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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dinner Party Report: Los Barrios...

Saturday evening, we enjoyed a really nice celebration dinner at a restaurant called Los Barrios. Locals will of course recall the tragic and senseless murder of Viola Barrios, the owner of the restaurant at the hands of her young neighbor. A sad story for sure, but let's not dwell on that.
I had never been to Los Barrios and to be very honest, the reviews I have read have been mixed - everything from it being the best place to the worst place to eat in San Antonio. I'm gonna say it wouldn't qualify for either extreme.

Ordinarily, my wife and I dine alone as opposed to in a large group so naturally, the service is going to be different. There were numerous groups in the dining area we were in as well as a large group out on the patio. Obviously, this is a popular place on a Saturday evening. With reservations, we were seated immediately and our waiter began taking drink orders. I'm not kidding when I say it took 15 minutes to get the teas, waters and sodas to the table.

In order to speed things up, we were given a very shortened caterer version of the menu, but the selection was fine in my opinion. The more you have to choose from, the longer it takes for everyone to decide. I actually thought that this would make things easier on the staff, but the reality is, it took fully one hour to get the vittles from the kitchen to the table. But again, when you attend a dinner like this, never expect it to be a fast food scenario. My wife and I both suspected that there were many regular diners who arrived after us, ate and were on their way out by the time we ordered. If you dine in a big group, unless you have ordered ahead of time, this is pretty normal.
The table was loaded with small bowls of chips and salsa, both of which were good. They made the wait for dinner much more manageable, but as you can just imagine, I was pretty much full from pigging out on them. I guess I didn't manage the hour all that well.
But onto the food. I think I was the first person to order so I went with the Beef Fajita plate. Two fajita tacos on flour tortillas and the standard rice & beans with some guacamole and pico de gallo to spice things up. I'll tell you right off the bat, I never even touched the rice or beans. See the aforementioned discussion of mismanaging an hour worth of chips and salsa. Appearance wise, the fajitas looked good. And, I am happy to report they taste good as well. Not tough at all which all too often you can come across. I was pleased.
My wife had Tacos “a la Diana” which is three soft rolled tacos filled with
guacamole and shredded chicken and served with rice & beans. My wife who was smart enough to back-off on the chips and salsa really enjoyed the rice and beans. That is a compliment coming from her, given that we all know she makes the best rice & beans in San Antonio*. She was equally happy with her chicken tacos and for her, the long wait was worth it.
The only other picture of food I took was of the No. 1 Plate which is made up of two cheese enchiladas and a crispy beef taco and of course, the rice & beans. This was probably the most popular choice at our table, but it wasn't on the special menu we had placed before us. Needless to say, those who have dined at Los Barrios before know how great this plate is. Look at that little crispy taco and the loads of cheese on the enchiladas. For readers from out of town, is there any wonder now why we are consistently scoring high on the Fattest City in America contest? Just looking at the picture makes me want to do a few sit-ups, but instead I'll probably order a pizza.
As everyone finished up dinner, toasts were made and a cake from Lucy's was produced. How can you go wrong with Lucy's?
The happy bride and groom cut the cake and served one another and all was well in the world.

In the end, we decided that it would only be fair to make a return visit to Los Barrios just to dine on our own. The long wait for dinner was excusable in my mind, but only because of the crowd.

Have you been to Los Barrios? Is it your favorite place to dine for Mexican food? Won't you leave a comment and let us know your thoughts?


Albatross said...

Yep, I've been there several times. I would say the food is very good, but not the best, and some of the items can be a bit pricey for what they deliver. But it's still good, and if someone offers it for lunch, I'll go.

I've never been to the Los Barrios out on Loop 1604, though. I hear it is a completely different dining experience.

Dave said...

I've never been to the Los Barrios out on Loop 1604, though. I hear it is a completely different dining experience.

Shows how much I know. I had no idea the two places were related. Of course, this was my first visit at Blanco and I've never been to the "northern location".

frankvw said...

I've never been to Los Barrios but I have been to Lucy's cakes several times. Just had them do an AF retirement cake for me last week. Top notch and the price is right too.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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