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  • Writer's pictureGard Karlsen

Not highly impressed by Pincho Nation

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Pincho Nation is a franchise that has just opened in Stavanger (on Skagenkaien) and it has a colorful circus like interior and focuses on smaller dishes and colorful cocktails. I think the name pinchos is from the Basque pintxo which are small bar appetizers that can be found all over Bilbao and San Sebastian. A trip to this region is highly recommended and we had the pleasure of visiting Bilbao earlier this year. On paper, the Pinch Nation looks like a great concept as there is quite a lot to choose from at affordable prices but I was not very impressed with the very limited wine selection.

The place has been very popular since it opened, and we finally got a table at 5.30 PM on a Friday in October 2023. We got a box of popcorn when we arrived and were taken to our table and given some info on how it works. You use the app to order food and drinks and pick it up when you get a notification in the app. We started by ordering some drinks to get an aperitif but after 15 minutes, it was still not ready. It gave us time to look at the menu and we ordered 6 dishes (the recommendation was 4 to 6 per person I think) and were a bit surprised when the food was ready before I had gotten my mojito aperitif. In the end it took 25 minutes to get a drink and a glass of wine, which is not acceptable.

All the food was served at the same time and was served on planks and there is a contraption at the table to place it on. We decided to share everything, and the beef taco was not bad (a bit like a Norwegian taco) and it would have been great with more defined chimichurri topping. The fish & chips was not very exciting: the fish was boring and the fries were a bit stale. The nduja toast was not bad but I would have liked to see more kick from the nduja. The crispy cauliflower was one of my favorites and it seemed to be freshly made and came with a mayo that was good. The mushroom risotto is always tricky – it did have mushroom taste, but it was overcooked (a bit like when you reheat the risotto the next day). The BBQ onion burger looked quite good in the photo but turned out to be the biggest disappointment as it was very, very dry.

The conclusion is that it is great to see that there is room for all sorts of food concepts in Stavanger! We try to support local restaurants instead of the franchises so we will probably head to e.g. Restaurant Bravo to share some lovely small dishes, or head to Hermetikken Vinbar for some good wine by the glass, or to Pjolter og Punsj for good cocktails with a Nordic twist.

Pros: Lots of smaller dishes to choose from Colorful and fun interior Food was served fast

Cons: The food was not great Drink service was very slow

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