Locals Only Barcelona | Patatas Bravas at Bar Tomás

The potato is one of the world's most plentiful and common raw materials (in fact the fourth, following rice, wheat and corn), it's certainly the most loved of the nightshades and in many cases as well as historically speaking a pragmatic manner of feeding mouths. Spain has quite a fondness with this beloved tuber brought from their South American "explorations" which they shared with the rest of Europe in the mid 16th century.

From the potato, dare I say thousands of recipes have come to life within the Iberian peninsula. At least in the case of my boyfriend's family, potatoes account as an ingredient in roughly four or five of their weekly meals. One of these famed Spanish recipes, patatas bravas, has become a regular menu item throughout bars and tapas restaurants. The bravas are simply white fried potatoes - think french fries but generally irregular cubed shapes and fried in olive oil - with a salsa brava, a spicy tomato sauce. In Barcelona, Valencia and along the La Costa Levante a small tapas plate of papas bravas will come accompanied with alioli, a garlic and olive oil emulsion, or perhaps a blend of both leaving red and white globs (my preference) on top of the recently fried (ensure they are warm when served!) potatoes. In Madrid and north into Burgos, don't be shocked if you are served only the tomato version, and if your requests for alioli go unnoticed or ignored or are completely scoffed at - there is a collision of interest and identity underlying in that tema.

Now onto the task at hand, finding the best patatas bravas. 



Patatas bravas at Bar Tomás, another example of a toda la vida establishment. Who am I to say if they are the greatest or not, but at one point and time they were deemed the best in Barcelona, maybe in Cataluña, perhaps in all of Spain. However, it seems that the legend has lost some luster - perhaps due in part to unfriendly service and the "I could give a sh*t, here's your beer attitude" - now more or less it's simply a mandatory stop on the route of those that seek out the best patatas bravas. And like all great legends, the opportunity for discovery and perfection keeps us coming back for more and venturing to far far away lands to find our treasure.

Food porn close-up, look at those hips on that alioli. Clara, the mestiza, half Fanta soda, half draft beer sits in the background. 

Besides their famous bravas, you'll be able to sample typical Catalan bar food, seafood tapas, canned shellfish such as cockles, razor clams and anchoives, and even more potatoes in the ensalada Rusa



Bar Tomás
Carrer Major de Sarrià 49
Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
[map]
Transportation: Exit the FGC Ferrocarril at Sarrià
+34 93 203 10 77

Hours:
Daily 12pm- 4pm and 6pm -10pm except Wednesdays. And any holidays that they feel like. 

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