One of the best parts of being a blogger is interacting with other bloggers! The blogger community is so full of likeminded people with tons of information they are not only willing, but eager to share. Most of the time, this information comes from firsthand experience and allows the readers an inside look.
Another Spain blogger, Courtney of ‘Cartas de Courtney,’ read my DIY pintxos crawl of San Sebastián, which inspired her to do a series of her own, and boy am I glad she did. Her ‘pintxos hopping in Logroño’ series features a slew of different popular pincho streets, pincho bars and the specialty pinchos of each. Basically, she did all the hard work for me!
I was traveling with Courtney of ‘Adelante’ (gosh so many Courtneys!), who is Gluten Free, so I was eager to sift through the guide highlighting Celiac friendly options. To our surprise, many bars on Calle Laurel were advertising “gluten free” pinchos. Spain can be a tough country for anyone with dietary restrictions or preferences, so this was really exciting! (Usually if you say you don’t eat meat, your reply will be- ‘don’t worry we have chicken’) But no fear my gluten intolerant friends, there are plenty of gluten free options!!!
Reading through Courtney’s elaborate guides and looking at all her photos of delectable pinchos, I could hardly wait. I printed out her guide and brought it along with me. All that was left to do was eat!
Here are my must-gos:
** means gluten free!!
Juan y Pinchame**
Calle del Laurel, 9
I put ‘Juan y Pinchame’ first, because, putting it frankly, their shrimp skewer absolutely blew my mind. If I hadn’t felt the need to try a few other bars, I would’ve sat at the bar and horsed down this pincho all day- it was really just that good. Even though I tried, I couldn’t resist- after we had it on Saturday, we went back Sunday for two more!
Their star pincho, the ‘broscheta de piña con langostinos’, is such a simple concept, a long skewer alternating caramelized pineapple and buttery shrimp. I’m not sure what exactly it is about this skewer that steals the show, but you’d be a fool to pass up a taste. The skewer is cooked to order on a large skillet right behind the bar. Drenched in high quality olive oil and sprinkled with chunks of sea salt, this pincho exquisitely executes my favorite sweet and salty combo. It is served alongside a small piece of bread to sop up the remaining oil and savor the taste a little longer. Order one, order two, order three if you must. Just make sure you get over to ‘Juan y Pinchame’ to experience this culinary gift to the world.
Blanco y Negro**
Travesía de Laurel, 1
‘Blanco y Negro’ should be on everyone’s pinchos hopping in Logroño list! This lively little bar is located right in the middle of all the action and their pinchos are extremely reasonably priced. For those adventurous-minded pincho enthusiasts, their specialty is a pincho called “matrimonio.” Courtney describes this pincho as “a hotdog style bun filled with two types of marinated anchovies and a slice of pickled green pepper.” At the time the matrimonio wasn’t that appealing to me, but I have to admit I’m a little bummed I didn’t taste it.
What I did order was two of their brushetas: the “queso de cabra, jamón y mermelada de frambuesa” (goat cheese, ham and raspberry jam) and the “calabacín, jamón y mozzarela” (grilled zucchini, ham and mozzerlla). Both are served atop a “texas-toast” style garlic bread, warmed and melted to perfection. They even had a gluten free bruscheta option: “bocatita de jamón, pimiento y salsa” (a little ham and pepper sandwich on gluten free bread).
The restaurant was super crowded (the Spanish seal of approval), so we posted up right outside of the restaurant at a standing table. These types of tables are very typical in Lorgroño and really all of Spain. It emphasizes the Spanish desire to be social in all aspects of living!
La Tortilla del Albergue**
Calle Portales, 33
Both Courtney and two teachers from my school (Logroño locals) highly recommended ‘La Tortilla’ as their favorite place to get a pincho of tortilla in Logroño. Tortilla de patata, or a Spanish Omelet, is my favorite Spanish staple, so obviously I had to check it out!
For those of you that may not know, a basic Spanish tortilla is made with eggs, potatoes and sometimes onions. Over the years many innovative tortilla lovers have spruced up the recipe a bit to include a variety of other ingredients. One of my favorites is tortilla stuffed with warm goat cheese and caramelized onion. Yummmmm
Instead of getting fancy, ‘La Tortilla’ has focused on perfecting the simplicity of the basic tortilla- utilizing only three ingredients- eggs, potatoes and olive oil. Instead of being bothered with choosing the perfect ingredients for your tortilla, you have a much simpler choice- regular or spicy. This 1,60 Euro slice of omelet may not be ornate, but I have to say it is one of the best I’ve had- and I’ve tried my fair share of tortilla.
When the inside bar is crowded, you can order from a little side ‘walk up window.’ I loved this concept and the fact that you can eat your tortilla right outside avoiding the ravenous masses!
Calle del Laurel, 13
We passed this little bar on the way to another on Courtney’s list. She didn’t mention ‘Bar Doností’ in her recommendations, but a little blue “Sin Gluten” sign outside of the restaurant snagged our attention. (Not to mention the pincho pictures lining the entrance looked, for lack of a better word- amazeballs.) Their specialty, or should I say specialties, are warm little goat cheese toasts topped with your choice of marmalade and nuts. The gluten free option was just the same, only atop gluten free bread.
We enjoyed these little toasts so much, that we returned for lunch the next day, and then once more for good measure before catching the bus back to Madrid. And thank god we did, because I got to try them all! The peach and apple were delicious, but my favorite was definitely the tomato!
Calle del Laurel, 11
This bar was a little pricier than the others, but I like to say you get what you pay for. ‘Bar Laurus’ goes above and beyond with a more decorative and elaborate approach to their pinchos. They balance high quality ingredients with flawless presentation.
I decided to drag my friends to Bar Laurus for a little indulgence- Courtney’s recommendation of the Solomillo. The way she described this dish in her blog post literally made my mouth water. Well, the bartender was not sure what I was asking for and brought out the chef, who, to my dismay, informed me that the Solomillo was from a past menu and no longer available. Horror!
Thankfully, life goes on and Courtney had a second recommendation 🙂 I ordered the Bacalao y langostino, and basically forgot all about my previous troubles. Crispy, lightly fried perfection. (I may have burned my tongue a little bit, but only because I couldn’t wait any longer for the thing to cool down!)
La Taberna del Laurel**
Calle del Laurel, 7
Courtney’s posts mention ‘Bar Jubera’ as her favorite patatas bravas joint in Lorgroño, but unfortunately the owners had closed the bar for the month.
On the hunt for one of (the other) Courtney’s favorite gluten-free dishes, we came across ‘La Taberna del Laurel,’ who also specializes in these divine little potatoes. I have to admit, I’m not a huge potato person (I know it’s weird), but even I couldn’t put my toothpick down. These big juicy chunks of potato had the perfect ratio of brava sauce (thin spicy red sauce) and ali oli sauce (creamy white garlic sauce).
A Tu Gusto**
Calle San Juan 21
‘A Tu Gusto’ is known among Logroño locals as a great place to satisfy your seafood cravings. They boast creative creations of every type of seafood you could imagine! All of their artistic pinchos line the bar, so you know exactly what you’re ordering and choose from what you see. For all the land dwellers out there, they have alternative classic Spanish options such as patatas bravas or jamón. I went with the most interesting looking pincho I could find- a large fried shrimp sitting on top of a type of dumpling filled with squid ink and calamari. I wasn’t really sure how to go about eating this massive pincho, but dove in face first with no regrets.
Tip: Wherever you go, be sure to ask for the bar’s specialty- the specific dish that keeps patrons coming back! Each bar usually only has a few options to choose from, because they know what they do well and they stick to it!
Yet another successful eating experience, with thanks to Courtney for all of the wonderful recommendations!!!
There were so many great bars that Courtney mentioned in her posts that I didn’t have time to get to! So, if you’re heading to Logroño be sure to check out her series of ‘Pintxo Hopping in Logroño’ posts to catch whatever I missed!
- Pintxo Hopping in Logroño: Calle San Juan
- Pintxo Hopping in Logroño: Calle Albornoz
- Pintxo Hopping in Logroño: Calle Laurel
- Pintxo Hopping in Logroño: Travesia de Laurel
- Pintxo Hopping in Logroño: Calle San Agustín
- Tips for Pintxo Hopping in Logroño
Interested in finding out more about Lorgoño’s gluten free options? Check out (the other) Courtney’s post on gluten free pinchos crawling in Logroño!