Would we go back:
5036 France Ave S
• Guacamole (shared) $7.50
• Lobster Empanadas (shared) $11
• Steamed Mussels (shared)$8
• Queso Fundito (shared) $7.50
• Fried Jalapeno Pepper (shared) $7
• Pork Tamal (shared) $5.50
Surprisingly Cocina Del Barrio worked well with child in tow. Especially if your child loves guacamole and cheese quesadillas. Ours does and it was loud so that helped a ton. This was the same food as Barrio downtown, but the atmosphere was a bit more casual at least at 5:30 on a Sunday evening. That said it still hard to justify the prices especially considering the proliferation of good mexican restaurants in the city. The food is good to excellent, but it is easy to find similar quality food, granted with a bit less atmosphere. But if you looking for a more authentic version of La Casita or Dan Pablos this could be your place.
I really liked Cocina del Barrio, but not everything about it. I would say that it's a good option in the neighborhood, where they will make plenty of money, but not great enough to stand out forever.
The made-to-order guacamole was as good as it should be, but seems to be missing something to make it special, so it was just guacamole to me. The lobster empanadas were good, but similarly not as great as you want them to be. I was much more impressed with everything else: the steamed mussels were quite good and plentiful for the price, the queso fundito contained a kick that was surprising for Minnesota, the fried jalapeno pepper and pork tamal were also quite good. Altogether, I really liked the variety, but not great enough to push the restaurant beyond a local favorite.
June 12, 2011