We all have that one place we love to dine in again and again and again. It might not be the most popular restaurant in the city, or it might be somewhere that for you holds special memories with friends, family or a loved one, but whichever restraurant you consider your favourite, it’s all a personal choice.
Despite all the swanky ‘upmarket’ new arrivals in Birmingham, I’m a Bennetts Hill girl at heart, and in particular I have a longstanding love affair with Bodega Cantina. Just thinking about it makes me happy.
Part of the Bitters and Twisted brand (which also includes The Victoria, Rose Villa Tavern and Buffalo & Rye), I think in my decade of living in Brum I’ve eaten here more than anywhere else.
Aside from the food being consistently good over the years, I find the setting relaxing and the service decent.
It also has a pretty meaty cocktail menu, which includes a very nice (read: strong) mojito, and some imported bottled beers (such as Quilmes) which I have yet to see in many other bars in the city. They often have deals on the cocktails, and it’s worth pointing out there’s also a bar downstairs – Sugar Loaf – which provides DJs and freshly made cocktails most weekends until the small hours. You can also hire that for parties – great setting with a private bar for an intimate bash!
This South American inspired restaurant also holds special place in my heart because it’s one of the first places I took Ian to when we got together nearly 6 years ago. Since then we’ve probably visited Bodega once a month at least, and it’s still one of our top picks as part of a lazy Sunday bar crawl to grab a fuss-free bite to eat.
Full disclosure: I’ve lost count of the amount of spicy pulled beef burritos I have eaten whilst recovering from gin-induced hangovers, but I know I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.
I like the laid back dining experience Bodega provides. It’s an ideal spot for a few cheeky post-work drinks, lunch with friends, or an evening date. Whilst the menu has changed a little bit over the years, some things have remained consistent like the enormous piles of nachos covered in the staple guacamole, sour cream, and salsa as well as a pulled meat topping, not to mention the jalapeño poppers which I’m apparently incapable of not ordering. Seriously, I tried once.. it was so depressing.
As well as the burritos (which I’m personally a massive fan of – can you tell?) there are also numerous other mains, including tacos and quesadillas. For those who prefer a more picky meal or taster board, instead of one large plate, there is also a tapas-style menu which allows you to sample some of the South American inspired dishes. And some not so SA dishes – yay for variety!
One of the other reasons I have a special place in my heart for this restaurant is that it was the first place I ever tried my beloved Pip’s Hot Sauce. Anyone who has read my blog before will know how much I am in love with the bottles of fiery joy, and that’s solely down to discovering the sauce as part of my first ever dining experience at Bodega.
I like to liberally slosh the spicy sauce all over one of their signature burritos (or dip huge quantities of sweet potato fries in it) and I personally think that the two go hand in hand; I couldn’t imagine chomping my burritos without it!
I personally find the cantina to have a friendly vibe and a great place to spend weekdays or weekends. Having said that this restaurant is always (ludicrously) busy on Friday and Saturday night, so if I can offer anyone one piece of advice it would be to book at least a week in advance for weekend visits.
Are you a fan of Bodega like me? Think there’s a better burrito in Brum I should know about? Let me in the comments below!
Bodega Cantina, 12 Bennetts Hill, B2 5RS
*Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own*