I find there’s nothing better during the colder months than warming up eating my favourite cuisine – Mexican, and where else better to go than Bodega Cantina in Birmingham! Located on Bennett’s Hill, Bodega has spiced up Birmingham’s local cuisine since it opened in 2010. With its quirky vibrant decor, the restaurant offers homemade South American and Mexican inspired dishes, and with over 18 dishes on the menu there’s something to choose for everyone!
Recently their menu has had a refresh, with the addition of new dishes and improvement of some of the existing ones…the perfect excuse for me and my partner in crime to visit again! As usual upon entering Bodega I was greeted by their warm friendly welcome, and we were soon onto ordering our cocktails whilst we browsed the food menu! We opted for the ‘Bodega’s Burger a la Parilla’ and Peruvian Seco de Pollo, along with a side of Mexican Cola Wings, Colombian Papas Chorreadas, and of course…nachos! No visit to Bodega is complete without their famous homemade nachos.
In no time our fresh homemade food was delivered to the table, and boy were we in for a treat! The array of enticing aromas wafted past me, not only did this food smell amazing but it looked amazing too. I started with the Mexican cola wings, and I was instantly in love. They have to be some of the tastiest chicken wings I have EVER tried. The lightly spiced sticky sauce was delicious, I couldn’t get enough of it. Since the visit I’ve tried making cola wings myself at home but unfortunately can’t master them to the Bodega standard, so I’ll certainly be returning to get my next fix of them soon. The nachos at Bodega are different to any nachos I’ve ever tasted, their crunchy homemade taste really sets them apart. Covered in a mountain of melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa fresco, jalapeños and chicken mole they are definitely a winner. The other side we ordered, Colombian papas chorreadas, was equally as good. The dish consisted of crispy diced potatoes covered with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce, topped with salsa fresco. If you’re a cheese lover like myself then this dish will win you over, it reminded me of a cheesy patas bravas! I had to stop myself from eating it all and save some for my friend.
The sides proved the perfect accompaniment to our delicious mains. My friend opted for Bodega’s burger a la parilla, and to my surprise it was like no burger I had ever seen before. It was a unique take on a traditional burger, and instead of a bun the burger was wrapped in a tortilla. It sounds strange but it surprisingly goes really well and it is actually easier to eat than a normal burger! But my favourite was the main I had chosen – Peruvian seco de pollo. This rich chicken stew was just what I needed to warm me up! Different to any other stew I’d tasted before, the fresh coriander and red chilli within the dish really brought it alive and enhanced the warm hearty flavour of the dish. It’s not a dish I’d usually associate with South America which made it a nice unusual change to the stereotypical street food I always tend to order at Mexican/South American restaurants. If you’re looking for a dish that fills you up and warms your soul Peruvian seco de pollo is the dish for you.
As they say there’s always room for desserts no matter how full you are, so we opted for my favourite – churros, as well as banana & salted caramel cheesecake. The churros were warm, crispy and delicious, with just enough cinnamon sugar to make them not too sickly. But my favourite out of the two was the cheesecake. Served with dulce de leche and a dusting of sugar, I couldn’t get enough of rich creamy flavour of banana. The taste reminded me a bit of banoffee pie, a dessert I adore, which is most likely why I loved this cheesecake so much. For me it has to be one of the cheesecakes with the best flavour combinations I’ve ever tried.
A few cocktails later and we were ready head home. As usual we had an amazing time at Bodega Cantina, with an array of delicious food and fantastic service. I’m already planning my next visit to try out some of the other new items they have introduced to the menu. Whether you’re strolling through town and fancy a quick bite, or want somewhere refreshing for a date night Bodega is the place to go.
You can find out more about Bodega Cantina and what they have to offer on their website.
What’s your favourite South American dish?