Posted by: travelrat | July 29, 2011

Patatas Bravas and Holy Sauce.

Madrid: 26th March 2011.

On my latest Vaughantown trip, I missed the preliminary tapas party. The BA cabin crews were threatening to play silly buggers again, so, to ensure my flight would take place, I took a later one, operated by Iberia.

As usual, I just browsed on tapas for supper … first, at my usual haunt, the Magaly. Here, I had a little open ham and cheese sandwich and a sort of miniature pasty stuffed with tomatoes with my first beer, and a plate of pickled gherkins, onions, olives and peppers with my second.

Just around the corner was another bar, ‘La Gasolinera’ … I wonder if you’d get away with calling your bar ‘The Petrol Station’ back home.

Here, I had a tapa proper … something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now.

Patatas Bravas!

Now, all this is basically is a plate of chunky chips, served with a spicy tomato sauce. But, as subsequent researches proved, some patatas are more brava that others … in some places, it’s just like putting tomato ketchup on your chips at home. But, at ‘La Gasolinera’, they are perhaps the most ‘brava’ of all.

‘We call it ‘Salsa Sagrada’’ said the waiter who served me.

Holy sauce? Why … ? I dipped a chip in the sauce …

‘Jesus!’ I exclaimed !

‘That’ll be the tabasco we use to make the sauce’ said the waiter.

Now if, as I do, you like your curries and sauces hot, you’ll probably know that you don’t take much liquid with them, but bread … and plenty came with my patatas. I ate all the patatas, and all the sauce … and all the bread!

And, of course, a beer or two afterwards.



  1. Hi Keith,
    I afraid I don’t like anything too hot, so this would not suit me at all, but Hubby loves to try the “too hot” so he would probably have loved this dish. 🙂

  2. It is possible that they call it ‘Holy’ because everyone screams ‘Jesus!!!’ after tasting it… 🙂 But it’s just a guess…

    • You’re right …. although the waiter said the more common remark from his Spanish customers is ‘Madre de Dios!’

  3. My family and I love a bit of spice. We would have scoffed those patatas. I love the name La Gasolinera. Sounds like something from a film!

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