Bodega have been on my radar now for a while. I’d heard wonderful things about their restaurant in Leicester as a few of my friends had been and written about it. But the thing is, I don’t visit Leicester very often so I’ve always missed out. Until now!
A few months ago (I think I was on my way to The Orange Tree) I noticed that Bodega was opening soon in Derby. There were some posters up in an empty restaurant at the bottom of Sadler Gate. Honestly at the time I thought to myself “I wonder if they’ll put on an event when it opens” and spoiler alert they did and I was lucky enough to be invited!
When we got there the party had well and truly started! We were immediately given the warmest welcome and a margarita each to sip on while we had a look round. The place was packed and the atmosphere was electric!
The décor is bright and vibrant. The most impressive part is probably the huge painting on the wall alongside the staircase. It’s genuinely a work of art and it’s a fantastic feature! I particularly loved the lights that hung from the ceiling near the staircase though. I’d have them in my own home if I could!
As important as décor is, a restaurant is nothing without good food so I was super excited to see what Bodega had to offer. We started off with nachos which one lovely lady told me were the best she’s ever had. I’ve got to admit, they were brilliant! The tortilla chips were homemade, super crisp and absolutely loaded full of salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
Next up were the empanadas. I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of them before and wasn’t entirely sure what they were but I was excited to try them! They’re pastry parcels filled with either spicy beef and chorizo or pea, mint and feta served with a habanero ketchup. They were very tasty and ridiculously moreish. I could’ve eaten a plateful!
Not gonna lie though, my favourite dish of the night was the coxinhas. They were chicken with cheese sauce deep fried with a bit of chilli, garlic, spring onion and parsley served with a lime mayo. Oh my goodness I cannot express in words just how delicious they were, I loved them!
Jordan’s favourite dish of the night was the jalapos. Jalapos are green jalapeño peppers stuffed with cream cheese, covered in a crispy crumb and served with lime mayo. He had spotted them floating around the place but hadn’t managed to get his hands on one. That was until we caught the attention of a lovely lady with only two left on her tray. I’ll be honest, I had absolutely zero interest in them as jalapeño peppers are way too hot for me but Jordan loved them! So much in fact that the lovely lady let Jordan have her last one, lucky boy!
By this point I was thinking that we had probably tried all of the food and that that was it. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong! The food was flying out of the kitchen! As soon as a tray was emptied it was soon filled up again with something new for us all to try.
Next up was the Dr Pepper marinated pork tacos. I was a little sceptical as usually anything cooked with any sort of fizzy drink gets a no from me. However they were truly delicious! The pork was so soft and juicy and the tacos were bursting with filling. Also I couldn’t really taste the Dr Pepper. I don’t know if I was supposed to but either way it was better for me not to because I don’t normally like it!
We also had the opportunity to try their quesadillas. I love quesadillas so I was super excited. They served up both the mole chicken and the cheese and roasted vegetable ones. One of the girls told us that the sauce had peanut butter in and that it was savoury but that it made them very rich. We could taste the peanut butter and, she was right, they were rich. I honestly couldn’t decide if I liked them or not but I’d definitely be willing to give them another try. As for the roasted vegetable quesadillas, what was not to like? They were super yummy, just like I knew they would be.
At this point we’d been there for a couple of hours and a few people had left. We decided to stick around a little longer because our bus wasn’t due for another half an hour and we wanted to make the most of the night.
We made the right choice for sure as after a short while people were starting to bring round trays full of churros for us to try. I absolutely love churros so I couldn’t wait to get hold of one! Bodega serve them with a silky caramel sauce which runs into the ridges of the churro and makes them even more delicious than normal plain ones. It goes without saying, they were a hit with everyone!
We were well and truly stuffed and left soon afterwards to catch the bus home. Jordan and I don’t often agree when it comes to food as we have such different tastes however we both agreed that Bodega has the potential to be our favourite independent restaurant. Maybe even our favourite restaurant in general!
I almost always come away from press events feeling excited however I rarely leave feeling absolutely infatuated with a place. I adore Bodega. I adore everything from the location to the people to the food.
The food incorporates a mix of South American flavours but it’s done in an authentic and tasteful way. So many restaurants make food unnecessarily fatty or greasy and offer almost the same meals as what you could order in the place next door. Bodega is different and they do it so well!
If I’ve tempted you enough to give Bodega a try then you can book a table online or check out their menu. All of the dishes I’ve mentioned are included on their current menu. Also if you’re not from Derby you can find Bodega in Leicester, Worcester and Birmingham too.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever visited a Bodega restaurant. If so, what did you think? Do you love it as much as I do? If you haven’t tried Bodega yet then has my post tempted you to?
Our food and drinks were gifted in exchange for this blog post.