Few things in the world would make two catalans agree. They will argue or politics, cinema and, mainly, about Barça players. But there’s one thing where all catalans and Barcelona locals will agree: The best Bravas in Barcelona, are in Bar Tomás!
Maria and Me have been visiting Bar Tomás for ages, but last week was very special. This is our 100% biased review of the charismatic bar.
Bar Tomas Review
Bar Tomas is located in the very heart of the Sarrià neighborhood. As many other hoods in Barcelona, Sarrià was one town itself before the Cerdà plan that expanded the city out of the original walls during the 19th century. The church, the main street (Gran de Sarria) and some old constructions, remind the visitor every moment the pride of a village converted to neighborhood.
Sarrià is very popular and well stablished place. Many would say Posh, plenty of High Schools, Institutes and University. And the students have the tradition to go for Tapas to Bar Tomás.
Bar Tomás is, probably, the most popular tapas place in Barcelona. But the price of the fame didn’t change it’s soul at all. It keeps being the bar it has always been, with a very charismatic staff.
The tapas menu is not very variated: Bravas, Ensaladilla Rusa (Russian Salad), Croquetas, Boquerones, and this sort of easy and classic tapas. It is worth calling out that it’s very popular too at the lunch time for it’s menus, with include a variated number of “Platos combinados” (although it gets very crowded then).
The legendary Bravas
But what made Bar Tomas a legend in Barcelona (you will never meet a Catalan in Barcelona who has never been there) are their famous Patatas Bravas.
The main thing to call out is that they are different to any other Bravas you’ll have. First, the “salsa brava” or “Brava sauce” is not a hot tomato sauce as we usually have (like a strong spicy ketchup texture). In Casa Tomas, the Brava sauce is a 2 elements composition. A very strong Allioli and a touch of very liquified hot sauce, over it (as you can see in the picture).
The other difference is the texture of the chips, which are not crispy fried, but boiled first. That makes them soft, so they blend with the allioli and the hot sauce perfectly. I’m mouth watering right now!
If you leave Barcelona without visiting Bar Tomas… you missed something big! That’s a mandatory stop, as Sagrada Familia or Las Ramblas. But not only for the unique Bravas, but for the Real, Authentic Barcelona atmosphere you will find inside. Just don’t tell your friends and keep the secret between us, tourist free!
Well, as we can not send you to Barcelona to taste them, we will at least share a Bravas recipe with you that you can prepare with your friends. Stay tuned!
Xavier & Maria