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.