Some restaurants have a story, without the story, there is no context and you might feel a bit lost. Flash Flash is one such place. The story starts 45 years ago, when two couples ventured into food. One was the photographer Leopoldo Pomés and the stencils on the wall are of his beautiful wife Karin Leiz. If you think the space is crazy today, imagine what it felt like back then?
Entirely white. The chairs, the table tops, the banquette, the cutlery, the walls. A red accent on the table in the form of a salt shaker, a red tray for condiments and a red corridor to the bathroom is all that is allocated in the realm of colour. Then the same woman, repeated on all the walls, with a camera pointed at the dinning room and a lightbulb standing in for the flash. Flash Flash. Aha.
The Maitre D – well, they have one. He has been there for an age. The waiter has on a stiff white coat. He has an endearing overbite that makes him look like he is sucking on his bottom lip and it has permanently creased his chin. He nods curtly when we make our choice, whatever choice we make is the right choice.
I am guided by a woman who knows the city. She tells me I have to order the tortilla. “It is liquid inside. The way it should be. And then the burger – it a huge patty of meat, no bun. It comes with a box (red) of mustards and sauces.”
Around us men. Older men. They would have been young when this place was having its heyday. Women join them later. They have the pallor of people who eat a lot of meat. Or maybe it’s their age. Or the winter.
The tortilla we have is filled with artichokes. It’s a salty beige brown mess but rich and baveuse as Sarah has promised it will be.
We order the caper burger. The meat is hand minced and riddled with capers. The fries are fresh. I haven’t had fresh french fries since I was a child eating at tavernas in Athens.
By the time we walk out at 2:45 every table is taken. Except for a table of young tourists drinking Coca Cola with their lunch it is all older local people.
Refreshing, in a transient time where thoughts are expressed in 140 characters or less.
Carrer de la Granada del Penedès, 25