The Loaf in a Box
British breadsmith Dan Lepard ran a pop-up bakery in San Sebastian for the summer, just outside the Renfe train station.
The Loaf's "Extreme"
The 100% sourdough, plus a paper cup of really good butter they obligingly gave us for immediate consumption.
La Cuchara de San Telmo
On the pinxtos short list from both the New York Times and a friendly Loaf in a Box staffer. The small plates at this go-to in the Parte Vieja weren't that small, and everything was delicious.
La Cuchara: Gazpacho
About three shots worth of rich tomato soup, puréed with bread and laced with spicy olive oil.
La Cuchara: Pork Belly
Crackly crisp skin and meat as tender as barbecue.
La Cuchara: Foie Gras
A massive lobe, seared hard, sprinkled with coarse salt, and paired with a tangy apple butter.
La Cuchara: Grilled Goat Cheese
A thick slice of Bucheron, griddled until the oozing-out ring cooked into a frico-like crisp edge.
La Cuchara: Grilled Octopus
Meaty chunks of octopus, nicely charred and served with grilled cabbage.
A Fuego Negro
A perfect pinxtos bite: crisp toast, tangy-sweet sun-dried tomato, creamy brie-like cheese, and a slice of rich, salty Iberico jamon.
La Bodega Donostiarra: Traditional Basque Seafood Salad
Anchovies, sardines, pickled octopus, pickled beans, and really good tuna.
La Bodega Donostiarra: Russian Salad
The classic Basque tuna-laced potato salad bound together with rich, eggy mayo.
La Bodega Donostiarra: Broiled Eggs
After too much cava, this would be just the plate to nurse you back to health: an egg, sliced potatoes, and shredded jamon, all bubbling in a crock of tomato sauce.
Bodega Alejandro: Gazpacho
The amuse buche at this subterranean restaurant in Parte Vieja was clean and sweet and came with a "log" of olive oil crisps.
Bodega Alejandro: Slow-Cooked Farmhouse Eggs
Easily one of the best dishes of the trip: perfectly soft-cooked eggs, mashed potatoes loaded with butter, and chanterelle mushrooms.
Bodega Alejandro: Mushroom Risotto with Squid
Really creamy, mushroomy rice with slivers of Basque Idiazabel cheese, grilled squid, and a swipe of squid ink.
Bodega Alejandro: Tomato Salad
Peeled tomatoes, grassy olive oil, and salt. Incredible.
Bodega Alejandro: Green Apple Pie
A crust full of butter, tart caramelized green apples, clean-tasting milk ice cream, and practically a bowl of rosemary-scented whipped cream.
Bodega Alejandro: Soaked French Toast
This was bread pudding in my book: plush and custardy with a caramelized crust and a scoop of sour cream–tangy "cheese" ice cream.