I was going to keep this series to only about three places each street and that’s really difficult with Calle San Agustín. I like this street even more than Calle Laurel. Not only is San Agustín full of bars and restaurants, but it also opens up into a plaza with two favorite bars. The plaza is located in front of the Museum of La Rioja, connecting to Calle Portales. This puts you right in the center of Logroño’s old town.
As San Mateo is now in full swing (September 20-25), the streets of Calle Laurel are packed and the atmosphere is wonderful. For lunch today we decided to go to San Agustín to refresh our memories about our favorite pintxos. Here are the results…
Perdidos al Ríos Calle San Agustín 5
Located close to the “end” of the street, this restaurant has a pintxo bar downstairs as well as a full restaurant upstairs. They have also just opened a “terraza” across the street where they’ve set up a garden with private tables in the shell of a destroyed building. It sounds rough, but it has a hidden, romantic atmosphere. Jay and I have two favorite pintxos here, but apart from that they also have a tasty arroz negro.
- Secreto iberico is Spain’s better type of ham (above serrano) grilled and dripping in sauce. I have yet to determine what exactly the sauce is, but Jay and I try to make an equivalent at home with secreto and sweet onions.
- Pintxo de foie, manzana, y queso is a small cut of foie and carmelized apple, served with small cookies for dipping.
El Ricón de Alberto Calle San Agustín 11
El Ricón is one of the first bars we ever tried in Logroño. We tried the croquetas which were introduced to us as “the best croquetas on the street” and I completely agree. This is a nicer bar with set tables inside if you choose to eat a larger meal. If you want to stand outside for pintxos they will bring your food out to you. The bar owner is so nice! Croquetas de la abuela is literally “grandma’s croquetas.” I’m assuming this means it’s a grandmother’s recipe, but you know how many restaurants claim that.
- Croquetas de la abuela are small, fried balls of a mixture of milk, flour, cheese, jamón, and possibly more. They are absolutely amazing when the cook makes them fresh. Sure you’re gaining a bazillion calories with each bite of fried dough, but they’re smooth, light, and heavenly. For extra points, smear them onto a piece of bread that comes with the pintxo.
Bar La Anjana Calle San Agustín 8
This bar opens up into the street from one side, connecting with Plaza San Agustín, which I mentioned earlier. Their name translates to “the Fairy Bar.” The great part about this place is that you can get delicious pintxos but also get larger drinks (hence the pintas in the photo) for a good price. If you order a pint, you’ll most likely be given a small tapa of what I’ve just decided to call fishy chips: teeny, tiny fish fried in batter.
They have a lot of variety. Inside the bar display in the photo you can see a pintxo of olives, pepper, and anchovies, as well as brushetta, but I have my favorite.
- Solomillo al Foie is Bar La Anjana’s star pintxo. It’s a better cut of pork meat layered with a topping of creamy foie served on a slice of bread (pictured on the left). The result is a rich, savory sandwich of sorts.
Bar la Gota de Vino Calle San Agustín 14
Named for a drop of wine, this place obviously has a great wine selection. There’s a lot of space to sit down inside if you don’t mind the cheesy decorations. The only pintxo I’ve tried here is the best one on the menu, zorropitos.
- A zorropito is served as a typical Spanish bocadillo, but hot and fresh. The bread is stuffed full of sliced ham, a juicy slab of pork meat, melted cheese, and ali oli sauce.
It’s a really special time to be in Logroño for me because of the fiestas, the new auxiliars arriving, getting to know new people, and Jay and I’s one year anniversary of arriving in Spain comes up in just a few days. I’ll have the posts for all those fun moments soon.
My next pintxo post features the famous Calle Laurel. Stay tuned! Viva San Mateo!