After we came to grips that we had to abandon all our plans to head to La Rioja and the Basque country because of the road closures and the heavy snow, we decided to really enjoy the offerings in Burgos, and for our final evening, we made it a plan to do a tapeo around the town, sampling things here and there, until we couldn’t go any further.
Our first stop was Pancho Bar. Pancho Bar is a clean, well-lit place with a friendly staff and prepared to accommodate foreigners, as they have an easy-to-read menu with English translations and photos you can just point to. The house crianza wine got a thumbs up and we ordered a few montaditos/tapas. Among our orders were a croqueta de jamon, a couple montaditos of quail egg and chorizo, and a tapa of tuna with olive and pickle. Some photos: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/146/43...
These were all good starters, with each costing not much more than a euro apiece.
c/San Lorenzo 13-15
Our next move was to La Mejillonera, which specializes in mussels, as the name suggests. We ordered three raciones of mussels, each with different sauces/preparations. The house specialty is the mussels in a special béchamel-type sauce with a little brava sauce to accent it.
This was good, though I’m not sure I would pair such a heavy sauce with mussels. Next were mussels in a garlic-vinegar-type sauce (I’m blanking on it now).
This was also good for the first bite or two, but it was a bit cloying. We had also ordered plain steamed mussels with lemon, or “al limón” as they call it, which took quite a bit longer to come out, and I realized that most of the mussels are pre-prepared for quick dishing. That’s fine, but when the steamed mussels arrived, we realized that the freshness really seems to matter. These were really good, plump mussels, and a squeeze of lemon is really all you need.
While the sauces were good, they seemed better matched with other foods, but since all La Mejillonera serves is mussels, it’s a good novelty.
c/de la Paloma 33
El Veintidos (vinos y tapas)
Across the street from La Mejillonera is a wine bar called El Veintidos, which is a bar attached to a larger upscale restaurant (I can’t remember the name of the restaurant). We were first hesitant to go in because it was fairly deserted, but we decided to give it a go since there was sure to be a larger selection of wines than the regular tapas bars/cervecerias. Behind the narrow bar were many inviting-looking montaditos, some standard and recognizable, and others made with a lot more creative flair. Since the bar abuts the entryway, it’s not very comfortable, and on this cold night, being near the door wasn’t conducive for us. So we decided to sit in the rear at the tables. The lone barman spoke no English, and was slightly rude giving one word answers to some of my questions about the wines. When the manager came in a few minutes later, we were greeted with a little more enthusiasm, and in English. Since I was the only Spanish speaker of the group, I felt that I didn’t have to work so hard and let my companions ask the questions and order. The manager offered us a sampling plate of the montaditos (one of each).
The montaditos plate was the perfect plate for us. Most everything was light, refreshing, and tasty all around. There was some negotiation who got to eat which or how to share these little bites, but I was the beneficiary of the ones with liver spreads, and I gave up some of my rights to the ones with the crudo/sashimi. Many of these montaditos were quite a novelty to us, and they were all well prepared and well thought out as well. The flavors were simple, and the ingredients all complemented one another in each item.
When we asked for a wine to complement the food, the manager gave us this wine:
It was noticeably different from most other Rioja crianzas in that it was light, and fruity, more like a pinot noir, and was an excellent pair with the food. We were so enthralled with the wine that we asked if they knew where they sell this particular wine, and the manager told us that they get it directly from the winery, and it usually isn’t found in retail shops. I’m not sure if this is actually the case, but we were able to buy a bottle right there from the bar.
Our next stop was at Cerveceria Morito for our second time. See this post for more details: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/392674
En Vino Veritas
As we made our way back towards our hotel, we noticed an upscalish wine bar next to the hotel that looked inviting. Most of us were done with the food and drinks, but there was one who still wanted to have at least one more drink before turning in. When we passed by the bar earlier in the evening, there was a larger crowd, but by this time of night, it was empty and looked like it was about to close. And the food behind the glass case at the bar looked pretty tired too. I’m sure it would have looked good at the beginning of the night. As this was our final opportunity to enjoy Burgos, we did order some wine and had the non-drinkers had tea. Since it looked like we didn’t have time in the morning to do wine shopping, we took the opportunity to buy some wines here.
Some Burgos tidbits…
During the height of the blizzard, we found ourselves in a taxi, and since we were still unfamiliar with Burgos, I asked the driver where he would take visitors. Without hesitation, he said “Casa Ojeda”. He didn’t say too much more, except that it was where he goes if he wants to go somewhere to show off to visitors. He tried to explain where it was, but since I had no bearings yet, it made no sense to me. However, I did manage to find on our final day, but it is an asador (specializing in suckling lamb and pork, among other things). Since I had my fill of the asador experience in Madrid, it was’t a priority, as well for my companions who were seeking lighter fare. If or when I’m back in Burgos, I’m sure I’ll make my way there.
Dulce Pan Bloher
On Avenida del Cid, there are several bakeries, but the pan de chocolate from Dulce Pan Bloher was pretty awesome.
I also took the liberty of creating a Google Map of my Burgos experience.
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