Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A crime in San Sebastian


Whatever I'd planned for our first day in San Sebastian had to be completely put on hold. The reason: La Clásica, the 34th Clásica Ciclista San Sebastián. We can't miss this opportunity. My idea was to have lunch in La Parte Vieja, the old quarters - my San Sebastian addict friend, Claire, has given me at least 6 or 7 places to check out - and then be in the Boulevard to watch the racers race past the finish line.

No. Overruled. All because Isabella had said that there were good places to eat in around where we were, that it was much more expensive in the old quarters. I know we've been spending a lot on food...

We walked around a bit - nothing was appealing enough apparently until we went down an alleyway and decided to try Gure Arkupe (C/ Istingorra, 7, 20008 San Sebastian). It wasn't late - about 2pm. But, research showed that the first cyclists were estimated to cross the finish line around 5pm or so and we didn't want to miss that. It had a decent-looking menu, so we went in. Menu of the day was €12, not too bad for San Sebastian, I thought. It included bread and wine, beer or water. Soft drinks were supposed to be chargeable, but they didn't charge us a bottle of coke.

There was hardly anyone in the restaurant but we didn't turn back. There were "reserved" signs on a lot of tables and I thought it was just a marketing ploy. Hardly had we sat down when people started streaming in. By 3pm, maybe earlier, the tavern was full. Don't know why though. 

Honestly, it felt like we were committing a crime to be experiencing this as our first meal in San Sebastian. The meal was so unmemorable that I don't even remember what we had. It was the sort of meal where €8 would have been too much. I know, I'd expected San Sebastian to be expensive, especially after experiencing Bilbao, but this was just so cheap-café type of food. No art, no style, no excitement.

There was one waiter and one waitress, no bartender, and the place was practically full. They did what they could. But there wasn't much excuse for the food. Menus of the day are generally pre-prepared, hence they can be offered at more economical prices. But if the chef's not good, nothing can be done.

The one surprising thing was there was WiFi! Can't remember if it worked fine or not. That bad, huh? Even the bill was written on a nameless piece of paper.

Amateurish all the way.

All is needed then is an amateurish photo to accompany the review ;) This was taken on a Samsung S3 mini phone.

Gure Arkupe, Taken on a Samsung S3 mini phone
Waitress rushing