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Oct 1, 2009 05:31 PM

Jfood adds another Gotta Have dish at Barrio (MSP)

Jfood could not decide between Barrio and Vincents so he parked in between and walked by both. His tummy told him that another visit to Barrio was in the air.

Jfood wondered through the door and with no hostess and noticing no one sitting at any of the high seat around the bar and overlooking the front patio he took a seat with his book overlooking Nicolette Mall. A few minutes later a hostess arrived with a menu in hand. As Jfood reached and started to utter “thank you” the hostess told Jfood that these seats were for reservations but since noone reserved them it was OK to stay there. Not sure why she needed to mention that. Jfood apologized and again reached for the menu and as he started to take the menu, the hostess told him that in the future he needed to make a reservation to sit there. Now twice scolded and he was the only one on 12 high seats, go figure. Jfood again apologized. He has no idea why the hostess needed to say anything and doing it twice was very silly.

Jfood loved the guacamole on his first visit and as soon as the waiter arrived (same great guy from his first visit) Jfood ordered the guacamole and a bottle of mineral water. The mineral water arrived and Jfood was ready to place an order for a few small plates. He decided on the BLACK BEAN & CHICKEN TOSTADA with mango-habanero salsa & romaine and the QUESO FUNDITO with roasted poblano peppers, warm flour tortillas and Chorizo. Into the book went Jfood.

The Queso Fundito arrived with some tortillas. This is the Mexican version of make your own grilled cheese. Jfood scooped some cheese onto the tortilla, folded and took his first bite. The flavors were absolutely fantastic. After his first he tried to figure out how many tortillas he could fill with the portion he was presented and he was glad to eat four of these wonderful packets of cheese and chorizo. A great dish and Jfood highly recommends.

The Black Bean and Chicken Tostada arrived next. This can best be described as salad on top of the pulled chicken on top of the tosatas. Atop it all was the mango-habanero salsa. Now Jfood is not a big salad eater but he will say the greens were pretty good. The salsa had a little kick without hurting the palate and the chicken was nicely done. Overall Jfood wished he would have ordered differently but this was still a nicely done dish, just not totally to his taste.

As he was eating the salad the waiter arrived to apologize about Jfood not receiving the guacamole first. They were in the back making a new batch. Jfood agreed that he likes the guacamole first and they agreed to cancel the order. Too bad, but after the two dishes Jfood did eat there was little room in the belly.

Jfood likes Barrio, enjoyed the food, likes the open atmosphere and the ability to people watch out the front open windows on a beautiful night. It will be interesting to see if he has the same feeling when the weather gets colder and everyone is inside.

925 Nicolett Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

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  1. "Jfood apologized and again reached for the menu and as he started to take the menu, the hostess told him that in the future he needed to make a reservation to sit there."

    At which point, I'd depart. What you experienced was terrible, terrible, terrible service. I commend you for your patience, but the notion that we ought to simply tolerate this nonsense is absurd (not that you are advancing this notion). Customers are not employees, and they are certainly not the employees of employees.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin47

      If she were the server jfood would have been joining you on Nicolette looking for another place to eat.

      But he saw the server in the area, recognized him from his first visit, knew he was really good and just stayed. The longevity of hostesses in places like this, jfood has seen in his experience, is counted in weeks.

    2. Jfood -

      I have to recommend the Pork Sopes the next time you check out Barrio. It's my go-to dish, and is consistently very good. Also, I can tell you that even as the weather gets colder & everyone is inside, the restaurant still has a great atmosphere. As for the guacamole, I concur it's not always perfect, and I've never been happy about the portion they provide for the amount they someone who lived in NYC for 7 years and grew accustomed to tableside guac preparation at places like Dos Caminos & Rosa Mexicana, I have always been underwhelmed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ads382

        not always fair to compare to rosa mexicana which was the best and right there at the table was awesome.