ES: Victoria, BC does not have a lot of late-night dining options and sometimes a visit to Trounce Alley is required to find a few of those operations that are running to midnight. Thankfully, on the busier days of Wednesday to Saturday, there are two: Bodega Bar and Park’s Kitchen. After a movie downtown, we happened upon the former first, and for once, my buddy was not being cheap. I find it easy to rack up quite the bill at a tapa type establishment.
JS: This place is very classy. It’s so much better than hitting a seedy bar.
At least here Ed and I could sit out on the porch in the beautiful night air and take part in what the chef had on the menu. It is easy to spend your money at a tapa bar (especially on drinks). The food delivered to the table isn’t much to look at when it comes to size even though it was highly decorated. Surprisingly, it managed to fill the Two Hungry Blokes. We ordered three items, the ceviche, a porchetta sandwich (Ed’s choice) and — a meal that rang my dinner bell — a mackerel potato salad.
ES: I thought James just wanted to try the salad for the halibut, but I digress (and I love poaching old jokes). Be glad we didn’t order the crab, otherwise I’d be cracking more.
JS: The fishy salad was small and cool to the tongue. It left a lovely flavour on my palate. To steal one of Ed’s lines, I was kissed on the lips by a mermaid … or is that an angel? Honestly, if it’s anything female, I can’t be far off.
ES: Anything? Sometimes I think he is too desperate for a girlfriend if that’s what is going on in his head.
But how often does James get to sea — not taste — anything as delectable as the porchetta? Bodega makes their roast pork in-house and I wanted to french kiss and suckle on the light Dijon flavoured dressing. That buttery cream was perfection! The arugula gave this sandwich the bite it needed and I could have suckled on the fatty nectar all day. In fact, I could have this sandwich at least once a week. Between Roast‘s version and Meat & Bread, I say Bodega’s wins hands down.
JS: I heartily agree. The sandwich had a full meaty flavour and the rind looked like bacon. I thought it was from Red Barn Market. But for this sandwich (they had it cut conveniently into two) I’ll be travelling back to the Bodega Bar System even if I’m stuck in a galaxy far far away. Because it is here I will complete my training.
ES: Sadly this padawan will never get far because he’s looking for the true master of the force in Alderaan places. I certainly will be back just for this sandwich alone. The ceviche certainly was the next flavourful dish. The lemon flavour certainly brought out the flavours of the rock-fish and it went well with the slices of warm bread brought out for us to put onto. However, it took a while for me to get used to the taste of mackerel and potatoes mixed into one dish.
JS: I was sponging my bread with the lemon vinaigrette from the ceviche. The more ingredients that are on your spoon, the less powerful the lemon vinaigrette is. But if you must empty the small serving bowl then bread is your best friend in this matter.
While Ed had trouble with jumping from taste to taste, the glass of water was what I was using to move between dishes. We considered dining at Park’s Kitchen, a new venture two doors down. It is housed in the building that played host to So-Ya, one of our favourite Japanese restaurants which sadly closed. But on the way out Bodega’s door who would we see relaxing at the bar but the owner of Park’s.
ES: I chatted with him, and he mentioned they opened up some months ago. The previous tenants finally sold the space and the new head says they have the best in what Korean and Japanese cuisine can offer. Coming to Trounce Alley in the future will no doubt be tough. With three eateries here, this may well be the hub for late night dining. I can’t think of anywhere else to be.
5 Blokes out of 5