I’ve been wanting to go to Bodega, especially for dollar grilled cheese Monday, since I was in high school but it just became one of those things that I put off and said I’d go “next time.” The more available something like that is (every week vs. only once a year) the more I tend to put it off. SO, last night I finally went!
Bodega is in the Short North on High st. right at 3rd their happy hour is 4-8 M-F, when they have half off all drafts- and by all drafts I mean they have 50 drafts! They also have $1 grilled cheeses on Mondays.
I always have to work on Monday nights so that has been one reason why I haven’t made it to Bodega yet, but this week I was off at 7:30 so I raced over to pick up my friends Joelynn and Kristen to make happy hour. Anyone who has even driven past Bodega after 4pm knows that it is fairly small and gets very crowded. We weren’t sure we’d even get up to the bar, let alone order before 8. After shoving our way through the patio, we found a small spot at the bar and managed to place our orders with 6 minutes to spare :)
We got our beers right away and the food came within ten minutes so even though we had to stand at the bar and eat, it wasn’t too bad. The atmosphere was low-key and casual with a lot of wood and neutrals in the decor, and a fairly “alternative” crowd. ( I hate saying that because I think it’s a dumb term and falsely labels lots of different kinds of people, but I suppose in comparison to the city as a whole, the Short North in general has an “alternative” vibe) Since it was so crowded it was very loud and had more of a bustling bar atmosphere than a quiet hangout. The bar was huge with seats and standing room- it took up a whole corner of the place. There were also maybe 30 tables of seating, but you had to be seated by the hostess and it was a long wait.
Considering they are only a dollar, I was expecting the grilled cheese to be made of 2 slices of Wonder bread and a slice of Kraft cheese thrown on a plate. To my surprise, they were on large slices of (I think French) bread with yummy cheddar, swiss, & provolone inside, grilled on a panini grill and served with a side of crunchy kettle chips. Delicious. Filling. Cheap. I also ordered a pint of Bell’s Oberon. Oberon is Bell’s summer wheat ale that I happen to love so I was super excited to see it’s not only back for the summer, but that they had it on tap. Needless to say I was a happy girl!
Kristen also ordered a grilled cheese and asked for her favorite summer beer, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. The bartender told her they didn’t have any but he made her his own custom Shandy. We never did catch him to ask what beer he used but he mixed it with Simply Lemonade and she loved it! Joelynn ordered grilled cheese with a side of tomato soup which she said was creamy and a little spicy, but very good. Being the Berkey girl that she is, she completely ignored the 50 great beers on tap and ordered a bud light bottle. classic. The drafts also came in nice cups with Bodega’s logo- which I’m very surprised Jo didn’t steal b/c she’s a total klepto with restaurant cups/mugs/pitchers.
To finish the night we went back to campus for more drinks. After a few too many, Jo tried jumping off a table? or maybe across from one table to another? I don’t know what she was doing but she landed on her knee and immediately started bawling so we actually finished our night/early morning hours in the ER. This is why they call her the “Wild Hog”