5.198 Sopa de Pescados y Marisco


22 (Tue) July 2014

Sopa de Pescados y Marisco


at Victor Montes

-Bilbao, Biskaia, Euskadi, Spain-

with W and DJ, KE

Mission to Spain + Holiday (Day 3 of 9)

In Getxo.  From Monday to Friday, I’ll be attending a 5-day workshop food law.  With W and DJ tagging along, we’ll stay an extra couple days for fun in Barcelona.


Over the course of 11 days, through a combination of personal and professional travels – relating primarily to the aforementioned mission in Spain – I will be in 9 localities across 5 countries, eating and documenting at least 1 meal in each of them.

Today is Day 4 /  Locality 4 / Country 3.

Bilbao is the capital of the province Biscay.  30-minute ride on the metro from Getxo.  10th biggest city in Spain.  Originally, an industrial port city.  Now, a popular tourist destination largely due to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

(For additional posts, see 11/9/5.)

Established in 1997, designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is hailed (by some) as the greatest work of architecture in the latter 20th century.
Puppy by Jeff Koons is a sculpture of a West Highland white terrier standing 14 meters tall, covered in over 38,000 seasonal flowers, which are replaced every May and October by 20 staff over 9 days,.
It all seemed kinda disjointed to me, someone who admittedly knows zero about architecture.

After the second day of the workshop, the social program included a guided tour of the Guggenheim.  Afterwards, we were free to explore Bilbao.

Matter of Time by Richard Serra is a sculpture comprising 8 pieces of torqued ellipses made of weathering steel, a permanent exhibition – weighing 1,034 tons, it would have to be permanent – the most amazing installation that I’ve ever witnessed.
A miniature replica of the installation.

Victor Montes is a Spanish bar/restaurant.  Pintxos and other tapas on offer, as well as seafood and meat main dishes made to order.  Highly reputed on the internet (according to W, who did the research to find us a place for dinner).

Today also happens to be KE’s 40th brithday.  The meal wasn’t exactly a party, but it’s the closest she’s gonna get, at least on the day of.  Happy birthday!

Located in Plaza Nueva, the center of Bilbao’s old town.
Because we were with KE, a white person, and it was her special day, we had to sit outside; at least we were under shade.
Supposedly the original facade, but it seemed rather kitschy.
My kinda place; didn’t ask whether these are available for sample, though I’d imagine that some of them would be.

The food was okay.  The soup, various seafoods in a tomato-based broth, was respectable, no more, no less.  All the dishes were composed of quality ingredients, reasonably well-prepared and well-presented, but lacking any wow.  Maybe after yesterday’s mind-blowing experience with the pintxos, my expectations were too high.

Pintxos (2.0): chosen by KE and W, toppings weren’t really my style (e.g., blue cheese & walnut).
Gambas de Huelva (2.0): shrimp were sweet, but a tad overseasoned.
Chipiron Encebollado (2.5): grilled squid, with some kind of olive oil sauce.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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