Every now and then there are evenings where we don’t feel like cooking and just need something quick, easy and simple. The default is usually Thai takeout because, well, that’s the best option we have found.
One such night presented itself not too long ago. After a full day of activities, the desire to cook just wasn’t there. And through process of elimination, we once again narrowed the choices down to Thai…and tacos. After sampling some delicious tacos at the Taste of Tremont, we decided that we would give Barrio a shot to make the short list. On this night, we decided to go for the dine in option (though they do have an online ordering for takeout functionality too) and headed to the old 8 oh 6 building.
Given that it was a nice night on a Sunday that promoted dining outdoors, I was surprised that the patio was only about half full. We were told that their liquor license didn’t allow anything other than beer and wine on Sunday (at this point), which is unfortunate for a taco, tequila and whiskey bar. Not sure if that contributed, but I was happy to get a seat.
What my expectations were and what the actuality was we’re two different things…and that was awesome. I was expecting a list of a some tacos and then other Mexican inspired dishes. What I got was a place that was all about the tacos…and let you build them yourself. The menu was actually a list where you had the opportunity to select your tortilla, meat, and a variety of toppings. There are ultimately hundreds of possible combinations, and each taco is three dollars.
Before building our tacos though, we started with a guacamole. We hadn’t actually planned on it, but the version with the cocoa nibs in it just seemed to interesting to pass up. Turns out it was as delicious as it was interesting…the cocoa nibs providing both a pleasant textural crunch and a unique contrasting flavor to each bite.
But this night was about the tacos. There is definitely a little risk of allowing customers to design their own tacos. Some weird combinations could lead to unexpected and unpleasant tastes. What really works for Barrio though, is the quality of the ingredients. The chicken was seasoned nicely, the pork was juicy and flavorful. Each of the homemade sauces and salsas provided heat or sweet and just great flavor. There was a jicama and strawberry salad that added a vibrance, and a corn salsa that added a smokey sweetness. The black beans were perfectly cooked. All three tacos I put together worked incredibly well, not to mention the two Ashley did.
The experience was fun and interactive. The food was served quickly. But most important, the food was delicious. We will definitely be making return trips to Barrio on those nights where cooking just isn’t in the cards, or we get home late after a trip or something.