When we walk through the streets of any French city, these are filled with restaurants, bistros, brasseries, bars and cafes, and almost in all French menus we can find the essential French sandwich, the croque-monsieur. First appeared in the menu of a Parisian restaurant in 1910, this sandwich is made with bread, ham and gruyere cheese or Emmental. It's heated on a flatiron and usually served au gratin.
Invented by construction workers
There are many stories about how croque-monsieur was created, and we don't know with certainty if it's true, but we enjoy the version that some masons who were working in construction site in Paris, left accidentaly their ham and cheese sandwiches on the radiators; after a while they discovered that the cheese had melted, ham had been cooked and bread had roasted, transforming a "mistake" in one of the most delicious sandwich of world.
Can you prepare a Bikini?
In 1953 in Barcelona, a new venue opened, a dance hall with a minigolf court inside called 'Bikini' nowadays, it's a club located in the upper area of the Condal city. In it's menu, the 'croque-monsieur' was famous, but back in those days, Spain was ruled by the dictator Francisco Franco, and he prohibited the use of both French and English expressions in the daily life, so it was called by the name 'home sandwich'.
Fortunately, the success of the sandwich was such, that people began to ask for the sandwich as: 'the sandwich prepared at the Bikini', later this evolved to the point that anywhere in Catalonia, to order a croque-monsieur must be ordered as: 'can you prepare a bikini?'
Where can you eat the best Croque-Monsieur in France and best Bikini in Catalonia?
A Croque Monsieur ready to be eaten!
Cafe des Phares: In the famous Bastille square, we find a Croquette Monsieur covered with a smooth layer of melted gorgonzola and served with delicious chips and salad. Just speechless.
Crock'n'roll: Located in the city centre, you will find the best Croquette
Monsieur in different varieties from the classic sandwich to one made with salmon and spinach, you can even make your own. It has an exhibition hall and good
music with a cool environment.
Square Maker: located in Marseille's port, they prepare the sandwich in front of you, with a lightly toasted bread and tasty cooked ham. Perfect for having one after a long walk through the city.
The typical catalan bikini. Don’t ask for it out of Catalonia!
Granjas la Catalana: Located in many points of Barcelona, in these venues you will find the classic bikini, but you can also order it with a fried egg and turn this famous sandwich into a Croque Madame.
König: Enjoy one of the best bikinis in the city, as you roam through the
beautiful streets of the historic centre.
Puntos y Comas: Situated in the centre of the capital of l'Alt Emporda, you can eat tasty classic bikinis and different varieties with bacon and fried egg.