Barros Luco: Serving Up Tasty Little Bastards
Barros Luco opened a few months ago on 52nd and 2nd. The eatery is named after its featured item--a Chilean sandwich known as a "Barros Luco" named in turn after a turn-of-the-century president of Chile who was known for holding court while snacking on these bad boys. The Barros Luco comes in either steak or chicken, on what looks something like a hamburger bun but with a smoother and lightly glazed surface (a slightly denser texture and a definitively doughier flavor), and is served with any variety of toppings, including melted swiss-style cheese, tomatoes, avocado, green beans, and banana peppers. I had the "Charcatero Completo," which is essentially the aircraft carrier of toppings. I thoroughly enjoyed. The green beans give it a benign but noticeably novel flavor. The eatery itself is highly comfortable, with several tables (including booths) on the second-floor that look out floor-to-ceiling onto 52nd. (Incidentally, the fountain Coke is excellent--nice syrup-to-CO2-water ratio.) Only criticism, and it's slight: the sandwich is filling, but not huge. If starved, you might put away two (perhaps giving rise to an opportunity to house both the steak and the chicken), but at $7-$9 the double-barros shotgun approach would come at a price.
I hope this place survives. It is a great addition to the neighborhood in a location that has had 2 other places fail very quickly. It is not as good as the chilean sandwhich spot in Boston (Charcatero?) but then again its the only time I have ever seen these served in NY. Sandwhich is small but with a side of sweet potato fries its enough.
We had dinner at Barros Luco recently and it was terrific. The completo was excellent. Juicy, good sauce, not over loaded with meat and fresh made whole wheat roll. I really like the string beans on the sandwich, my companion not as much. Fried sweet potato fries were also fresh, piping hot and delicious. Allegedly the sandwiches were made larger a short while ago and they were the right size for us. Also brought home an empanada and heated it up in the oven a bit later for my son who liked it a lot. That might be a bit pricy at $5 but it is home made, baked not fried (the only way to go) and filled with meat and such. Owner is very nice. I do hope it stays around for a long while. Supposedly they are still waiting for their liquor license. Beer and wine would be a plus, though the upstairs seating area is very informal.