Anyway, we went to La Bodega on Lyndale and Lake (in Minneapolis -- I think most Minneapolitans would know that, but there are lots of you-all who are non-Minneapolitans). I was...hmm. I was happy enough with it, not disappointed, not demanding a mulligan (who needs a mulligan when you have ten days of birthday?), but we won't be going back any time soon.
They plunked us down with a drink list, a wine list, dinner menus, and the promise of tapas menus. We were hungry. The waitress did not return and did not return, and when she did return for the drink orders, I said (as gently as I could), "We were hoping for tapas menus, actually." And the waitress fluttered off to get them. When she returned, Mark attempted to order (gasp) wine off the wine list. The waitress told him that they were redoing their wine list, so they only had a chardonnay and some fruit nectars. He ordered the chardonnay (because he's less ornery than me). Timprov and I ordered mojitos. His was the tall and had almost no mint. Mine was the short and had almost all mint. Both were much stronger than we wanted, murky, and not very tasty.
We tried to order the chorizo con polenta and got told that was unavailable. We got the chorizo omelet as a substitute. It was fine, not outstanding by any stretch, but all right. The fried manchego and tomato stuff was really good. The calamari was all right: it was fried calamari. It had not been horribly done, but there was nothing really special about it. The asparagus with melted manchego was similarly decent but unoutstanding (I could easily have done that one at home to the same or better effect).
What I loved was the roasted potatoes with aioli. Lovely lovely stuff. Mustard and garlic and goodness. Must learn to cook them.
What really annoyed me was the cheese platter. It was the most expensive thing we ordered, and it had three kinds of cheese on it in very, very small portions: manchego, which was on everything else, parmesan, which is, dude, parmesan, and a cheese named after King Arthur's dog. I'm not sure how to spell it, but if it was really named after the dog it would be Cafalli. Which doesn't look Spanish, so I bet it's Cavali or something. Anyway, that was nice, especially for a soft cheese (I'm generally a hard cheese person), but there was rather little of each kind. If I'm paying for a cheese platter, I want interesting cheese. Which is what I got at Cesar in Berkeley. So I had expectations. The King Arthur cheese was nice, though, and I will seek it at Byerly's. They gave us less than a quarter of green apple to share among us with the cheese, and it was a good combination with the Manchego. I will remember that, too. But still -- meh.
We ordered clams and attempted to order the marinated tuna in our second round. They were also out of tuna. We gave up, ate our clams (also all right but unexceptional), and went to Sebastian Joe's for ice cream.
So as I said, it was okay, but we won't really be going back.