Barrio Lowertown St. Paul ROCKS.
Barrio Lowertown in St. Paul has surpassed my expectations! They have a new head chef there and I think that has driven their success. They now serve up very creative foods with great combinations of flavors.
It can be busy and loud at times, but it is well worth putting up with that to have a fun drink, and enjoy a fabulous evening of sharing unusual dishes with family and friends. The guacamole and chips are " muy bien" and the small plates are fun to share--they have great fresh ingredients combined in ways that satisfy even the pickiest of tongues!
No wonder it is so hard to get in there!!!
This place is great. Don't listen to the bad reviews on this page. This is a bar that serves tacos and small plates. If you want fine dining, there are plenty of places down town for this.
The tacos here are always great. Very fresh and creative ingredients. These are not your regular tacos. Try the chorizo enchilada with a fried egg on top. You won't forget it.
They also have around 150 brands of tequila,with one of the better hand made margaritas I have every had. No mix served up at this place.
Terrible Bad!!!. food is bad. customer service is worst. My worst experience in restaurants so far! If you have any doubt: don't go. I was personally treated in a very rude way by their employees! If you want to enjoy a good meal in a very good place simply:don't go there
Great place for a drink.
Food is awful, expensive, and small.
Our waitress was horrible. Such a snot, like she hated working. She also refused to split the check.
A tequila bar/taqueria for the downtown crowd.. Chef extraordinaire Tim McKee brings a tequila bar/taqueria to the downtown crowd. The interior of this former Dunn Bros. is decorated like the devil’s rock ‘n’ roll hideaway: The name “Barrio” is scrawled in motorcycle-tattoo font; a graffiti-splashed fire-red painting at the entrance screams from the underworld; and well-dressed downtown diners mingle like professional rock stars under the boudoir chandeliers. Of course, the bottles of tequila are the true rock stars at this tequila taqueria, and they take center stage at the dreamy, backlit bar. As tequila flows like the Rio Grande, servers dressed in rock-inspired tanks and tees are turned into instant roadies, ensuring fast and friendly delivery of Mexican-inspired goods for the after-work happy hour crowds and late-night cocktail aficionados.
Horrible.... So first I have to admit that I have actually never been able to try the drinks and food at Barrio, however I have on two occassions dealt with horrible front of the house service. My first visit was a Saturday night and there were only 2 of us. I was surprised at how tiny this place is and that most of the clientele appeared to be overaged women trying to be 'hip'. After spending close to 30 minutes trying to get the bartenders attention we ended up leaving. On the 2nd trip three of us went on a Thursday at 4pm for Happy Hour. We arrived and waited at the hostess stand for 5 minutes while two people stood behind it with their backs turned and ignored us. Finally I was asked rudely if I had a reservation. I said no and was promptly laughed at and told with a roll of the eyes in a very demeaning manner that the wait would be at least 1.5 hours. It was hard to believe this to be the case when there were more than a couple of open tables. Needless to say I agree with the other people on here who say the service is horrible and I won't be going back a 3rd time to try the food/drinks.
Wonderful and Unique.
This has become one of my favorite spots in the Twin Cities and I have brought groups here 4 times and everyone loved it. Frequently crowded and loud but food is worth the wait. I haven't had the poor service others refer to. I've found the servers to be friendly and helpful (perhaps it was the guests attitude?).
In any case the prices are actually wonderful. You can get a wide variety and a lot of food for a really good price. All depends on what you order.
Try it at lunch and you can get a feel for what you'd need at dinner to save $'s
Good but overpriced food/bad service. As a server for over 10 years in the restaurant industry, I was disappointed by my first experience at Barrio this Valentines Day. My boyfriend and I had made reservations a month prior to the day, so were disappointed when we were sat at our table, which was so close to the tables to our right and left that I had to struggle to avoid hearing every word of the conversations of our fellow diners. This might have been ok if not for the fact that the table to our left was very unhappy with their experience (and reasonably so) that they complained the whole time which put quite a damper on what started off as a fun evening. I couldn't blame them...the women at the table was vegetarian, and since the featured "tasting" menu was all that could be ordered on Valentines day and none of the items on the menu were vegetarian, she was told that she would be charged 40 dollars for chips and guacamole. The server was rushed and unhelpful. She told the women that she could make substitutions which basically consisted of taking the meat out of the meat dishes. I'm not a vegetarian but I don't see how taking the Spare Ribs out of a dish that consisted of Spare Ribs and Yucca could be considered a vegetarian entree. Finally after a few attempts to ask the server to remedy the situation, the couple asked to speak to a manager who was finally able to meet their request. The server wasn't trying to be rude, but it was obviously she was either too busy or just not experienced enough to provide the service that such an expensive restaurant requires. Not that I expected Barrio to be fine dining, but if I am going to spend 175 dollars on an evening I guess I expected a little more. What I did get was expensive food and drinks with the type of service that I would normally get at a regular sports bar. The food and drinks were tasty which is why I would go back, but only for happy hour where hopefully it would be less expensive and I wouldn't care about inattentive service.
Great food and drinks, awful service.
Let me start by saying that I have never written a negative review before, because having served tables while going to school at the U, I can appreciate that every restaurant/bar (and every server) has its up days and its down days. I honestly hope the owners are reading this, because lousy food and drink is forgiveable; lousy service isn't. In trying to keep this review fair, let me start with the good: excellent mojitos (try to find a good mojito in Minnesota), an array of over 100 tequilas, a pleasant atmosphere, and tasty appetizers. The bartenders are not stingy with the liquor, although the food portions are on the smallish side. If you're going for value, get the quacamole and chips, and order up a few shots of tequila. Everything's on the pricier side, but I'd say it's of perceptibly higher quality.
The deal breaker: service. I do not believe I have ever encountered such a nonchalant and condescending waiter, especially at an upscale place like Barrio. He had this attitude like he didn't really need to be serving. I can appreciate a server who's chill and down to earth or even a little stoned, but this guy was a douschebag. He was very brief with us when taking our initial order; he did not collect empty glasses, plates, or bottles (another waitress was kind enough to take them for us); we had to flag down another server every time we wanted to order more drinks; and to top it off, our waiter had the seeds to stick us with a 20% gratuity. That's just tacky. With a group of 8, we left about $350 there plus tip. While the food and drinks are great, I could inulge in better service from Perkins or Denny's before I bring my friends back to Barrio. And here's the funny part -- I don't think I've ever been genuinely offended by bad food or a botched drink order, but I'm not alone when I say the service was downright upsetting.
Sooooo disappointed!. We had a decent sized group head to Barrio Thursday after work for happy hour. The place is very cute, lost of dark red and gothic touches. Love the bar. The major problem I had with this place was the TERRIBLE service. Our waitress was arrogant, self-righteous, condescending, on top of not being attentive. Multiple times in the evening we couldn't find her so we had to go to the bar. No big deal, it was two steps away and the bar staff was great. When it came time to close the bill she stuck us with 20% gratuity for shotty service and wouldn't even split up the bill. Seriously? Multiple times she acted like she was doing me a favor by getting me another marg. Apparently she didn't read the job description very well. I was so excited to go to Barrio, but ended up sorely disappointed. It's a sweet place to walk by, but I would not suggest going in unless you want to be treated like a child. I will take my money and my friends elsewhere.
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