Caffè corretto at La Bodega on MainTuesday, August 20, 2019
Even though Rebecca Anne Stewart’s birthday was on August 17th, we celebrated it today at La Bodega on Main. We like this place for various reasons.
We have known the Guatemalan-born manager Héctor Medina for 30 years. At Pepitas, a Mexican style restaurant on 4th Ave those many years ago he taught both my daughters, Ale and Hilary (who worked there, too) to dance salsa. We have been in constant touch since then.
Before 1986 with the aging liquor laws of our city, La Bodega (then on Howe Street) had a cozy relationship with the Vancouver Police Department (this is solely my opinion). On a Sunday you could go to the establishment and order a salad or the famous Patatas Bravas (don’t ever go on a date after eating these!) and then you could drink to your heart’s content for hours.
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La Bodega was a favourite watering hole for those of us who worked at Vancouver Magazine (I was a freelancer) which was nearby at Davie and Richards. Editor Mac (Malcolm) Parry spent many hours there editing his magazine. There are rumours that he was once ejected for playing his bent soprano saxophone while under the influence.
Since La Bodega has moved to Main Street the atmosphere of the place is far happier. The servers wear funky clothing and they know their tapas.
And one more thing, La Bodega may be the only establishment where you can ask for a Manzanilla from San Lucar de Barrameda and it will be served nice and cold. This Spanish fino sherry (bone dry) goes well with any of the tapas served but especially with the queso Manchego. And another thing. I asked them if they had grapa. This they did. I then educated the friendly staff to the wonders of the
Caffè corretto. This is expresso with a shot of the 80 proof Italian grappa made from grape stems.
Today we (Rosemary, Hilary, Ale, Lauren, Rebbeca and I ) occupied the best table in the house (we have connections!) which is a raised table in its own nook right by the front window.
We ate tapas galore and Mr. Medina came to say hi. He then escorted me downstairs to see the new renovated place that is quite intimate. It would seem that under Medina’s stewardship the joint is doing just fine.
On the way out I ran into NDP minion Bill Tieleman. In other occasions I have sat down to chat with Bodega regular, CBC’s Gloria Macarenko.
But I would like to make one more and very positive observation. The crowd that goes to La Bodega is quite young. Not at all like those old fogies who used to nod off over a salad years ago on Howe. I know this because I was there!