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“Slow service, service errors, repeated panhandler problems”
Review of Barrio Tequila Bar

Barrio Tequila Bar
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Ranked #113 of 945 Restaurants in Saint Paul
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Mexican
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Wacouta
Reviewed 8 May 2018

We went here with friends in the evening because we wanted to sit on the patio for dinner and enjoy ourselves. The food ranged from ok to good, the cocktails were good, the service was slow with a lot of issues, and a panhandler repeatedly harassed Barrio guests. Not an enjoyable experience.

There were four of us seated on the patio, so not an enormous group. We waited about 10 minutes for water and silverware, a solid 15 minutes before our server approached us. Before our server ever came to the table, we had food runners try to deliver four different dishes to our table! When our server approached us, she had an odd look in her eyes like she had no idea we were there.

She took our cocktail order and abruptly left. We had wanted to place an appetizer order; after all, we had been sitting long enough to memorize the menu. When she delivered our cocktails she started to quickly turn to leave when my husband ordered Guacamole with chips ($10.50) and vegetables ($3.00). The guacamole was good but very bland.

At this time I went to the women's restroom. It was clean but the toilet handle was broken and there were parts on a side table. It worked but it was surprising in a restaurant. I went back to our table to find that someone had stacked up 3 metal chairs and placed them directly behind where my seat was at the table; I couldn't get in without picking them up and moving them (are you kidding me?).

Cocktails. Overpriced but pretty good. One friend got the Cesar Chavez margarita ($11) which she liked, and later the Macho Camacho margarita ($10.50) which she really didn't like. My husband had the High Plains Drifter ($11.50) which he thought was too sweet, then the Trinity Margarita ($10.50) which he thought was too small for the price. I agree with him, the Trinity is too small and has a lot of ice for $10.50 each.

Our server came back and took our dinner orders. She did warn us that it was tapas style so everything would come out at different times. That was an understatement as the four of us had our food at different times which was odd.

The three sides ordered at our table came out first so one friend sat while the rest of us ate. My husband and the other friend ordered sides of Black Beans ($4 ea). They were good. I ordered a side of Fried Yuca with lemon aioli ($4). It was good but as I was eating the last piece, our server took my dishes away from under my hand. I wasn't done with the aioli. Unprofessional.

It was a long time before our tacos came out, one at a time. One friend got the Shrimp Taco ($5.50) which she liked. Our other friend got the Ahi Tuna Taco ($5.50) which he liked. My husband liked his Chicken Enchilada ($5) but said it was not any better than something cooked at home. I had the Grilled Chicken Taco ($5) which had very little chicken on it and was mushy.

Sitting right on the edge of the sidewalk is unpleasant. The buses roar past, cars are speeding. This may be an access issue with the city for placement of the tables, but it would be MUCH better if the tables were next to the building.

During this, a female panhandler made repeated sweeps of ALL of the tables of Barrio customers begging for money or food off of customer plates. At a two-person table next to us which clearly was a date, this woman took food off of a customer's plate. Yes, she came to our table which was right on the street and was begging for money as our dishes had been cleared. She was wearing blue scrubs, solid colored pants and a flowered top. She appeared to be really out of it, whether from chemical use or mental health issues. She was a pest for the whole evening and neither servers, runners, nor management did anything to protect the guests. You were on your own. There is no way she wasn't seen.

The public sidewalk runs between the restaurant interior and sidewalk seating but the panhandler went deeply into the seating area. Other restaurants protect their guests. It was obvious that she is a fixture and she is very comfortable harassing diners.

My husband and I discussed all the service errors. Neither of us has been to a restaurant with so many errors in a short time.

I had really wanted to go to Barrio for along time but was sorely disappointed.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CaptTrouble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 106 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2018

Our group of 4 had a great time at Barrio St. Paul! We had 4 types of margaritas, guacamole, fish taco, ceviche, shrimp taco, chicken enchilada, and chicken tamale as well as yucca fries. We thought everything was fantastic with the exception of the yucca fries which were a little oily for our liking. There rest of the meal was flavorful and well-balanced. The fish was bright and the chicken had a depth of flavor. A bonus was that on an early spring evening, the doors were open and we could enjoy the fresh air even though we were not on the patio.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TamsAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2018 via mobile

I had a business dinner here that turned into a four hour meeting. The staff were exceptional for us. Actually they staff were amazing. The food was great and the space has a good vibe.

Thank Twinsguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2017 via mobile

Sat at the bar ordered chips and salsa , drinks, and enchiladas. There was a DJ no one was on the dance floor. Wasn't very busy for a Friday night at midnight. Service was fast, food is good not overly expensive . This is always a local stop for me and guests.

Thank NikkiA179
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2017 via mobile

My son recommended. Looking for Mexican. Really good! A bit upscale.

Happened upon happy hour so was able to have sort of tapas style items. We were able to try a lot of different items.

Several wedding parties stopped in for tequila flights and then back out in their limos!

The waiter said it happened a lot. Fun!

Thank Claudia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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