I’d heard rumblings of this restaurant as of late, and was intrigued when I received an invitation to try Barrio out with a group of girlfriends. I’ll also be the first to admit that I think Bakersfield is highly overrated* and I was curious to try a potential superior.
Location: Barrio is situated on the southwest corner of Spring Grove Avenue and doesn’t have a whole lot of parking available right outside. I had to do a drive around the block before ending up in the paid public parking lot across the street. In short: the parking situation isn’t ideal, but it’s not awful either, as long as you are willing for fork over a couple bucks for the most convenient parking.
Atmosphere: Northside has been experiencing a boom in retail and restaurants alike, and Barrio is yet another piece of evidence of its thriving status. The outside of Barrio appears to be just another storefront in downtown Northside, but as you walk in, you are enveloped by its darkly-painted, yet trendy décor. The furnishings were pretty comfortable, even for our party of six, and our setup allowed for all of us to easily enjoy each other’s company.
Food: I think my main problem here is that I just don’t love “authentic” Mexican tacos. Maybe I don’t think Bakersfield is generally overrated, but I just don’t like that kind of food a whole lot. That’s okay, though, because the tacos were still edible and decent enough. And hey, everyone else seemed to like them at my table. (For a better, more discerning opinion, I will be more than happy to send you their way.) I will say, though, that the Churros were outstanding. If there was a part of that meal that was extremely memorable, it was that, because my mouth is watering just thinking about those fried, doughy delights, sprinkled in sugar, and drizzled with chocolate sauce … okay, not drizzled, but dipped in, and now your mouth is presumably watering, too. You’re welcome.
I would be happy to go back to Barrio if only to get the churros. I also wouldn’t mind trying more things out on the menu. And maybe get a drink.
Overall grade: C+ [out of a possible A+]
*Not bad, per se, but overrated nonetheless. The tequila is tops, though.