Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar located in Banner Elk, NC. In the middle of the mountains, this newly-opened tapas style restaurant serves food with a Caribbean fare. Dora here. If you aren’t paying attention, you’ll pass this place. Like I did the first time. lol. It’s tucked back into a corner of Eagles Nest Marketplace.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Tucked into the corner

Inside is fresh and clean with ample space between tables. But…

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Inside is fresh and clean with ample space between tables

I’m really looking forward to sitting outside on this amazing deck when the weather warms!

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

What an amazing deck! I’m looking forward to sitting outside when the weather warms.

For our appetizer, we chose the Brussels Sprouts, fresh and lightly fried, and served with a tangy aioli sauce. The sprouts were outstanding, served al dente with a smoky char and worked well with the aioli. Dora here. I’m not a huge fan of sprouts, but Ernie loves them. The sauce was great, but the sprouts a tad too stiff for me.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Brussel Sprouts appetizer

For lunch, I chose the Cubano, a pressed sandwich packed with pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles, and served on authentic Cuban bread. The sandwich was great, loaded with meat and cheese, but the real winner here was the Fire Roasted Street Corn, slathered with mayo and queso fresco cheese and roasted to perfection.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Cuban sandwich with Fire Roasted Street Corn

Dora here. Oh my goodness, y’all, check out this ginormous fish sandwich!! Ernie actually took a picture of me trying to eat this monster, but I wouldn’t let him post it. lol. Perfectly fried cod, incredibly soft and the freshest of breads, a delightful crunchy slaw, and amazing flavors…what more could a person want in a meal? I would definitely order this again.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Ginormous Fish Sandwich, amazing flavors! I would definitely order this again.

Typically, I only like plantains fried like chips, but our server made these Maduros sound delicious. And, oh, were they! They were fried to give the outside a slight crunch, but inside was soft and sweet, buttery even, with a hint of…brown sugar? Guessing here, but this dish was almost like dessert. Definitely another winner!

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies Blog, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Maduros, sweet fried plantains. Amazing! Almost like dessert.

Our food came out fast, and our server was attentive and friendly. Their amazing food and impeccable service won us over. Bodegas is going on our “favorites” list. 

What new restaurant have you tried recently? What did you enjoy most about it?

We rate this restaurant 5 fork out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

 

 

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to the base of Sugar Mountain and to the Painted Fish Café & Beer Bar in Banner Elk, NC. This casual local restaurant serves salads, sandwiches, and a variety of entrees to satisfy everybody. Dora here. I’m bummed that it was too chilly to sit outside. Can’t beat those views!

Painted Fish Cafe & Beer Bar Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Can’t beat those views!

You know how some restaurants try to cram in as many people by squishing the tables close together? Not here. We appreciated the generous space between tables and the private booths.

Painted Fish Cafe & Beer Bar Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Appreciated the generous space between tables and the private booths.

For my lunch, I started with the soup of the day, a crab chowder. This chowder was great, loaded with potatoes and crabmeat in a creamy sauce. Dora here. We knew that soup was coming before it ever reached the table! lol. Strong scent of crab, but I liked it, even though I’m not a huge seafood fan. Hey, don’t hate! 🙂

Painted Cafe & Beer Bar Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Soup of the Day: Crab Chowder. Loaded with potatoes and plenty of crab.

I followed that up with the special of the day, a fried catfish sandwich served with cole slaw and tartar sauce on a soft bun and house-made chips. This huge sandwich was outstanding! Crispy and lightly breaded, tender and juicy on the inside, and the slaw added just the right crunch to the sandwich. And those chips, they were like waffle chips but were crunchy and had great flavor.

Painted Fish Cafe & Beer Bar Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Fried Catfish Sandwich (special), outstanding! Crispy, tender, huge!

Dora here. A couple of the salads sounded interesting, but the protein up-charge pushed them to almost $20. Too pricey for me! So I opted for the turkey brie sandwich. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Two slices of whole grain bread packed with turkey, cranberries, melted cheese and spinach. Yum! Great flavor, texture and, like Ernie’s sandwich, huge! I’d definitely order this again, but the fried catfish won me over, too. This place might make me into a seafood lover. 🙂

Painted Fish Cafe & Beer Bar Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Turkey Brie Sandwich, packed with turkey, cranberry, and spinach. Great flavor, texture, and huge!

What about you? What food doesn’t make your “favorite” list? And has a restaurant ever turned you into a fan of that food?

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

Painted Fish Cafe & Beer Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato