Eating all the tacos at Bodega | Bleader

Eating all the tacos at Bodega


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All the tacos, part one
There are many things wrong with Bodega, starting with the name. A bodega is a store. More specifically, it is a store that sells very basic necessities, plus Virgin of Guadalupe candles, for cheap. I'm sorry if you know this already. The people who named Bodega the restaurant maybe do not, or they just decided to go with something that sounds randomly Mexican.

It's probably unnecessary to say that, in addition to its failure to sell basic food and household items, Bodega does not resemble a bodega in any fashion, except that its basement bar is poorly lit. Bodega is the sort of place that charges $10 for an order of chips, salsa, and guacamole. (More specifically, $7 for the guac and $3 for the chips and salsa. You thought they came for free? Come on, this is Lincoln Park!) It's pretty good guacamole, tasting very strongly of garlic and lime, but not worth what Bodega is charging.

However, Bodega provides its patrons with a glorious opportunity. There are eight tacos on the menu at Bodega, all in the $3 range. For a little more than the price of two orders of the carne asada fries, you can order every single one! How often do you get the chance to make such an extravagant gesture?

I do realize there are plenty of other restaurants that have small menus of small items, even tacos, and that you could really go nuts at a $1 Taco Tuesday happy hour. But a restaurant that offers things like Mexican spring rolls is clearly trying to sell you an experience in order to justify its prices, so would you rather have the experience of trying the Mexican spring roll or the experience of telling your server, "We'll have all the tacos, please?"

All the tacos, part two
The tacos are on the petite side of taco-ness, but they are stuffed very fat. The eight could feed two or three people. Your taco experience could involve impassioned arguments over who should get to eat which taco, or the more peaceful solution of dissecting them so everyone gets to try them all. Because we were having lunch at Bodega for the purpose of a review, we went with the latter. But if you feel like fighting, both the Baja and grilled fish, the "ceviche-style" shrimp, and the Korean-style pork belly are all worth fighting for. The carne asada, veggie (really spicy potato and egg), and duck may give rise to some debate. As for the chicken pastor, anyone who is that slow on the draw or too afraid to try some of the more imaginative offerings deserves this dry, flavorless excuse for a taco.

Bodega, it must be noted, is open until 2 AM and is just around the corner from the Lincoln Park branch of Glazed & Infused, which is also open until 2 AM (and where it's also possible to order the entire menu without breaking the bank). It's always good to have options that late at night, particularly if you're drunk and hungry.

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