Sometimes, familar is just what you need.
I’ve been going to Bodega in Birmingham for many years now and whilst I still mourn the demise of the Seafood Nachos (they were amazing) it remains one of my favourite places for a late lunch or a dinner washed down with a cocktail or two….
Life logistics this month have meant long days and a lot of trips back and forth to Worcester so the idea of going somewhere comforting and familiar was an attractive one and so we headed to the Worcester branch of Bodega for what I can only describe as a food hug.
The Décor at Worcester is a little more restrained than its flagship sibling and it feels like a more spacious, laid back and family friendly environment with some of the technicolour exuberance tampered down which works well for it’s location. I love Bodega Birmingham for its bright colours and energy so it was interesting to see the change in atmosphere at a different location- it was just an enjoyable and I liked that it still felt unique.
I was pretty pleased to discover that we had arrived at happy hour and decided to make the most of the 2 for £8 deal. I decided against my favourite drink (a Blueberry & Elderflower Margarita) in favour of the classic version as it felt like an age since I’d had a cocktail. For something new, I opted for the Mezcal Gin & Tonic and thought it particularly commendable that I was asked if I was familiar with Mezcal to make sure I was happy with what I had ordered and knew what to expect. Having recently experimented with smoking our own Gin at home the idea using Mezcal for a G&T was an exciting one and worked very well with our later meal choices. I thought this would be the sort of drink that you would only want one of but it seemed to draw me in and I rapidly found myself at the bottom of an empty glass looking for a refill.
Bodega is one of those places where I am always drawn to a couple of dishes that I know I really like so I sometimes have to force myself to pick something different – I was only partly successful in achieving this time round but will keep trying.. We opted to share our starters and went for a bowl of Coxinhas which were *so* crisp, utterly delicious and packed full of shredded chicken and an oozy, lightly spiced cheese sauce. This is the kind of thing you would want stacked up in the middle of the table to snack on as you and your friends work your way through the cocktail menu, preferably with a pile of jalapos on the side. I could have happily have eaten another portion without even thinking about it. For us, no meal is ever complete without cheese so we couldn’t help but order a plate of grilled halloumi, the pineapple salsa is something we are very fond of and we have attempted our own version of this at home a couple of times.
Jordan went for the beef burger and I inevitably helped myself to his sweet potato fries which I am incapable of resisting. My choice was the Brazilian xim xim after realising that I’d had it in a few places before but had never tried the Bodega version. Notably, the prawns that came with the dish were large and very well cooked, I will eat prawns every day of the week if I can get away with it but I am often disappointed as a few seconds too long in a pan and they are ruined but these were just right and they arrived in equal abundance to chicken. Using the homemade tacos (I love these) as crispy shovels for the creamy peanut sauce and rice makes for a more casual dinner and was just the thing I needed after a long few weeks. Whilst I would have preferred a stronger peanut flavour, I will also eat heaped spoonfuls of satay sauce on its own so I wouldn’t trust my judgement when it comes to anything made with nuts.
I had expected to finish of the evening with a sweet treat, remembering how much I had enjoyed the chocolate cake (pastel de chocolate pegajoso) in the past but I just didn’t have the energy left for any more food so will have to wait for my next visit. After recently discovering the weekday meal deal its probably a good thing that I don’t work in Birmingham at the moment or I would be too tempted to have a daily burrito…
14 Foregate St,