Tacos: Barrio Chino

Date: 1/18/2017

Borough: Manhattan

Address: 253 Broome Street

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What we ordered: 

  • Al Pastor Tacos
  • Pescado Tacos

Cost (post-tax, pre-tip): $21.78

The scores:

Ratings (1-10) Rob Missy
Taste 6 7.5
Presentation 6.5 7
Setting 7.5 7.5
Value  5.5 5.5
Overall 6 6.5

Ryan comments:

We stowed Ryan’s stroller by the door and kept her in her car seat next to us on the booth. Ryan used her pacifier right away and was happy once it was in.

Ryan’s Report Card (1-10): 9

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General Comments:

Barrio Chino is Spanish for “Chinese Hood,” as it’s on the Lower East Side where Chinese and Latino communities intersect (according to NY Mag). The restaurant has pretty bad signage outside and looks hidden, so it’s a little hard to find.

We came at 5pm which was a perfect time to come – all the tables were empty and there were just a few people sitting at the bar. The restaurant had an intimate bar vibe. It was a cool space with exposed brick walls and candle-lit tables (hence the terrible lighting in all of our photos).

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They had a copper kitchen with a cut-out window where the food came out.

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They had very cute drink menus that were hand-drawn on a small piece of cardboard, but we stuck to the food menu.

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The prices were $9 for 2 tacos except for the Pescado tacos (mahi mahi) which were $11 for 2. This seemed to be on the high end but we were hoping the portion size would be larger accordingly…unfortunately we were WAY off and the tacos were very tiny, especially the fish ones. The good thing is they seemed to make everything very fresh, as it took some time in the kitchen and we weren’t served for probably 15 minutes after ordering.

Rob’s Al Pastor tacos were small, but they were full of pork and had lots of pineapple bits throughout. He thought the meat was fatty and not in a good way.

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Melissa’s mahi mahi tacos were a very small portion, not just the taco shells but the amount of fish in them, which was disappointing. These were topped with shredded mango and some kind of crema. The mahi mahi itself was absolutely delicious, there just wasn’t enough of it, especially for the high price tag. Both orders of tacos came with a little pile of pickled veggies on the plate which was an interesting touch. The waiter also brought out 4 hot sauces to the table but we didn’t try them.

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Overall this was a really poor value and a pretty big disappointment…so much so that we question whether we should have put this spot on our Top 10 list. You might be seeing 11 tacos if we decide to add another one on instead!

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