It’s been almost two years since our Euro trip where we had the most delicious Spanish tapas we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a hankering for them since. Enter Aladdin and Kish, who came along for the ride at La Bodega, a long-standing institution of Spanish food in Vancouver.
It just wouldn’t be right to start off a Spanish meal without sangria. We would’ve preferred it a little sweeter, but it did the job.
Kish had a serious sweet tooth, so she got a can of Pop Shoppe: an old-school Canadian soda that was first made in 1969. WUT.
We started off with chorizos palacios picante: dry cured pork sausage with garlic and paprika. It packed some sweet heat and before long the entire plate was gone. We nibbled too fast. 😞
Next came the membrillo y queso: aged manchego cheese with quince jelly. Because you can’t eat Spanish food without having cheese. It’s like, a sin. Manchego is a firm cheese native to Spain that’s aged from 60 days to two years. We’d had it pretty often on our travels, but not with quince. The funny thing is that it’s called “quince cheese,” but it’s really a sticky, sweet jelly. The two combined made for an explosion of flavour—loved it. A++++++
A dish that we remembered having in Barcelona: stuffed peppers. The piquillo rellenos peppers at La Bodega were stuffed with goat cheese, basil, dates, and marcona almonds. These were little bite-sized morsels of rich, soft, decadence. #ded
Next to hit our table was the pincho moruno: grilled marinated beef skewers.
The beef was tender and juicy while still being slightly charred, so basically exactly what we we’re looking for in grilled meat. The green oil/sauce at the bottom reminded us of when we were in epic-surf-town San Sebastian and how often we’d find the same oil at the bottom of our pintxos.
Aladdin somehow still surprises Mell with his food choices and ordered boquerones en vinagre to the table. We saw these marinated anchovies EVERYWHERE when touring up and down the country. Finally trying them for the first time, Mell sort of enjoyed the salty/vinegary fish but loved the intense nostalgia and remembering trying to snap quick pictures of the food in shop windows. ❤️
The arroz español was the only dish that disappointed us tonight.
As a standalone dish, there wasn’t anything that stood out in terms of the taste or the rice’s texture… when eaten with some of the other dishes, it was okay. But by itself, meh. There wasn’t much seafood either.
Both Kish and Mell really wanted to try the albondigas, or meatballs in tomato sauce. So many restaurants around town are offering this as a quick appetizer and we’re not complaining. These were tender and full of flavour from being bathed in rich tomato sauce and manchego cheese. The toasted taters were a nice touch.
Easiest choice ever made: ordering churros that come with warm chocolate and vanilla mascarpone.
This was SO SO WORTH IT. Fuck the diet you think you’re on and just get some of these. The chilled mascarpone and rich chocolate all atop the freshly fried, dipped-in-sugar churro—heaven in your mouth.
Taking us down memory lane to the sun-soaked streets of Spain, with curing hams and cheeses galore, we appreciated the little details in our meal at La Bodega. Would come back just to order 5 plates of churros.