Address: C/Fermin Calbeton, 4
After our first stopover at Ganbara, we headed to Goiz Barc Argi, which is another pintxos bar located just down the street from Ganbara. After the waiter poured us our second glass of bubbly txacholi of the night, we were ready to order and eat more. They have quite a few items displayed on the bar, just like at most of the other pintxos bars in San Sebastian. The bacalao caught our attention so we ordered that and it was flavorful and delicious. We wanted to try their famous lamb meat balls, but didn't know how to order so we ended up getting the regular lamb skewers instead. The crab meat dish was just alright. During our visit at Goiz Barc Argi, we couldn't helped but noticed all the trash on the floor below the bar area, which consisted of mostly toothpicks and used paper napkins. Maybe the owner should put a trash can there? Or maybe they prefer to have all these trash on the floor to show how many people came and eat there?
Gan: Why is alcohol such an important part of any cuisine and so inter-woven into a cultural psyche? I always ask myself this. It's part of any cultures' adolescence process and seems to transcend geographical differences. When I was a child, I always find it a mystery as to how such a drink could alter behaviors in characters, more in horror than in humor (it became more humorous as I grow older).. which might explain why I've not really been well versed in alcoholic dictionary. That and the fact that I hated the bitterness in most alcoholic beverage.
Odd that the one thing I enjoyed most in life (if you already hadn't guessed - food) encouraged me to explore the intricacies of pairing alcoholic beverages with food. We are by no means an authority in this field but knowing that there's a dedicated profession (sommelier) out there shows that there's a lot of knowledge and industry behind it. Alcohol's effect is probably most distinctive in evoking similar emotions as in different food flavors and aroma. Some heightens your senses, some dulls it but most if not all relaxes you.
One thing I find interesting in the pintxos and tapas hopping we've done in Spain is how much the Spanish had experimented with alcohol and its enjoyment with food. We even learn new drinks outside of the more commonly known Sangria here - txakoli, kalimotxo/rioja libre, and spanish cava, xampanyet. The combination of all the beers, aperitif and digestif liquors, and all the vino tinto (red wines), vino blanco (white wines), vino rosados (rose wines), vino espumusos (sparkling wines), and vinos de postre (desert wine) are endless.
2 of our favorite drinks so far are the local basque drinks txakoli (spanish-basque sparkling wine) and kalimotxo (mix of coke and red wine). I'm even beginning to find txakoli to be one of my de facto beber (drink) of choice when doing pintxo hopping in San Sebastian. :-)
Our second pintxo bar at San Sebastian was Goiz Barc Argi. The food was not as memorable but they are definitely good bar food. That's what's mind boggling. In NYC, food as good as these would've been unheard of or at least rare in bars. Sorry, except for maybe Spotted Pig? Kinda put the British gastro-pub movement in perspective. The very hearty and flavorful bacalao is perfect with the txakoli. It's also very refreshing to wash down the strong flavor of crab roe dish with it. The highlight for me was the shrimp on brocheta. The juice of the gambas soaked up by the bread was marvellous. Otherwise, this pintxo bar is not as impressive as Ganbara or La Cuchara San Telmo.
We didn't order much here. As with food (obesity), we should consume alcohol in moderation. Taken it out of context and abuse is a sure way to destroy your enjoyment of it.