The Bodega. Howe St. Downtown Vancouver
But here’s the neat thing. Not only was The Bodega an award-winning Spanish restaurante, it was a tapa bar and there’s nothing better than being able to order a variety of dishes to share.
Walking in, it has an authentic old-world feel to it, something you might very well find in Spain, complete with a picture of a castle on a wall and checkered table clothes. We were led upstairs and, because of our early dining hour, we had the whole place to ourselves for a time.
We ordered a bottle of wine and began the process of choosing our dishes. In the end, we decided to get some help and asked the waitress what she would recommend. We wanted to try the Paella for sure but also wanted to be a tiny bit adventurous so we added three other plates. Baby squid. Zesty potatoes (Patatas Bravas). White bean salad. We didn’t have the heart to try any chicken livers.
The paella was fantastic even if a certain person at our table decided to fling the prawns on the floor. The baby squid were more tender than I was expecting and had a nice garlicky zing to it. The potatoes were ok but nothing I’d write home about. But the beans, oh the beans, they were fantastic.
Oh so good.
All the food aside, though, what made it such a great experience was the company. In the end, eating alone can be fun. Sure. But with friends, we can share more food, talk about it right away, discuss the nature of the universe, rail against the injustices of the world, or laugh together.
Hard to laugh alone (or if you do, you certainly get some strange looks.)
So, if you ever get the chance, don’t dine alone. Bring a friend. Or two. Or ten. It makes the meal that much better.