We went on a bit of an explore a couple of weeks ago to a small fishing village called Pasajes de San Juan (and the sister village of San Pedro) which is just outside of San Sebastían. It had been recommended to us by a nice Spanish hombre we’d met at a menú del día lunch @ Cantina de Guadalupe and subsequent research made it a must go.
While strolling the one street of San Juan we came across Casa Cámara & stuck our heads into a wonderful, old style dining room looking out on the harbour. It was busy as with mucha gente devouring scrumptious plates of food. We grabbed a card & made the decision to bring Hound #2’s Mum here on her week long visit.
Casa Cámara has been around a wee while – since 1884 when it was family owned & run as it still is today. We were the first to arrive (damn English habits) and scored a spectacular table with a fenomenal view of the port – excellente!
Casa Cámara does not do a menú del día (though they do offer group menus) so it was ordering a la carte – pretty much our first time doing that! Everyone seemed to lean towards the healthy path and making the most of what the Basque Country does so well – seafood.
My primero plato was a Ensalada Temporada de Pimientos, Endivias & Ventresca de Bonito (Warm Salad with Peppers, Endive & Belly of the Tuna). A fantastic mix of flavours and textures that went down well & was delicious mopping up the residual dressing with the crisp bread.
Hound #2 went with a regional favourite – Pulpo (Octopus). Not really seen too much in the States or New Zealand / Australia in our memory but here it is everywhere (salads, entrees, mains, pintxos) and it is so good.
Hound #2’s Mum stuck with a tried & true favourite of the week – Ensalada Mixta (Mixed Salad). The ingredients for this salad generally remain the same across many venues but gets put together in a multitude of ways. This was a perfecto example.
Mum likes her Rodaballo (Turbot) so Rodaballo it was – grilled with a side of verduras (veggies). We heard lots of ‘yums’…
Hound #2 went with one of her perennial favourites for her main – Txipirones a la Plancha (Grilled Squid). By general and unanimous consensus, it was nominated as the plate of the day – super tender squid (I had a couple of bites to verify the vote), grilled to perfection with a mountain of finely grated, fried vegetable mixta as an added bonus.
Para mi, I chose the dish I do not cook enough – Almejas (clams – easy as to cook but very expensive to buy in España). These were estupendo – cooked in a buttery vino, herb flavoured broth that made for an early dessert with lots of bread mopping going on.
We washed all this delicious comidas down with a refreshing & enjoyable rosado from Marqués de Riscal. A cut above many of the rosados we’ve had recently, with a nice salmon colour (vs. the strawberry red) and a bit more heft & weight on the palate minus the usual sweetness.
I opted out of the dessert choices but the other two were keen. Mum went straight for the Tarta de Manzana (Apple Tart) and I state that none was left on the plate (the piece on the fork in the photo is my bite).
And ever so predictably, Hound #2, as though her fate, chose the Mousse de Chocolate…again, none was left.
It was agreed by all that Casa Cámara was an excellent choice and muchas gracias to Mum for the shout…you can come for a visit any time!