Basque Country Pintxo Champions

Bixente & Mikel Muñoz

The Gran Sol bar in Hondarribia is a landmark in the culture of the pintxo. With an extensive track record of awards and recognitions, the secret of these miniature treats lies in making them “from the heart”. Good ideas, careful preparation and a great team make the success possible.

The bar is located on San Pedro Street, in the La Marina district in Hondarribia. Fronting the bar are the Muñoz brothers Mikel and Bixente. Almost half a century ago their parents bought the place which was already called Gran Sol in reference to a North Atlantic fishing ground.

The Muñoz brothers had always felt restless about cooking. Both were in the bar since childhood. Bixente was learning with the internationally renowned chef Martin Berasategui. Fifteen years ago the bar needed a series of reforms. Bixente decided to return to his parents’ bar and so began the adventure of the pintxos of Gran Sol.

Success comes backed by an extensive track record of awards that have made the Gran Sol a benchmark in the world of gastronomy. Basque and Gipuzkoa Championships, International Medieval Pinchos and Tapas Championships have all crowned Muñoz creations. The long list of awards and competitions in which they have participated clearly show a fine touch for the pintxos of Bixente and Mikel.

The first jury to whom pintxos going to contest are exposed, are the customers of the bar. All pintxos that have been in competition have been produced for at least a year in the kitchen.

The kitchen is open all day. From half past seven in the morning, at which point they begin to prepare the pintxos for the bar, until the stoves are turned off at eleven at night. The Gran Sol has also had a restaurant for ten years. The two kitchens are independent.

Starting from a basic concept and evolving the idea until the desired combination is found; the base is found in the recipes of their home, their family atmosphere with innovations which are the fruit of hard work, research and study. Therefore, the pintxos of Gran Sol are very different creations. No one resembles another since some are more avant-garde and others more traditional.

The team is a fundamental part of the Gran Sol family because ‘A head without a body does not work.’ And that body is composed of twenty people who make it all work.

Faced with such success, there have been many occasions when a franchise has been suggested to them. But without Mikel or Bixente at the head, it just would not be the same. Because the Gran Sol works for what it is, a family bar where there is acute attention to detail and where the best ingredient of the pintxos is the heart.

They make it possible for the most sophisticated and exquisite cuisine to be affordable to all pockets thanks to the pintxos.

The CITY & the Network

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