We have been disappointed to find that it seems most restaurants and cafés in this region of Spain no longer offer a traditional version of Patatas Bravas.
Weird - right?
Every time we have ordered this dish we have been brought mass produced lumps of deep fried potatoes with a dollop of spicy tomato ketchup (presumably out of a squeezy bottle) and similarly uninspired (and way too much of it usually!) garlic mayonnaise or aioli.
We have gone to numerous places specifically to try their Patatas Bravas with very disappointing results.
Here is a small selection of what we have received:
This was the effort from a pretty reputable vegan restaurant in Valencia city. Hmmmmm...
This one from a lovely traditional tapas restaurant in Denia. Really.....?
This one from a local family run restaurant in Oliva....
I mean - COME ON!
That's just chips with ketchup & mayo init?
Of course, this has inspired us to perfect our own version of this traditional tapas dish.
Although it is already a firm family favourite, and of course awesome - our version may not be as authentic as the history of the dish suggests.
Traditional Patatas Bravas was made with a broth rather than a tomato sauce, and relied on the paprika for the colour and piquancy.
And none of this Garlic mayo nonsense either .
A proper sauce - well - more like a gravy really.
We make our sauce with Tomatoes, garlic and onions, paprika (both spicy and smoky varieties) and a touch of Cayenne pepper.
AND it goes all over the potato - not a condiment added as an after thought but an actual sauce.
Our own version - served with a crunchy side salad.
Sometimes if we're feeling the need for an even more comfort-food type experience we finish the dish back in the oven - so the sauce and potatoes combine more and the potatoes soften and melt in your mouth.
Whatever - we were amazed at the difficulty finding anything remotely resembling what we call proper 'Patatas Bravas'.
However - as it is a favourite pretty much in any way/shape or form - we will continue our search undaunted ;)