WHILE WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE DECOR STANDS OUT, there is more to the retro tortilleria than the paparazzi adorning its walls. Conceived by photographer-architect tandem Alfonso Milá and Leopoldo Pomés some 40 years ago, Flash Flash was primarily spurred by a love for tortillas, a desire to eat well and an aversion to the noise resulting from poor restaurant acoustics. Neither of the two were professional restaurateurs, bringing their idea to life with only their shared passion and four eccentric conditions for the tortilleria: conditions for improved sound, schedule, servicios and staff.
Good soundproofing was the first condition for the restaurant, which allowed comfortable conversations even at fully-packed mealtimes. To this day, Flash Flash boasts its soundproofing as the best in the city, at least where restaurants are concerned.
The second condition deals with schedules and fiestas. Any resident of Spain knows what it's like to head out to a restaurant, only to find it closed on that day, if not for the rest of the month. Flash Flash overcame this custom, employing double headcounts to ensure that the tortilleria stays open all year round, save for Christmas day.
Third condition was to change the concept of servicios, or bathrooms, as they knew it back then. In the era of the tortilleria's conception, lavatories amounted to no more than dark and dismal compartments. Milá and Pomés aimed to differentiate from the norm, designing for Flash Flash what was considered the first attractive lavatories in Barcelona. Flush Flush?
Fourth and last, was to keep service retro. Retro in a sense that the staff maintained kindness and warmth; qualities hailing from a more ancient time where waiting tables was deemed a most dignified profession. Noteworthy service, I attest to that!
Two friends, four conditions, one tortilleria. Sustaining the restaurant's success for over four decades now, the four conditions are perhaps too much of a mouthful for recommending that fabulously mod tortilleria in Sant Gervasi. At the end of the day, it's the one with the Twiggy-esque paparazzi on the walls. See the rest for yourself!
Flash Flash Tortilleria, C/ La Granada del Penedès 25, Barcelona. www.flashflashbarcelona.com Photos by Lady San Pedro.