>Last week, Senor and I went on a date night to Solera, a delicious tapas restaurant within walking distance from our house. We had a Groupon which gave us $50 to spend on our dinner. Living a block off ‘Eat Street’ can add up over time, so the frugal foodie has to keep an eye out for any deals she can find.

First things first, we ordered a delicious and giant pitcher of sangria.

We ordered a few items to start and the first to arrive was this sliced veal. It was pretty tasty the only weird thing about it was that it was cold and we were definitely expecting it to be warm. The salad piled on top added nice flavor though and we both liked it. A solid B.

Up next were the Chorizo Stuffed Dates with salad and bacon. OMG were they delicious! They were extremely rich and the mixture of sweet, rich, salty, and crunchy was amazing. We really debated whether or not to get a second plate of these! A+
Escargot with sobrasada. Escargot are pretty much always yummy but these sort of tasted like escargot pizza. The sausage and butter were very strong which is great but it sort of drowned out the seafood experience. A-

Asparagus in a Bearnaise sauce. It wasn’t really special, but the asparagus was very young and tender which means it was extra-delicious. A solid A from us, although it’s hard to find asparagus we don’t like.

The clams in a sea urchin sauce were really delicious and I tried to cheat Senor out of an equal share but ended up feeling too guilty about thieving an extra clam. The garlic toast was perfect for soaking up the sauce. Is there a simpler, more perfect food than garlic toast? I’m not sure there is. A

MMMMM, lamb meatballs! It was like eating a really fancy kebab. All lamb pretty much gets an A+ from me so it’s not surprising that this was one of my favorites.

Shrimp and tetilla croquettes. These were rich like the dates but so yummy. Imagine a tater tot, whipped up with shrimp and cream and deep fried. Yeah, delicious.

Uh, so this was a rabbit stew that was accidentally brought to our table. We told the waitress it wasn’t ours but after we saw it, we had to try it. It was so good, I completely forgot to take a picture. The meat just fell apart and was beyond tasty. A+

Sobrasada garlic toast with goat’s milk cheese and quince honey. Despite the long title this dish was very simple and sometimes, that’s exactly what you want. The sobrasada wasn’t super noticeable though, it could have had more presence. B+

Dessert consisted of house-made ice cream which was delicious but didn’t look terribly exciting so no corresponding picture for that one.

This was my second visit to Solera, although my first one was years ago. Senor really loved it and we both left just about bursting with food (and Sangria!). With our coupon, it was still pretty expensive. If you’re on any kind of budget, make sure you have a discount of some kind! Solera has two daily happy hours, plus a roof top patio where movies are played all summer long. (Twilight and New Moon are playing this week!)

If you want delicious tapas but can’t handle the price of a place like Solera, try La Bodega. While Solera is in downtown next to the Orpheum Theater, La Bodega is on Lyndale and Lake in Uptown. On Sundays La Bodega has 2-for-1 tapas and half-priced bottles of wine. From what I remember, the tapas were tasty and unique. Solera is definitely worth the price if you can swing it.


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