I rarely skip breakfast – Why would I even want to? -, but this morning while running out of the house all I managed to grab was my multivitamin mix, which I unceremoniously downed in a single gulp.
Color me grateful when, after wandering through the Casco Histórico of Hondarribia, Chicago suggested we drop by a place that was only a few steps away.
There’s a certain warmth emanating from the eco-hipster interior, walls covered in colorful lettering that contrasts with the cold, extremely windy marina we’re now sheltered from. If it wasn’t in the name, it wouldn’t be hard to guess this place is vegetarian.
The servers are attentive but very aloof, and after waiting around for a while, one of them finally comes out and disinfects our table. Normally, I wouldn’t really give a damn, but COVID, y’all.
We order two cañas and papas con salsa Huancaína to buy some time until it’s 1 pm when the full menu is available. Cañas, btw, are small glasses of whatever’s on tap. In this case, it’s a Mahou Radler, which is perfect as I don’t want something too heavy and Chicago seems to just love Radlers.
The beers are out promptly, but the potatoes take forever.
Worth it, though. I was a little wary of the sauce (and anything with ají in the ingredients), because contrary to what my Mexican blood would have you think, no como chile. Unlike blondie over here who can take the heat. Thaknkfully, the sauce is cheesy, mildly garlicky, and just a little hot. The potatoes are super thick and barely crispy on the outside.
From the moment the server realized he had forgotten our existence, service was actually quite quick. Whether he was trying to make up for the past hour or not, I’m not gonna judge. He’d have to be actively awful, or I’d have to be in a hurry, to bat an eyelash.
The mushroom burger has arugula, caramelized onions, tomato, Havarti cheese, vegan aioli, and a side of potato wedges with more aioli. Straight out lemme just say this may be the best vegan aioli I’ve ever tried. Good enough for me to consider ditching my regular mayo.
Moving on! The texture of the burger is great, although it could use a little more structure. We’ve split it in half, so it crumbles a little while I awkwardly try to keep everything in place. Whether my decrease in meat consumption over the past few years is a factor or not, I’m not sure, but overall this is a pretty satisfying burger. Could’ve used a little salt though.
The other half of our meal was fresh Tagliolini with black garlic (a current obsession of mine), zucchini, mushrooms, black olives, spinach, and parmesan. Individually I’m not a huge fan of 3 out of 6 of those things, but altogether it. Was. So. Good. Until we got to the bottom of it which was again, missing a little salt, and not a shaker in sight. You would think that between the spinach, the parmesan, and the olives it would be enough, but not quite.
I do love how simple the presentation was. I’d seen slate trays and boards before, but not plates, and now I really, really, really want some for my house.
Not gonna lie, dessert may have been wholly unnecessary as we were both sorta full at that point, but it sounded so good I just went ahead and got it. Besides, despite C’s incessant foot-bouncing (always in a hurry, this one), we’re doing ok on time and I’m really enjoying it here.
Coconut and mango panna cotta with sesame caramel and a little sprig of mint. What a way to end lunch.
“I could never live like a European”, he says, spoon in hand. “They live too slowly.”
I, however, think this is the perfect pace.
El Curry Verde is located on Minatera Ibilbidea, Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa and is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 to 15:30, Fridays from 13:00 to 20:00, Saturdays from 10:00 to 20:00, and Sundays from 10:00 to 15:30. Take away is also available.