Finally. After multiple failed attempts at getting a table here, we got lucky...and during prime time no less. Literally ten minutes after sitting down at the communal table, a mob of people gathered outside to wait for a seat. Bottom line, this place is great but it's almost always a pain in the ass to get in. Good thing there are plenty of other options on the same block.
Welcome to "Beldel" (below Delancy), one of the coolest up and coming hoods indowntown Manhattan. With the LES quickly becoming the second coming of MurrayHill, the realness factor of Broome St. between Orchard and Ludlow is quite refreshing.
Based on the fact that they had new records from Infatuation approved Empire of The Sun and Phoenix playing on random, it's very likely that next time we go in there they'll have some Miike Snow in rotation. I mention this because Miike Snow's show at Mercury Lounge just so happened to be what brought us to Barrio Chino in the first place.
This restaurant is tiny. There are only a couple of tables, 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. The vibe, drinks, and food make up for the fact that the service is seriously 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.