Pintxos (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Spanish River North
3 out of 5 stars
Pintxos (CLOSED)
Photograph: Jeremy Bolen Pintxos

In almost every way imaginable—from the laminated picture menus that also serve as place mats, to the wide flat-screens on the wall that broadcast music videos and a ticker exclaiming dining deals—Pintxos (pronounced peen-chose) feels not so much like an authentic Basque restaurant as it does a restaurant in Basque country geared toward tourists.

The one exception to this? The prices. Whereas tourist joints usually gouge the poor travelers, this place (a sister restaurant to Café Iberico) is priced for the economy. Individual pintxos (the Basque version of small plates, usually made up of roasted meats on skewers) never surpass the two-dollar mark, and though they’re small, they’re hearty. (A chorizo pintxo, for example, consists of a skewer impaling four thick slices of the stuff). Spanish tortillas, another focus of the restaurant, are an even better deal: The puffy, open-faced egg-and-potato cakes overflow with generous handfuls of fillings (bacon, artichokes, etc.), so much so that the $8 medium-size version should be more than enough for a table of three. (Provided there are a few pintxos ordered, too.)

The final specialty of the weekend-only (for now) lounge, garlic-roasted drumsticks, is also a deal, but only in theory. The chicken is juicy, and it has a crispy skin, but the absence of salt (and every other possible seasoning) renders it aggressively boring. Unfortunately, a lot of the food here—including almost every pintxo that isn’t a sausage—suffers from the same problem. So ultimately it doesn’t matter how much the food costs; if it’s bland, it’s still a waste of money.

By: David Tamarkin


Venue name: Pintxos (CLOSED)
Address: 737 N LaSalle St, second floor,

Cross street: between Superior St and Chicago Ave
Opening hours: Dinner (Fri, Sat)
Transport: El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Red to Chicago. Bus: 22, 66, 156.
Price: Average pintxo: $3
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