Restaurant Name: Barrio
Restaurant Location: 210 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Our neighborhood has a glut of Mexican restaurants. Frankly, most of them are sub-par (think bland, flavorless, uninspired gobs of gooey beans and cheese). Thus, we had put off trying Barrio, assuming it would fall in line with what he had already experienced.
Well...you know what they say about assuming things...and they're right. Barrio was an unexpected pleasure of homemade sauces, authentic flavors, fresh seafood, and tender braised meats.
We started with the fresh guacamole--a swirl of tiny bits of tomato, chunks of avocado, and just the right hint of lime.
Thinking to get something small, I ordered one of their appetizers for my dinner: three soft taquitos. They have a variety of intriguing flavors to choose from and I settled on the braised short ribs with onion, cilantro, radish, and crema. They are served in warm, soft flour tortillas (heaped so full they are almost hard to pick up and eat) and with homemade chili sauces ranging from mild to burn-your-taste-buds-off. It was more than I could finish.
My husband ordered the Yucatan shrimp, which are sauted with chilies and served on a bed of rice flavored with coconut milk and studded with pickled onions and calamari. The dish was inventive, fresh, and flavorful -- the last thing we had expected from this place.
I look forward to a return visit to try their tempting cocktails, sweet plantain empanadas, roasted pork shoulder, carnitas, and shrimp enchiladas.
Isn't it lovely when your expectations are defied?
I certainly think so.