and regular-sized cupcakes, as well as the layer cakes.  They were cute, but the one we tried was over-soaked with an over-watery simple syrup and honestly just barely adequate, nothing special enough to write home about. Sigh. 

$$ :  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Vibeyness : ★  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gobackability : ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
WIFI: 👎 (supposedly, but it didn't work)
Martimeter :  ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Chocomint
Calle Usandizaga, 5 (GROS)

 

I have a list going for future updates, but if there's somewhere you want me to checkout, leave it in the comments!