10220 103 Street NW, Edmonton (Updated post below)
Last week I went for Bodega for the first time after work. It’s located right on 103rd street and 102 avenue. It’s the sister restaurant to Sabor and they actually even share an entrance. While Sabor offers entrées and a more full service type of dining experience, Bodega focuses more on wine and tapas. When you first walk into the restaurant, there are stairs leading up to Sabor, and then a small seating area with a bar at the bottom.
They serve snacks, chilled tapas, and hot tapas that range around 6-9 dollars, so you can definitely try a lot of different dishes. If you want more of a full meal, they also serve Sabor’s seafood paella, and a number of risottos. After looking at the menu for a little while, we decided on the liver pate, braised pork belly, bacon wrapped dates, and Sabor’s seafood paella.
After we ordered, we were given some complimentary bread and butter. Nothing too spectacular, but it definitely came in handy a little bit later in the meal for the liver pate.
The first thing we got was the liver pate. It’s a combination of chicken and smoked duck pate. This was actually quite nice and fragrant. There’s a thin layer of gelatin that had a mild sweetness to it that really added to the dish. It was nice and smokey, and went well with the bread. We did run out of bread, but as I mentioned, we were able to eat the pate with our complimentary bread to finish the rest. Nice and light dish to start if you like pate!
Next we got the bacon wrapped dates. Ever since I got the devils on horseback from Three Boars Eatery I’ve been obsessed with dates and stuffed dates. These were stuffed with Manchego cheese, and wrapped with bacon. I really enjoyed these. The bacon was nice and thick and wrapped all the way around. The Manchego cheese was light and buttery and was also very good. There was a nice sweetness from the dates, and this was a really balanced dish. I definitely recommend trying this!
The braised pork belly came next, and it came out very hot. It was a bit difficult to cut. There was a nice crispy skin to it, which kind of reminded me of cantonese crispy pork belly that you can get at a BBQ shop. The pork belly was incredibly tender and melted in your mouth. There is quite a bit of fat, and it is a very rich dish. If you’re a big fan of pork belly, this is a really good dish to get.
Their grilled calamari comes with a spicy tomato and lemon sauce. This was really well done. Perfectly tender and soft. Great flavours from the spicy tomato. I really like squid when it’s prepared well and this definitely was.
The Patatas Bravas is fried potatoes topped with a spicy garlic aoili sauce and green onions. Really simple and good flavours. I feel like the other dishes in the same price range might be better since potatoes are so cheap, but this was still relatively good.
Lastly, for savoury food, we got Sabor’s seafood paella. This is the same dish that’s served at their sister restaurant upstairs. It comes with prawns, scallops, calamari, mussles, and clams and veggies on top of a saffron-infused rice. This came out with a very generous amount of seafood. There was a nice amount of everything. The squid pieces were nice and tender and cooked perfectly. Overall, it was a really good dish, and did have a generous amount of seafood. That being said though, for 32 dollars, I really could have gotten like 4-5 other small tapas, which I think I would have preferred. I do like to try an assortment of foods! But it was pretty good.
For dessert, we got their cheesecake and creme brulee. The cheesecake was really good. The acid from the sauce really cut into the sweetness of the cheesecake and it really went well together. The creme brulee had a nice brulee layer on top. I’ve had better creme brulees before but this was pretty good and nice and light way to end your meal
Overall, I really enjoyed Bodega. It’s a great little place to grab a quick bite to eat and socialize with friends. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I really like the concept of tapas and share-plates. You get to try a variety of foods, and when the quality is good, it’s really a great experience. The prices at Bodega is really good, and between two people who get 2-3 each, 12-18 dollars is really modest, and you get 4-6 different things to eat. I could definitely see myself spending $20-25 dollars here with no regrets, and leave full! Give this place a try!
Updated post (February 2019)
I went to Bodega on 124th street for a birthday drinks/tapas and it was quite enjoyable! I really like Bodega and I’m glad there are several more locations throughout the city now. Excellent food and very modest prices!
On this occasion I got the patatas bravas and bacon wrapped dates and liver pate (I updated the pictures above). All were excellent and as good as I remember it!
Additionally, on this occasion I got the Bruschetta. Comes with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, ricotta, evoo and balsamic reduction. Really good and refreshing! Tasty bite
The grilled baby artichokes were cooked perfectly. Garlic-ey and topped with olive oil. Pretty good for a vegetable option!
The tuna tartare was also one of my favourite dishes. Light and refreshing and quite good. Definitely a recommended order as well.
I’ve never had a disappointing meal at Bodega. It has a great atmosphere and a lot of tasty bites. It’s great for sharing and trying new things. I really want to come back and try their brunch!