Sunday, July 6th marked the very first #PintxosTO Festival in Toronto. Suresh Doss, well known for launching the food truck movement in Toronto as well as throwing some pretty awesome food and drink events, was the man behind this Sunday afternoon tapas party.
So first, what is a pintxo? Unless you’re a serious foodie you may not be aware that it is typically a small snack served in bars most often in Northern Spain but also found all over the country. Full of flavour (and most often served on bread) these exotic bites are an ideal way to enjoy a glass of cava, wine or beer.
The idea of the Pintxos Festival was to offer Torontonians eats from some of our city’s best tapas restaurants – Spanish or not – and that mission was most assuredly accomplished. Participating restaurants included Patria, Bar Isabel, Carmen, Cava, Salt, Barsa, Marben, Bar Buca and Portland Variety – nice, right? Almost too good to be true! But it was reality, and over 800 people lined up to sample some of Toronto’s best pintxos.
While all the restaurants put forth some amazing eats (Bar Isabel impressed with over four offerings, a bar, and an Iberico ham being sliced on the spot), a personal favourite of ours was the beef brochette put out by Carmen. The beef was melt in your mouth delicious and skewered in between a sweet tomato and onion all grilled on the BBQ – simple and delicious (and breadless). Marben also stood out as they recreated a mini version of their own restaurant with an actual sit down area. Chef Rob put out grilled octopus and their famous tomato pan crystal con tomate topped with the outstanding Don Bocarte anchovies. Patria made salt cod cakes as well as a creation that included a tower of Serrano ham over a grilled piquillo pepper. To go along with the Spanish snacks, people sipped on Estrella beer and cava, as well as a delicious pink sparkling from Trius winery.
Overall, the event was pretty great. Sadly, as we chatted with Suresh, we discovered it may be difficult to get this outstanding lineup in one space again, so Pintxos 2.0 may not happen. But if Suresh can pull off another miracle (and who are we kidding – if anyone can, it’s him), we highly recommend checking it out.
Did you get your tapas on at the #PintxosTO festival? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.