Monday, January 5, 2009

La Bodega - Minneapolis, MN

I had never had Tapas before. Crazy, huh? Well, Chao thought so too so he decided to bring me to La Bodega last night in the Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis. The reviews we read online prior to our visit were lukewarm at best, but Chao and I are are not ones to take other's reviews to heart. We started this blog to tell you all what we think so we set out to do just that.

We arrived to find no other patrons in the restaurant. None. A-1-ZERO. There are two sections of the restaurant. One had signage instructing us that it was the Tapas Bar having traditional tables and chairs and a bar, and the other half was more of a hip and trendy bar area with interesting tables and chairs that looked difficult for eating food. We chose the Tapas Bar and picked our location among the sea of empty tables and chairs. The decor was pretty awesome. The floors were wood and the waitress clunked around wearing heeled boots. The walls were decorated in theme and the bar area was neat.

We were given bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping as a starter. This was good! Chao had a Meringue drink which involved tequila, rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine. He thought it was good and bought grenadine at the grocery store the next day to recreate it. I had wine. Yes, Malbec again. We ordered several small plates including Shrimp with garlic and white wine, Queso Frito, Albondigas (meatballs), a pork and potato dish and a green bean dish. Sorry I don't have all the appropriate names for each but this places doesn't have a website to refer back to. The shrimp was awesome. Even Chao had one and liked it and he is not a seafood eater. The meatballs were also really good. They came with a tangy tomato sauce. The rest of the food was interesting. The pork dish was bland and the potatoes weren't cooked enough so they were a bit tough. Ha ha...tough taters. The green beans were fine but nothing exciting. The Queso Frito was described as fried cheese in tomato sauce and to me seemed to be the most promising item on the Tapas menu. This was a failure. I couldn't find much cheese. I think it might have disinigrated? It tasted like greasy tomato sauce. Bummer.

We decided that this place was pretty good but we wouldn't go back unless we had a great reason. Great reasons include being invited by others for fun, coupons, or being paid to go. We liked the experience and wish it would've blown us away but it didn't.

Top 5:
1. Shrimp
2. Bread with dipping oil and vinegar
3. Meatballs
4. Tapas are fun!
5. Decor

Bottom 5:
1. We were the only ones there for the first 20 minutes of our visit
2. Some of the dishes weren't very exciting
3. The potatoes weren't cooked all the way
4. Where did the cheese go?
5. Expensive for mediocre food

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