$2 Pintxos at Bocadillos

by foodhoe on April 15, 2009

710 Montgomery Street (@ Washington & Kearny), San Francisco | 415.982.2622 | website
see previous posts: 3-16-07| 4-14-077.05.07

Many restaurants are trying to entice patrons by offering wallet friendly menus, and I practically ran over when I read that nearby Bocadillos was now serving a happy hour with $2 pintxos.   We got there soon after opening and they didn’t really have any of the $2 bites ready yet, but they did have a few specials on the menu that were in the approximate price range.  On the left was the Boquerones wrapped Olive with a bit of artichoke and mushroom (2), a Chilled Prawn wrapped around a Guindillas Pepper served over a Deviled egg (3), and a skewer of Kiwi, Sweet Potato and jicama (2).  Hmmm, some of these look more like a garnish to me…

They were dusted with paprika and chopped chives

After a time, we noticed an already picked over tray of the  $2 pintxos sitting on the counter, so we grabbed a few.  These looked like the kind of hors d’oeuvre that you’d see waiters carrying around on platters to serve at fancy parties.  $2 each.  I’m not sure how they keep track of who gets what either, it seemed to be kind of an honor system.  This is beef or lamb with caramelized onion.

Blood Sausage with a slice of apple, the sausage was laced with garlic, dense and meaty.  It took me several savory and deliciously crunchy bites to finish.

The Sauteed Mushroom wafted fumes of garlic and presented a cheery aspect.

We sat near the entrance which was far away from where the tray of the happy hour pintxos were being served, and it just fell out of our radar…  Since the platter of pintxos seemed to be slow on replenishing we decided to order from their regular tapas menu.   I have rhapsodized about the serrano ham before and so we got a small plate of the 18 month Serrano Ham ($16) served with fruity olive oil in a charming little cruet.

The olive oil swathed the already opulent sheer slices of melt-in-your-mouth flesh in sleek luxury

A Selection of Artisinal Cheese ($16), which had a slice of stinky blue cheese and a creamy sheeps milk from Sonoma.  There was a small cube of membrillo or quince paste, a few almonds, and a square of dried figs.  Yes, that’s correct.  5 almonds, 2 bits of dried fruits and a couple skinny knobs of cheese.  For $16.  Ah but it did come with three rolls of rustic crusty bread.

Crab Cakes with a bit of avocado relish (15).  These were tasty but small, slightly larger than the size of a quarte, each cake was small enough to finish in one bite.

To finish off our fine repast, we had the Kefir Yogurt with Strawberries, Honey and Black Pepper (7).  This was really good, the yogurt had been strained of liquid so it was thick like cream cheese and very very tart.   There was just a hint of sweetness when you bit into the honey drizzled strawberries.

Lessons learned: if you are trying to dine on a budget and come for the cheap happy hour, order from the happy hour menu.  Since we strayed onto the regular tapas menu, and when at a happy hour one must order drinks… a glass of Chef Hirigoyen’s personal label wine, a wine flight… we paid close to $40 each… hardly what we were expecting with a $2 pinxtos menu!  However, we had a lovely time and ate very well, just not as much on the cheap as expected.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean April 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Damn, they would have to do this now that I am no longer working in the area. Bah. Good thing I’ve got Contigo in the neighborhood.

Seans last blog post..Thin mint julep


Passionate Eater April 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Oh, I have the same problem Foodhoe! I can never restrict myself from the limiting happy hour menus sometimes. But, since it has dire consequences on my pocketbook, I will have to learn.

Passionate Eaters last blog post..Where’s the Beef? The Best Chicago Beef? Right Here, Baby.


Kirk April 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Hi FH – Looks great…..since they’re using the Basque definition, was there a big difference in what was offered versus the typical tapas restaurant?

Kirks last blog post..Turning up the Heat Part 3 – Ba Ren


Rosa April 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm

A great place! I like wallet friendly restaurants which serve good food…




grace April 16, 2009 at 9:03 am

fancy shmancy! i do love speared food. and yogurt such as what was served to you. and happy hour. 🙂

graces last blog post..a dazzling debut!


The Single Guy April 16, 2009 at 11:43 am

For the pinxtos, did you notice whether they added up your toothpicks? That’s how some other places know how much to charge you. (Then of course if you were in Spain the pinxtos would be free because they would be making money from the wine.)

Everything looked good but the prices did seem a big jump from happy hour to the regular menu. But at least you had a good time!

The Single Guys last blog post..My Apology and Thanks to La Farine


Biz April 16, 2009 at 11:57 am

But the $2 got you in the door – so their job was done! 😀

Gorgeous eats – I wish my hubby liked tiny food – we went to a tapas night ONCE, spent close to $150 with tip (9 courses with wine pairings) and had to stop at Burger King on the way home because he was still hungry!


Cookie April 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm

YUM! That Shrimp over Deviled Egg looks SO good BUT $2 each for just a bite doesn’t seem like THAT great of a deal. They’re right around my work so maybe I’ll still go check it out. At least I know I can still order something that can fill me up for a lil more money right? 🙂

Cookies last blog post..I’m the Next Platinum Chef!


Carolyn Jung April 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm

It’s hard to restrain one’s self at Bocadillos. It’s one of my fave spots. The food is just so soulful and wonderful. The best fried calamari ever, too, and believe me I’ve had lots of fried calamari elsewhere.


Faine G April 17, 2009 at 5:58 am

Pretty delish looking for bar snacks! I wish more restaurants offered kefir as a dessert. Though one does have to factor in tempting menus to the ol’ budget…

Faine Gs last blog post..Dorie Greenspan’s Scallops with Grilled Nectarines and Corn Salad


foodhoe April 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

Sean, ahh but now you have the long anticipated Contigo… lucky you
PE, well I just keep trying dontcha know
Kirk, the $2 bites were made with surprisingly generous pieces of things from their tapas menu.
Rosa, yes I just have to stay focused on the pintxo tray…
Grace, me too for happy hours and such yogurt!
Singleguy, that must have been how they figured things out. I wasn’t paying attention, but that makes sense!
Biz, thanks for visiting! you are correct, it did get me in the door and probably will again. lol about 2nd dinner, I have definitely been guilty of that too!
Cookie, you should, just sit up near the pintxo tray and don’t look at the regular menu.
Carolyn, ya know, I have to go back now for the fried calamari…
FaineG, Yes that kefir was very memorable… I keep thinking about it too… that is what happens with the combination of gorgeous food, brilliant friends and quaffable beverages – the bill comes…


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