La Bodega has long been a Kansas City favorite for its tapas and that so-good-it’s-seven-days-a-week happy hour.
But as I sit on the patio gazing out at Southwest Boulevard on a Sunday afternoon — sangria in hand — I realize the newly added brunch is something to talk about, too.
When you go to a Spanish tapas restaurant, maybe you aren’t thinking about that meal that mixes the best of breakfast and lunch, but wait until you see the menu. There’s half-off sangria (that makes a glass just $3.50) and a bloody-mary bar.
Plus there are breakfast tapas. Tortilla Española Spanish omelet, anyone? It’s potatoes, onions and red pepper aioli. For $6, it’s an appetizer big enough for three.
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As for meals, we’re tempted by the Steak N Huevos Hash ($14), a plate of tenderloin, peppers and Papas Fritas topped with two basted eggs and Cabrales cream sauce. But at our table, sweet overrules savory. Our tapa: Pan con Nutella ($6), a baguette sliced in two hazelnut chocolatey halves, with Maldon salt.
“Bread covered in chocolate? Come on,” says my friend Spencer. “Pregnant woman’s dream. I would eat that every day if I could.”
We’re chasing sugar rushes. Despite the sunny afternoon, we aren’t looking to take a siesta.
The heat doesn’t wear us down. The bright yellow and red umbrellas keep us surprisingly comfortable on a humid afternoon. And the cars passing by every so often kick up a little breeze. It feels good.
We continue to order up delectable desserts disguised as brunch. I mean, really, who can resist the Kahlua syrup and espresso butter that comes with the Cinnamon Brioche Basque Toast ($11)?
Though it calls our names, we both can’t order it. I submit to her baby bump under the condition that I get a big bite or two. In the end, I get three.
We are French toast connoisseurs, Spencer and I. And La Bodega’s twist on it is our new favorite. It melts in your mouth, that combination of brioche and the syrup.
It almost overshadows my Panqueque (pancakes, $10). Almost. My plate looks so good that I take it out of the cool shade of our table and over to a booth in the sun at the end of the patio. I even set it on the streetside bar. I look at it in every light, because I have an addiction to taking pictures of my food and getting it right. I am a little obnoxious. But some things deserve to be remembered. Thank you, Instagram.
Not only does this stack come with that same Kahlua syrup, it is also topped with grilled tostones — Cuban bananas. If there were a side of pineapple, I might think I’m eating a colada-inspired brunch.
Sweet indulgence? I’ll order it anytime.
Brunch at La Bodega
Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays at 703 Southwest Blvd. in Kansas City, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at 4311 W. 119th St. in Leawood. labodegakc.com