Review of Gandarias
This wasn’t my first visit to Gandarias. I had stopped by previously on brief stops in San Sebastian when travelling between France and Spain. I discovered Gandarias after searching for Steakhouses back in 2014 and was thrilled by a very reasonably priced and delicious-melt in the mouth steak. I’ve been wanting to go back ever since. This review is part of the City of Steak special which you can read here.
Gandarias is both a pintxos bar and a full restaurant. The pintxos bar serves mostly seafood pintxos while the restaurant has an extensive and very meat based menu. Upon arriving at Gandarias we squeezed through the throngs of pintxos eaters and made our way into the more spacious restaurant area. We were seated toward the back of the restaurant and were briefly entertained by an American tourists one loudly and ludicrously declaring the bottled water she ordered to be the best in the world, with another interrogating her waiter about the dietary contents of every single item on the menu. I’d forgotten how well Americans travel.
We ordered Octopus and a 1.1kg “Old aged T-Bone steak”, a delicious new take on surf and turf I suppose. I wanted to double check that I was getting Txuleton so I asked the waitress who looked confused whether the steak was definitely Txuleton. I had to spell the word on my phone and then she says “Oh, TXU-LETON, Si, yes it’s Txutelon”. The waitress asked how I wanted the steak, glanced at us (I look English) and asks medium-well? I asked for it to be as rare as possible and she laughed with relief. The Octopus arrived promptly and was carved in square chunks and covered in Paprika. It was tender and tasty, almost a cross between chicken and fish. An excellent appetizer for the steak.
The Steak arrived, perfectly rare and carved into slices. Despite being called a T-Bone steak, it was really just the Sirloin part of the T-Bone, making it actually a bone-in sirloin. The steak was unexpectedly tender as well as being quite beefy (but not as much as expected). The steak closest to the bone was also the most tasty. Given the cut of steak and the breed of cow there was copious amounts of fat. Combining some of the chunks of fat with the beef created an insanely pleasurable taste.
We paired the steak with the Trus Reserva 2012, a medium body Spanish red wine which worked brilliantly with the Txuleton. I tried to get additional details about the steak, but there was a mixture of lack of knowledge from the staff combined with my Spanish being limited to uno, dos or tres cervezas por favor.
The 1.1kg steak cost 40 Euros, while the rest of the food (Octopus, padron peppers, wine, water and dessert) cost a further 74 Euros for two people. At 114 Euros all in for two people, it was astoundingly good value.