Chow Bella

Bomberos is the bomb, yo

One of my good friends just got back from a fabulous vacay in Buenos Aires, "The Paris of South America," where he had all the great food and wine he could handle. Argentina might be the one place left in the world where the currency exchange rate doesn't suck for the dollar, so he was living large for nada mucho.

So after hearing all about this awesome destination, I can't stop thinking about it. Luckily, I found a place that will certainly help soothe my wanderlust in the meantime: Bomberos Cafe & Wine Bar, a South American-inspired spot situated in an old firehouse building on Central, between Northern and Dunlap.

I used to think of Sunnyslope as a destination for kickass Mexican food, but not much else, especially in the way of a scene. Now with the debut of Bomberos, there's a stylish place to hang out, nibble on some snacks, and sample interesting wines from Chile, Uruguay, Brasil, and of course, Argentina. I enjoyed a Tannat called Monte de Luz, which had a deep, dark berry aroma.

Right now, there are just a few options on the menu: a three-cheese plate (choices include Brie, Manchego, Gorgonzola, Iberico, and Drunken Goat), and a meat platter with really good prosciutto, salami, and slices of spicy Spanish chorizo. There's also a selection of bruschetta that could definitely fill you up if you wanted to make a light meal out of it.

Out back, the patio looked inviting (it was too chilly to hang out there when I went, though), and inside, the concrete block walls, sleek decor, and candlelight reminded me of another great wine bar, Postino. Bomberos actually opens bright and early -- 7 a.m. daily! -- for locals to grab a coffee and some pastries (how Lola of them!). They're pretty much giving us no excuse not to stop by.

All in all, a great new addition to the 'hood -- I look forward to going back soon.