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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Anonymous on 05/13/2006
Place gets packed on weekends. Service can be very slow. Tacos are super tiny (another one of those places) and not per se special compared to what you get elsewhere. Best advice is to order the chips and salsa - they have three different dips and guacamole to fill up at the bar. Staff is nice, but slow. Suspect kitchen, not staff is the issue. However, they accidentally short-changed me $20, but refunded when I caught the mistake.
Posted by lady di on 02/05/2006
This place is absolutely great! The food was delicious and the margaritas are too die for. As for the other reviews stating that it lacks asian influence, I think it's intended to be mexican food, not chinese. "Chino" is a nod to the neighborhood, as in Chinatown or Barrio Chino, which it was before the LES sprawl started.
Posted by svan on 02/01/2006
While most people coming to the LES for dinner are pretty lame and want a trendy restaurant to make them feel cool, i live down here and as such want something that is tasty and cheap. Barrio Chino is neither of those things, the food is mediocre and overpriced for either the quality or portions and the place is way too tiny for how many people they pack in there. If you want good Mexican, try La Magua y el Tuna on Houston and Attorney. Its authentic, delicious, cheap, and most importantly, keeping it real.
Posted by furryonnorfolk on 01/16/2006
My conclusion from one visit: Barrio Chino is a good place to get brunch food/mexican on those days when the idea of waiting to eat somewhere is too much to handle. The three people in my party each ate different things, and none were really spectacular. All were okay, and a bit salty, however... On the other hand, the relaxed vibe and fact that we didn't have to wait hours to eat some weekend brunch made up for it. I'd say prices are average for brunch. One question: where's the Chinese influence?
Posted by FooDee on 11/05/2005
I cannot fathom thinking this place is overpriced. The food was awesome, on all counts. As for portion size, we all left a little bit on our plates, solely because as is normally the case with Mexican, the flavor and ingredients satisfy and fill you without exhorbitant quantities. I had the camarones (opted for beans instead of rice; a request that was flawlessly executed). The spinach and mushroom side was perfectly cooked... not too much, not too little. Their mole is some of the best I've ever had. Fresh chips, terrific guac, and the salsa I wish I could buy by the gallon! Yeah, it's a little hot, and crowded and busy, but it's exactly what a off-the-beaten-path Mex. joint should be. Ole, over and over again.
Posted by desol81 on 10/06/2005
The food here is very tasty, but you need a magnifying glass to see it on the plate. Even the steak. And way too expensive. A friend took me here for my birthday and we had to go elsewhere, because we left still hungry. But they have about the hottest waitress in NYC. Grrrr!
Posted by queen on 09/23/2005
This is my favorite place to hang in when i'm downtown. Actually, i live in west harlem and sometimes make special trips to their neighborhood with friends, just to hang out there -- believe it or not. Why? It's got fantastic ambiance (love the asian/latin visual juxtaposition), the vibe isn't too hip, the staff is very accommodating and the food -- which is traditional mexican fare, by the way, and not tex-mex (and i should know the difference because i used to live in austin, texas and was overly innundated with both) -- is so unbelievably good, it's wacky. Actually, i went there last night and ate like the queen that i am and it was as great as it always is. I totally love this place. It's definitely in my permanent top five.