Sunday, March 19, 2006

An Insomnia Report retraction...

A few weeks back, I made some intemperate comments about La Bodega, a nominally-Spanish bar/restaurant in my neighborhood. Specifically, I complained that they played horrible music at inexcusable volumes, that their drinks were ludicrously overpriced, and that the clientele annoyed me with their obnoxious middle-American banality. Furthermore, my drinking partner that evening, the witty and vivacious Tara, chimed in to point out that, for reasons which remain unclear, the cocktails had been given smutty names like “Throw Me To The Floor and Do Me” and “I Am A Level Five Sex Offender”. Over the course of that wayward evening, we came to the opinion that–despite their genuinely tasty dessert offerings--only a great and cleansing fire could save La Bodega from becoming yet another example of Minneapolis’ hideous and declining nightlife.

While it is true that we are stern and exacting judges, on occasion mercy has been known to move our hearts. So last night we deigned to give La Bodega another chance. You see, when big-time girly drinks are on the agenda, there are few places as well-situated as La Bodega. Despite this, the place was completely empty when we drove by. It didn’t even look open. Figuring an empty lounge would allow us to purchase fruit-flavored beverages and pursue intensive conversation with minimal hassle, we decided to venture inside. After ascertaining that it was, indeed, still open for business, we found a table and set about noticing all the positive ways the place had changed:

1) The music was now being played at a decent volume, with the volume up enough for it to be heard, but not so loud that it might cause permanent sterility in laboratory chimpanzees.

2) The cocktails were no longer given cutesy-gross names like “I Want To Take Off My Pants And Show You What God Gave Me” or “I Am A Five-Dollar Crack Whore”. Now their titles better reflected both common decency and their actual ingredients. However, they remained quite expensive.

3) The bar area was no longer crammed with bellowing former fratboys and their juiced-up, enhanced-cleavage paramours. There was, in fact, no one but us and the server in the entire bar area.

Taking all these improvements into account, I must now take back my earlier condemnation of the place. If you find yourself in Minneapolis and in the mood for a mixed drink, you could do a whole lot worse than La Bodega. I can personally recommend both their flan and their electric lemonade. But, if you’re of the mind to stop by, you better hurry: a bar on a busy intersection that’s completely empty at midnight on a Saturday night probably doesn’t have a long future ahead of it.