Pronounced Za-rOW-tz, this seaside town was a charming lunch break after our Txakolí visit in nearby Getaria, even on an overcast day.
We treated ourselves to lunch at Aiten-Etxe, a restaurant overlooking el mar Cantábrico. The traditional Basque fare was very French, starting with the baguette. Olala! Actually, as much as I like to say “olalalala” there is often an anti-French aura here so instead I shall say, hostia! El pan es la hostia! Who would have thought I could find crispy baguette just a twenty minute drive from Lasarte? This is certainly the crème de la crème of encountered pan en País Vasco thus far. Woohoo!
The fried anchoas that followed were excellent as well. If there’s anything I love more than the tentáculos en País Vasco, it’s the fresh anchoas. They are most delicious soaked in vinegar but these fried anchoas surpassed my expectations. The scrooge in me should have just ordered a plate for myself because the entrées we ordered were way too heavy. How French of them. Had the portions been pintxo-sized, okay, sin problema. But buttery, creamy, sauce-laden, enough-to-feed-a-gang-of-hungry-gypsies? No thanks. I can’t even bring myself to post the pictures. All three of our dishes–the beautiful txipirones (squid), lubina (bass) and lenguado (sole)–were drenched in sauce. After three bites mine was too salty. The fishes were drenched in a cream sauce and then bruléed. I’m all for tradition but French tradition still irks me.
Vista del Mar
After the heavy entrées we took a much-needed stroll along the beach, watching the surfers and making new friends.
Every day that I see a pug is a great day. This little fella was especially friendly. Granted, a bit sandy and dirty but all the more endearing, si o no?
I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can return soon to Zarautz–next time for some surfing!