Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Belly - Solera

Welcome to Happy Belly! Happy Belly will be the main tag line for this blog's many upcoming food and restaurant related posts. Cooking is an art that can showcase a person's or culture's personality and has the capability of satisfying numerous senses at once. Simply put, a great meal can lead to a very happy belly, and as a result, food can be an essential part of great travel experiences.

I have received multiple comments that in all of our travel photos, my wife and I have the biggest smiles when there is a plate of food in front of us. The ironic thing for me is that growing up, I ate about 5 different foods and even then needed my mom to prepare some of them very specifically before I would consume. Now, barring some of the extreme reality TV show diets, I will try just about anything!

Happy Belly will focus on the best and most unique. I won't rate things as much as share my thoughts and explain what intrigued me. I tend to focus more on the positive, so unless something was particularly terrible, these will be places I recommend rather than analyzing restaurants on a scale and lining them up against each other.

So, after that buildup, here is quick commentary on Solera, a Spanish tapas restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. This initial post is more about segwaying (teaser) into a future write-up on Spanish cuisine, but the restaurant deserves some commendations.

Solera is a pleasant foray into the country's food style. Sampling multiple small plates is the way to eat in Spain. We went with the happy hour options, and it provides enough of a spread to create a meal of some delicious bites. We tried the cheese and croquetas del dia (of the day), incredible bacon wrapped dates, jamon iberico, grilled artichokes, and pickled cucumbers and onions. All had Spanish flare and were the closest to authentic I have had in MN. Check out the menu before going to see if you can make a meal (2+ tapas per person) within your price range, as it can get expensive if you have particular tastes and are looking for a bigger meal.

5 comments:

  1. This section is going to be yummy!

    A little out of scope for this post, but I am tickled by a place that is new to me: Devil's Advocate in downtown Mpls. (http://www.devilsadvocatebar.com/) 40 tap beers and gourmet meatballs ... what more do you need? Let me know if you need a happy hour partner, I'll be happy to fill that role.

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    1. Great call! I have actually made it there twice already. The meatball sampler is superb, and it is the first place I stumbled upon the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. If you like hops, that beer packs a solid punch of them.

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  2. Hey Bro - love the site and looking forward to more of it!

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  3. I finally read this post and it brings me back to my days in Spain. Nice job!

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    1. Thanks! I wish Spanish food options were more prevalent, it is so good!

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