Would we go back:
• Guacamole (shared) $7.50
• Crab empanadas (shared) $7.50
• Fried Mahi mahi Taco $4
• Spiced Shrimp Taco $4
• Soft Shell Crab Taco $4
• Churros $6
Barrio is a place to be seen on a Friday night during happy hour which is when we there, so the people watching was fun. Everything we had was good tasting (besides the churros which were terrible), but it is easy to find the equivalent or so at many of the hole in the wall Mexican restaurants for much less. So that made it bit hard to give rave reviews. Although you are downtown and the atmosphere is not hole in the wall.
• Sautéed Shrimp with Rice $18
• Coconut Popsicle $3
Barrio is quite the place to be seen. I really couldn’t stop thinking about the coffee shop that used to be in that space, especially because the bar is right where the counter for the coffee shop was. Nevertheless, there were some freaky décor aspects like the dripping candles a la a vintage Vincent Price movie, the mostly creepy Midwestern farm movie that they were projecting on the wall, and the marionettes. Oh God, the marionettes. Not exactly Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) décor, but enough to make you look over your shoulder every once in a while. Of course, then you have another tequila and you’re bulletproof. The servers wear short shorts, not as bad as Hooters and this certainly isn’t South Beach, but it’s still enough to create a vibe that momentarily transports you out of Minnesota. Somehow, it seems like that’s what servers are supposed to wear at a tequila bar.
Enough musing and on to the food. The sautéed shrimp was perfectly done and delicious. I would recommend this entrée. Very simple, very delicious. The guacamole, while above average, was pretty expensive. Also, how do I know unless it’s table side that it’s really made to order and not just made that day? The crab empanadas really weren’t all that great in my book. They weren’t bad, just that they should have been better. The coconut popsicle was a good end to the meal – not too expensive, but something to linger on while you sober up.
Overall, in my book, Barrio is a good bar, a place to be seen. I loved the sautéed shrimp, but would eat someplace else downtown before going to this trendy bar. They will make it a while, but they will have to improve their small plates to make it in the long run.
July 9, 2010