Remember when you were a kid and couldn't wait to grow up? And now as an adult, you'd do anything to be young again? Yes, those were the days. Wrinkle-free, stress-free, no responsibilities. Now, I know 24 is *young* in the grand scheme of things but it's really disheartening to know that I'm no longer considered to be in my early 20s. I've officially hit the mid-20s mark. *Le gasp.* Cherish your youth, kids. 

Like every other birthday before this one, we celebrated with some brunch. Can you believe that this will be the third birthday brunch that I've documented on this blog? See, I wasn't lying about getting old. Click here and here for recaps of brunches past.

This year's festivities were held at Bodega in the Highlands, the second location bearing the Bodega name. Although both Bodega locations are tapas-driven, the Highlands location is unique in serving a weekend brunch, from 11-2, Saturdays and Sundays.

The restaurant doesn't take any reservations and so we arrived right at noon on Sunday to a packed house. It seems like word about Bodega's brunch is definitely getting around. We took a seat at their small bar which offers a sneak peek into the kitchen before a table opened up ten or so minutes later.

Like their main sister restaurant SABOR, the menu has a Spanish and Portuguese flair. Brunch is divvied up into tapas and mains. The tapas section is a slimmed down version of their regular dinner menu, no doubt due to logistics, but also a smart move to entice diners to come back in the evening some time to try their full selection. Mains are decidedly more brunch-appropriate, showcasing the standard egg in new and interesting lights.

SC opted to get a trio of tapas plates in lieu of a main. The first dish to come out was her fried piri piri dusted calamari ($8.00). A popular tapas staple kicked up a notch with piri piri spice, served over mixed greens and drizzled with an herb aioli.

SC was disappointed that the kitchen ran out of the crimini mushrooms, but found her second choice of braised boar cheeks ($9.00) to be a homey and comforting plate.

Her last dish was the patatas bravas ($6.00), another tapas classic, featuring halves of baby potatoes, fried until crispy with a healthy topping of spicy garlic aioli and shaved green onion.

Getting into the mains, AL decided on the huevos rotos ($15.00), which in Spanish, directly translates to broken eggs. True to their name, three eggs are served with their yolks already popped and runny. A hearty bed of fried potatoes and chorizo sausage lies underneath while a lightly dressed salad of mixed greens and strawberries helped to freshen things up. I don't see how you can go wrong with this combination and AL certainly enjoyed her dish.

KN got the Francesinha ($18.00), a baked sandwich layered with Edam cheese, sausage, ham, beef tenderloin, chorizo, a fried egg, and a special red sauce. This sandwich is a Portugese take on the French croque-madame, as the name itself also means "little French girl." But don't take its name too literally, as it's a brunch dish best suited for a carnivore, not for the faint of heart. Though she liked all the meats it came with, KN thought the bread could have been toasted a tad less, as it was a bit tough to chew despite the generous helping of sauce soaking through it.     

Last but not least, yours truly ordered the tortilla espaƱola ($18.00), a Spanish potato omelette served underneath cornflake-fried chicken. A duo of dipping sauces -- a Romesco and a piri piri aioli -- came in little ramekins on the side, along with the same mixed salad that graced AL's earlier plate. I wasn't expecting such a big portion so I was surprised when the dish was placed in front of me. The chicken was chicken breast I believe, cut into two sizeable portions, and breaded with cornflakes which provided a great crunch to the crust. I couldn't decide which sauce I liked best so I alternated between the two for each bite. The Romesco was slightly sweet and smoky while the aioli was creamy with a bit of kick. The potato omelette was also quite good, with nice fork-tender potatoes, but I thought it would have benefited from being hotter.

Another birthday brunch in the books! Bodega Highlands is a charming little spot in an equally charming neighbourhood. I would definitely recommend heading over for brunch if you're looking for something different than your usual eggs and toast. I'm definitely coming back to give their tapas a try!

Bodega Highlands
6509 112 Ave
Edmonton, AB
(780) 757-0137

Bodega Highlands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

- CT


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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf