In my previous story, I told you that “tapas” are called “pintxos” in the Basque Country and that the most genuine “pintxos” are those served in the old city of San Sebastián (Donostia), where you can enjoy them nicely lined up on the counters of taverns. They are consumed as an aperitif, usually accompanied by a wine or a “zurito” (small glass of beer).
The “pintxo” is pure traditional gastronomy in miniature. The are often served on a slice of bread. It is your perfect chance to taste the various local recipes in small doses.
In Brussels, the champion of Basque “pintxos” for the last 15 years is “Como Como” in the Rue Dansaert. Its formula consisting of unlimited “pintxos” and drinks within a period of 2 hours is a classic, as well as the conveyor belt in which “pintxos” are served.
If you want a more intimate place, an excellent option in Basque gastronomy is “On Egin” at Rue des Deux Églises, in the heart of the European district.
More than miniature portions like “pintxos”, in “On Egin” you will find copious dishes as the typical Basque ribeye (“Txuleta”). My suggestion: “txistorra” (typical sausage from Navarre) with “txakoli” (white Basque wine).
As you surely know, the Basque Country (“Euskal Herria” in local language) straddles the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. The French component of the Basque Country is also represented with dignity in Brussels by its culinary ambassador: “Le Fils de Jule“, a charming restaurant located in fashionable Châtelain (Rue de Page). At “Le Fils de Jule” you can get 8 different “pintxos” and “foie gras” for less than 60 euros, and advantageous formula. Don’t miss the grilled “chipiron” (baby skid).
“Le Fils de Jule” has a small brother right across the street: “El Vasco”, a cosy place acting as “Bar à vins”, “Bar à tapas”, “traiteur” and “Bar à sandwiches”. Groups between 20 to 40 people are welcomed in “El Vasco”.
If the Basque gastronomy excites your curiosity about Basque culture and traditions, do not hesitate to contact the cultural Basque association in Europe’s capital: “Bruselako Euskal Etxea” (The Basque House of Brussels),
“Bruselako Euskal Etxea” is organising for next Saturday 18 February a “txoko”: a tipical gastronomical gathering to which everyone can bring a homemade dish. This “txoko” experience will be embellished by the Basque singer lady Izaro, a good opportunity for you to become familiar with Basque language, maybe the most ancient in Europe since it preceded to the Indo-European ones.
Eskerrik asko !