Barrio Tacos Brings the Sauce

Barrio Tacos Brings the Sauce

Jessica Goodrich and Jessica Goodrich

Barrio Tacos located on Albert street in Lansing Michigan, known for their Coca-cola marinated steak, and the student attraction, was the restaurant I decided to visit. This restaurant was rated a four star restaurant on Yelp, and a 4.4 on Facebook. Barrio offers vegetarian and Vegan options as well as curbside, dine in, and takeout available. 

The first impression of this restaurant was that it was a very popular dinner spot for the on campus college students. If I had not called earlier in the day and asked for availability, I could only have imagined the wait time.I did not need to make reservations to this place, but I would suggest calling on a busy day to see their availability.  I sat at the bar, with that being the only available seats. The restaurant was decorated with Michigan State University and the employees also wore the school’s apparel. The atmosphere felt very alive and welcoming with one half of the restaurant open to the outside which created an open flow of air and conversation. 

When we sat down we were given papers that had you build your own taco, which reminded me of a sushi place that has you circle the types of rolls you want with a paper and pencil. We were told that since tonight was such a busy night, that the wait time for food would be around twenty five to thirty minutes. We were given our drinks by the bartenders, which I obviously got water and lemon, the perfect drink to pair with tacos. Of course being a Mexican restaurant, we were given complimentary chips and salsa. I ordered an extra side of guacamole for the chips. The salsa was very good, and not too spicy. The guacamole on the other hand, was very salty with not a lot of flavor. Our wait for our food was not as long as expected and our orders came right out. 

I ordered two different tacos, the first one with a soft flour tortilla, the infamous Coca-cola steak, the chihuahua cheese which was a mild white cheese, with caramelized onions, add pico de gallo, and lastly add the crack sauce which was described as a spicy ranch  This taco had to be my favorite, it was so flavorful, with the steak and the onions together. The spicy ranch added this kick of heat to it, while keeping the taco flavorful. I do have to say that the Coca-cola steak just tasted like a normal non- dry steak, which was a bit disappointing.  The second taco that I ordered was the flour tortilla, with the spice rubbed chicken, the queso fresco, cilantro and onions, adding lime rice, and sour cream to dip it in. I ordered this taco with the intention to try the taco without a sauce on the inside so that I can taste all the ingredients mixed together better. I would say not adding the sauce was a mistake, not only was it dry but this one did not have a lot of flavor. The chicken didn’t seem as “spice rubbed” as it was described and the lime rice didn’t taste much like lime at all. The cilantro and onions were the main component to this one, being the strongest flavor I could taste. The thing with this taco was that it was still enjoyable, all of the ingredients mixed together did make for a good taco, especially with the melted queso. I ended up paying twenty-four dollars for two meals that consisted of four tacos, with no sides. 

Overall the experience was very good, along with the service that was given to us. The food was very delicious and the energy was high. This was not the traditional Mexican restaurant that we likely have all eaten at, this place felt like a fancy sports bar with top notch tacos, just make sure to order some sauce.