Update: Unfortunately, El Bodegon is no longer in business.
I greeted the news of a new Spanish restaurant and gourmet shop opening in Fishers with a lot of excitement and a little trepidation. Excitement because, well, Fishers isn’t really known for it’s variety of locally owned restaurants. And it’s really not known for a variety of ethnic restaurants. Excitement because there is only one other Spanish restaurant that I know of in Indy. It happens to be downtown, and it happened to get the big thumbs down from my mother. I kind of trust her opinion on Spanish cooking since she’s from Spain and all. And that’s where the trepidation comes in.
I knew the first time I visited this new restaurant I’d want my mom to come with me. She’s notoriously hard on restaurants. She doesn’t like to waste anything, especially money, and nothing gets her knickers in a knot like paying good money for bad food. I’ve eaten out with her hundreds of times. I can count on one hand the times we’ve walked out of a restaurant and she’s been satisfied with her experience.
And so a few weeks ago we ventured out to El Bodegon with high hopes. We chatted with the manager, Victor Diaz, who is originally from Madrid. We ordered a few dishes and I eyed my mom nervously as she took her first bite. I’m happy to report that everything passed her highest standards.
I didn’t have my camera with me that day, but I did the other day when I made a return trip with my mom and sister. We had another excellent meal.
My sister and I each had Bocatas – Spanish-style sandwiches. The bread is amazing – crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Mine had Serrano ham (a thinly-sliced dry-cured ham) with Manchego cheese.
My sister had the tortilla española bocata, a sandwich filled with a Spanish-style potato omelet. It was equally delicious.
We ordered a few tapas as well. Tapas are small plates, just enough to try a few bites of something. We had the paella and the gambas al ajillo (shrimp sauteed in garlic). We ate every last bite. The paella is delicious, with lots of fresh seafood. The sauteed shrimp have excellent flavor, with a yummy garlic sauce that begs for extra bread to sop up every last bit.
We were too full for dessert, but if you have room I highly recommend the flan. We had it last time and it was excellent. I’m a sucker for custard-based desserts, and this one is great – creamy with a deep caramel flavor. You can’t argue with his grandmother’s recipe.
The three of us walked out of there fully satisfied for under $30 total (drinks included). I’m always willing to pay extra for good quality food at a local establishment. I love that you can get that quality and get it for a great price.
If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of trying new cuisines but the thought of walking into an unfamiliar restaurant serving unfamiliar foods makes you nervous. I worry about not being able to decipher the menu on my own. Even though I’m familiar with Spanish food, I can assure you that if you aren’t? You won’t have to worry about that here. Victor and his staff are super-friendly, and they love nothing more than walking you through the entire menu if you wish.
If you’re here in Indy, I hope you’ll venture up to my side of town and give El Bodegon a try. They’d love to have you. And I’d love to have them around for a long, long time.