San Vicente Mártir 23
+34 963 511 992
San Vicente Mártir 6
Tel.: +34 963 910 668
Overall rating: 7/10
Date visited: October 2009 to November 2012
Orio and Sagardi are basically the same restaurants with different names. Same owner, same food with just a few different pintxos. Both restaurants also offer “proper” restaurant food, but I haven’t tried it in either place. I’ve been to these two restaurants eight times in total.
Pintxos is a type of tapas typical of The Basque Country. It’s a piece of baguette with something on top. What I’ve had in these two restaurants has actually been better than most of the pintxos I had in San Sebastián.
The concept is simple: You ask for a plate, take the pintxos from the counter yourself and then keep the toothpicks from the pintxos, which the waiter will count in the end. All pintxos are at the time of writing €1.95 each, but over the course of the last year I have seen the prices rise from either €1.70 or €1.80 to the current €1.95 (meaning an increase of either 8 % or 13 %). But then the Spanish VAT also went up from 8 % to 10 % for restaurants in this period. A soda was €2.50, which might not seem like much, but certain other places only charge €1.50, so that’s 67 % more expensive. A friend of mine ordered a glass of red wine, which was €2.60. These prices don’t really bother me as I’m used to the prices in Denmark, but it might bother Spaniards.
The pintxos are refreshing, well-made and appetising. That’s the reason I’ve come back so many times. The main focus is sea food and cheese. That’s unfortunately also the problem with the food. Too many pintxos contain either anchovies or cheese.
Some of my favourites are a tartlet with a filling of apple purée with soft cheese on top, a baguette with creamy crabmeat and mozzarella on top, a baguette with a thick slice of blue cheese and a thick intense tomato sauce on top, as well as a sweet one similar to a cheese cake covered in a raspberry syrup on a piece of baguette. Here are the ones with blue cheese and the “cheesecake” one:
I’m not sure if it happens every day, but often the waiters also bring round trays with freshly made pintxos like croquettes with mushroom cream, or croquettes with ham and cheese, or hake.
Every time I’ve been here, the food has been equally good. That’s unfortunately the other problem here: The pintxos never change. Some of my pictures are from 2009, and I could see that I ate exactly the same ones then as I did in late 2012.
Nevertheless, this is all in all a very pleasant restaurant if you want something easy, light and refreshing and don’t want to endure a long menu (or don’t want to wait for it), and you can eat as much as you like (I usually eat around 7 or 8). To Spanish standards the prices are not exactly cheap, as a small plate of tapas is often €1 to €3 in Valencia, but the quality of the food definitely justifies the price.