As a family, we enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants, particularly around Birmingham. I also like to encourage Mini to try new flavours and foods. We were recently invited by Bodega Cantina in Birmingham to test out their South American inspired menu.
Bodega is brightly coloured inside, with a fun feeling to the décor. The restaurant offers an informal atmosphere, with music playing in the background that conjures up feelings of being somewhere much more exotic than Birmingham.
The menu at Bodega is split down into street food, small and large plate options. After browsing the menu, Mr Mack and I decided to share the Bodega Seleccion so that we could try out a range of dishes. The selection includes a small nachos of your choice, we went for the beef brisket, Dr Pepper pork marinated quesadillas and Mexican cola wings. These came accompanied by spicy rice and sweet potato fries. At £21.95 for the selection, I felt that this option offered good value for money.
The children’s menu was £5.95 for two courses, including a drink and a vegetable snack pot, again I thought the prices were reasonable. Mini enjoyed doing the activities on her menu whilst waiting for her food, I liked that they were based around South American culture such as colouring a Dia de Muertos (day of the dead) mask.
We enjoyed our drinks whilst we waited for our food to arrive. Mini had orange juice as part of her meal and Mr Mack and I went for a mocktail. Our drinks were lovely and refreshing and full of flavour.
Overall the service during our visit to Bodega was fairly slow, we were there for 1 hour 45 minutes for one course and Mini’s ice cream. Unfortunately it meant that the children were getting fed up and fidgety at the table. Our waitress did come to check up on us, however we’d already waited quite some time for the food by that point, and it took too long to clear the tables too.
When our food arrived it looked tempting, colourful and well presented. In terms of taste and flavour we felt that we had a bit of a mixed bag. My favourite part of the selection was the cola wings, they were crispy in a wonderfully sticky glaze, I could have eaten plenty more of these. Mr Mack is a big nacho fan, and he really enjoyed these too. They had a great crunch and were topped with big chunks of brisket.
We felt that the rest of the selection was ok, but nothing special. Our dishes were also served luke warm, a bit of a pet hate of mine. The Dr Pepper Quesadillas had very little flavour and minimal filling. The spicy rice, sadly had no spice at all and was pretty much served cold. The sweet potato fries were cooked well and had a great crispiness to them, however they were far too over seasoned for me and were too salty.
We liked the variety of the selection offering and it was nice to share the dishes. However, overall I was left feeling a little underwhelmed with the flavour, lack of spice and temperature of the dishes.
Mini’s pizzadilla unfortunately looked very basic and poorly presented. It was a single tortilla wrap with melted cheese. I honestly think she could have made that herself at home. It came with sweet potato fries and vegetable crudities. She said that she really enjoyed her meal and finished it off quickly, I just think the pizzadilla could have been presented better and had more to it, such as a tomato or salsa sauce base.
As part of the Bodega children’s meal deal Mini could choose from vanilla ice cream with toffee sauce or fresh fruit. She picked the ice cream, which arrived without toffee sauce. She politely asked the waiter if she could have some sauce and had to show him on the menu where it was described as coming with sauce as he seemed to be unaware of this. It was brought back again with a small blob of sauce for her.
Half way through our meal I visited the ladies, which had totally run out of soap. I mentioned this to a member of staff behind the bar who said she’d get it sorted. Twenty minutes later I needed to change Baby Mack’s nappy, the only changing table was in the single ladies toilet. However, there was still no soap, which is a little worrying given the number of ladies I’d seen go into the toilet during that time. I had to find the manager who did apologise for the delay and was able to refill it for me.
I had high hopes for our meal out at Bodega, unfortunately it was just a little lack lustre. There were some good points, the prices were reasonable, there was plenty to choose from that we wanted to try on the menu and the mocktails were delicious. Sadly our food was just ok, nothing to write home about. That coupled with the slow service, and the huge amount of competition for family friendly dining in Birmingham, means we probably won’t be in a rush to return.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Bodega for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.