This review is based on our second trip to Barrio in St. Paul.
We decided to call it quits at work around 2:00 in the afternoon. We met at Barrio so we had both of our cars. Parking can be tough, but luckily, we both managed to find spots on the street alongside Mears Park. From 2:00 - 6:00, we paid about $2/hour/car.
It was a beautiful, hot and sunny day and my baby was dressed for the occasion, in her little skirt and top. We specifically chose Barrio because it was the only bar in Lowertown which had a patio and had more eclectic food than the traditional pub cuisine (like chicken fingers and wings). Fortunately, we scored the last remaining outdoor high top but quickly we found out why it was the last remaining. The legs on the table were so uneven, our extra quarters for the parking meter slowly slid toward the edge. On one trip to plug the meter, I found some larger chunks of mulch in Mears Park. As I was under the table situating the mulch in an effort to make the table steady, I quickly fell in love with my best girl all over again.
On both occasions to Barrio, I would imagine we close to drank them out of Blue Moon. But they many beers on tap, as well as every tequila from the most remote distilleries in Mexico.
On this occasion, we had chips and salsa, as well as the fried chicken tacos with a mango salsa (the happy hour special of the day). The food didn't disappoint. The chicken was light and airy - perfect for a lighter course such as this taco. The chips were fantasic....served warm and salted. On a previous occasion, we shared the sugarcane skewered shrimp, the grilled skirt steak taco, chips and guacamole, the Amish chicken enchilada. and a churro for dessert. Everything we have tried has been delicious.
The only downside to this location is the patio is relegated to a few tables on the busy sidewalk and the street seems to be a common hub for mass transit --every couple of minutes a city bus pulled up. The noisy bus traffic (and their riders) made for a less pleasant patio environment than other restaurants. However, there is always a lot of activity in Mears Park to look at (we watched a middle age man playing hackey sack for quite a while).
All in all, this spot made for a great afternoon of beverages (despite the constant traffic) and if you can avoid the tippy table, the patio is a pretty enjoyable place to be.
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