beyond alta cocina: la mejillonera

Reading this blog, any media coverage of San Sebastián, or any guide book, you may be under the impression that every restaurant in Donostia is geared towards gastronomic geeks. Many are, but the truth is there are Basque men that complain about being hungry after a night of poteando.

That's where La Mejillonera comes in handy. This place is worth knowing for several reasons: 1)it's cheap 2)it's not bad 3)it's not on the tourist radar 4)it shuts up the members of the pintxo hopping group that are still hungry.

This is a no-frills dining stop near the port in the old town.  Walk in, and you see stainless steel, flourescent lighting, and backlit photos of menu offerings. And a ton of people. 

Their specialty is in the name: mussels. They serve them up by the plateful, drenched in various sauces such as herb and butter or spicy tomato.  If I say nothing, I'll say they are large and fresh. The helpings of mussels, fried calamari, and patatas bravas are generous and very cheap-around three euros.  And those same folks who disdain hoity-toity tapas will love the liter size glasses of sangria you can get to wash down this temple of Donostian fast food. 

It comes in handy.