Barrio Chino is a tiny Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side. There are only a couple of tables, and the rest of the seating is either at the bar or communal table. Prepare yourself to be elbow-to-elbow with the stranger next to you and don’t come with a group of more than four.
That said, the vibe, drinks, and the food make up for the lack of seats and the fact that the service is often lacking. Two waiters for 48 people? (I counted). Not good. At least they have amazing mustaches. Be careful, although the menu doesn’t appear to be pricey, after a couple margaritas, an appetizer, and a main, you’re dropping $50-60 a head. A little expensive, but it’s worth it.
Appetizer portion of three mini tacos. Tiny pieces of chopped up skirt steak with cilantro, onions, and a slice of avocado on top. Some tasty tacos and the fact that they bring out four different options of salsa is a nice touch.
Not bad. Not bad at all. They’re just not in the same league as Yerba Buena or La Esquina.
Normally I wouldn’t write up guacamole and chips because they’re pretty hard to screw up and generally a solid addition to the meal. But the Barrio Chino guac is particularly awesome. Nice and chunky.
This enchilada gets an “OH HELL YEAH” - you’ll come back for more of this bad boy. A traditional green enchiladas stuffed with shredded chicken and melted cheese, served with black beans topped with queso fresco.
A big, grilled poblano chile pepper stuffed with shredded pork, pears, apples, almonds, and raisins covered in a creamy walnut sauce, and served with green rice. This Mexican sundae is unique and totally out of this world. I’m currently craving it.
My favorite thing to order at these little Mexican hybrid joints. This ten ounce marinated skirt steak is perfectly cooked medium rare and served with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and beans. As is usually the case, skirt steaks deliver the goods. Super juicy and quite tender, my one complaint is that it’s a little on the small side.