Photography by Chris Osburn
Soho's got a new “Latin cantina and cocktail lounge” that Londonist recently visited and found to be way better than we had anticipated. Sister bar to Barrio North on Essex Road, Barrio Central serves massive portions of rather yummy dishes as well as top notch cocktails. We were actually quite impressed with a few dishes and sincerely wished we'd been able to sample more than just a couple of cocktails (alas, our Monday night visit found us too fearful of a groggy Tuesday morning to dabble much in the drinky poohs).
Invited by the restaurant to give the menu and drinks list a go, we thought the veggie version of their Barrio Nachos (freshly fried with home made Pico de Gallo, salsa verde, sour cream, guacamole and Monterey jack cheese from £5) more than worked as a starter. And we really liked the calamari with aioli (£6) especially the slightly spicy aioli. Incredibly filling and right tasty, the Barrio Sandwich (slow roasted pulled pork on ciabatta with Monterrey Jack cheese, chorizo and rocket for £7) was a mega-sarnie we'd be glad to chow down on again.
Drinks wise, manager Mikey was on the verge of blowing us away with his cocktail knowledge. We loved Barrio's margarita and thought the Mai Tai was more than commendable. The rest of Barrio Central's drinks list intrigued. Options such as “The No Brainer”, Barrio’s signature cocktail which “serves two to share (Herradura tequilas, guava, pineapple, grapefruit, fizz £20) in a Lucha Libre wrestling mask” sound like liquid fun and possibly worth a return (non Monday night) visit.
The vibe at Barrio? Casual and colourful. The staff, attentive but seemingly a bit overwhelmed. As for the clientèle well, they were lots of people done up in fancy dress during our visit having a brilliant time and seemingly oblivious to it being a Monday night.
Barrio Central is located at 6 Poland Street (W1F 8PS). Check 'em out online at www.barriocentral.com.