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Restaurant Spotlight: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba

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Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba changed my life. It may sound like an exaggeration to say that a restaurant changed my life, but in this case it is true. The first time I went to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba was the week I moved to Chicago four years ago. I went with my friends John and Woody for a welcome dinner. At that point I had not had beef or pork in 12 years. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba changed that.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba is a Spanish restaurant that serves tapas. I love small plates because I can try a wide variety of dishes. When Charles and I returned to the restaurant last weekend we ordered a total of six different items from the menu and it was just the right amount. Charles and I go to Ba-Ba-Reba several times a year and at this point we barely need to discuss what we are going to order because we have specific favorites.

Restaurant Spotlight: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba Restaurant Spotlight: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba

The Sangria at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba is incredible. It is one of the things that keeps people coming back. I always order it. They have it available by the half pitcher which is just the perfect amount.

Charles loves the Spanish Omelet which is made with potato and onion and is served with a garlic aioli on the side. It is similar to a fritatta. I like that it has a generous amount of potato.

We tried the Spinach, Artichoke and Manchego Crepe for the first time. We usually go to Ba-Ba-Reba for dinner, but we were there while they were still serving brunch so we got to try this crepe. It was excellent and I will be making a point to make it back for brunch so I can have this again.

Then we had one of my favorites, the Patatas Bravas. This is a traditional Spanish dish of spiced crisp potatoes with a spicy aioli on the side. They are just spicy enough and loaded with flavor. I tried these potatoes for the first time that night I went with John and Woody and I have had them every time I have returned.

The Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese was got me to try beef for the first time in 12 years. I also order this every single time I go to Ba-Ba-Reba.

The stuffed mushrooms are excellent. Cheesy on the inside, and crisp on the outside, served with a creamy cheesy sauce.

One of the best things about Ba-Ba-Reba is the desserts. Clearly we ate a lot and didn’t have much room to eat anything else, but they have dessert pinxtos, which means just bites. I ordered the proffiteroles which was adorable, delicious, and just enough.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba is a great place to go with friends since the dishes are meant for sharing. It is very affordable, usually coming out to about $30 a person.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reba is located at 2024 North Halsted, Chicago.

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