Five dollars used to get you a footlong sandwich at Subway. That deal has been locked away, but this year on Cinco de Mayo five bucks will cover nearly everything on the menu at the new Bar Bodega (1980 Kettner Boulevard) in Little Italy.
This limited-time deal represents a savings of up to 65 percent off most of the menu. That includes all tapas, beer and glasses of wine. But he or she who hesitates is lost. The $5 Bar Bodega deal begins at 5 p.m. on May 5, and ends abruptly at 5:55 p.m. on this Cinco de Mayo.
Bar Bodega is located in the spot formerly known as The Cheese Store (which had a French Café vibe). The new iteration is on the same stretch of a rejuvenated restaurant row on Kettner, next to Café Gratitude. The former owners of The Cheese Store brought on partner Ken Karlan in the changeover.
Bar Bodega focuses on tapas
Spanish-leaning Bar Bodega still offers Queso and Charcuterie, with cheese and meat boards ranging in price from $18 to $30. But the switch has brought a focus on tapas, ranging from tomato gazpacho ($8) to lamb sliders ($12) and charred shishito peppers ($9).
My gal Jules and I popped into Bar Bodega (an easy bike ride from our downtown condo) just before the official close of Happy Hour on Wednesday (6 p.m.). That meant we were offered a couple dollars off the apps we picked to share. We went with chorizo deviled eggs ($5), squid ink arancini ($10), ahi tuna tostatada ($13) and papas bravas ($7) with friend egg added ($1).
Patronage was sparse during our pleasant meal. That gave our server, Leanna, plenty of time to chat about the food. She noted that the lamb sliders were hearty and popular. She also said people were curious and eager to try to squid ink arancini—risotto balls with portabella, parmigiano reggiano, and mahon centers that came with three colorful dipping sauces: green cilantro pesto, red romesco and yellow/orange charred pepper aioli.
$5 tapas at Bar Bodega
At one point during our banter Leanna became animated. “You’ve got to come back for the deals on Cinco de Mayo!” she effused. “Everything’s five dollars!”
I started singing Subway’s old “Five-dollar footlongs” commercial jingle under my breath. Co-owner Karlan, who was standing nearby, quickly added, “Not everything.”
Bottles of wine and charcuterie boards (which range up to $30) are out of play. But any tapas mentioned above, and glasses of wine that regularly sell up to $16 are available on Cindo de Mayo for $5. For 55 minutes. Starting at 5 p.m.