Friday, March 25, 2016

Back to Bodega

Bodega on Main Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Back to Bodega on Main! Already? I know, right? But I'd been telling my friends about the paella, and someone had a birthday, and it just sort of came together.
Online menu looks like it's been updated, with paellas showing at $28.

Forgot to bring my usual Yelp pen, so look for clues in the pictures for scale -- sometimes close-up pictures make things look bigger than they are. Sorry everyone.
Also, they turned down the lights and suddenly we're practically eating by candlelight only. I used the flash on my smartphone, but that sometimes makes things glisten more than they should, like these beef short ribs that look dusted with gold.

Pet Peeve: The room was already loud with conversation, and shortly after 6pm they turned the music up even louder. Like I wasn't already having trouble hearing my dinner companions. Duh. I'm really tempted to dock points for this...

Costillas de Res ($18) braised (beef) short ribs
  • At $18 you get a pretty big slab of meat (about a 12 oz steak?). Despite it being rib, there's not that much bone.
  • Meat really tender and came apart easily by just separating them with a fork and spoon.
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - beef short ribs

2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - beef short rib meat closeup

Champinones ($8) sauteed mixed mushrooms, garlic, sherry, finely grated aged manchego; gluten-free
  • Mushrooms swimming in oil. Which sounds awful, but it's actually not that bad.
  • Cheese really only on the top mushrooms. By the time the plate got passed to me, none of mine had any cheese.
  • The oil slides off the mushroom. Heck, pretty much everything slides off the mushrooms, so you have to get at the garlic in the oil to condiment your 'shrooms unless you just want to eat what tastes like boring sauteed mushrooms.
  • The oil is quite fragrant (really helped by the generous amount of garlic in it), so you could save it to use elsewhere, such as on bread or even added to rice from a paella order to jazz things up a bit.
  • Fat mushrooms, and pretty good price for portion at $8.
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - mushrooms

Mejillones Picantes ($7) mussels in a piquant sauce with diced hard boiled egg; gluten-free
  • Sardine can with mussels hidden under what sort of tastes like Thousand Island Dressing.
  • Kind of a waste of time because all I could really taste was the sauce. Don't pay $7 for sauce.
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - mejillones picantes

Paella Negra ($28) squid ink rice, prawns, calamari, baby squid, mussels, clams and langostinos; gluten-free
  • Much less salty tasting that the Paella Mixta I had last time at Bodega on Main. On top it is bordering on a bland not-salty, but it gets more savory toward the bottom where the juices settle. Even so, the rice at the very bottom is still less salty than the Paella Mixta.
  • Composition is mostly the same as the Mixta, including the two giant prawns. We were three at the table, and I would have liked that they trimmed the smaller prawns off, and maybe some mussels, and instead gave us three big prawns.
  • We used the lemon but it didn't seem to really make a dent in the flavour. Maybe try using the lemon right on the rice you transfer to your plate.
  • Careful how you handle the prawns because the squid ink is not just soaked into the rice but coats just about everything. Watch your clothes!
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - paella negra

Pollo Frito ($7, or $5 during happy hour) brined and deep fried free range chicken drummettes, garlic and sherry
  • Nice garlicky dip.
  • Very crispy on the outside and stayed that way for quite a while (half an hour or so?). Sort of dry on the inside, sadly.
Pot of tea ($2.50)
  • Smaller pot, which is not a bad idea since if you drink it too slowly there won't be too much cold water inside to mix with a refill of hot water.
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - pollo frito and pot of tea

Jamon Iberico de Bellota ($18) "the finest ham in the world"; gluten-free
  • Looks gorgeous. And check out that fat!
  • Thinly sliced yet very flavourful.
  • Tasty as cured meats go, but so painful at $18.
2016-Mar-25 Bodega on Main - jamon iberico de bellota

We were three persons and happily sated at a bill that came in just under $90 for the food portion (before tax and tip). A couple of duds in there, but mostly quality dishes for $30 per head is pretty fair value here. As before, if you are on a budget, go just for the paella for the superb price-to-portion ratio.

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