A Fresh New Mexican Restaurant

Kailey McCarthy

Finding a good, new restaurant can be very difficult, especially during a pandemic. With the pandemic, many restaurants have closed their doors for good because they are not getting enough business. However, this is not the case for the new restaurant that opened on August 4th, 2020, in downtown Haverhill, MA called Barrio. According to an article from The Eagle Tribune, this is the first restaurant to open at Haverhill’s Downtown Harbor Place.  This is also the second location that has opened up in New England, and the first Barrio’s restaurant opened in Portsmouth, NH.  Barrio is a Mexican restaurant that prides itself on its tacos and its unique way of ordering.

At Barrio’s you have the option to order a custom taco, burrito, and or bowl. To create your own unique taco, you fill out a bubble sheet to select what items you would like to have. On the bubble sheet, you choose your tortilla, protein, cheese, toppings, salsa, sauces, and sides. Some of the options on the menu include pineapple salsa, cilantro and onions, pan-seared portobellos,  Thai chili tofu, and many more. There are also some items on the bubble sheet that are gluten free and, or vegan in order to give everyone an option to find something they can enjoy. If you do not want to order a custom taco, there are other alternatives. You can order off the chef specials, but you can’t change anything on those items; they come as described.  Pricing can vary depending on the items you choose, but each taco you buy starts off at $3.50, a very reasonable price. 

Barrio currently has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Review, and 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp. The reviews of the restaurant have mostly been positive, and customers saying that they would definitely be coming back. On Google Review, a customer named Kaidian Gilbert gave the restaurant 5 out of 5 stars and said, “Did I say flavor blast? Tacos are amazing! For those who don’t know  this is a new taco bar in downtown Haverhill right on the river in a brand new building. The menu might confuse most looking at it for the 1st time, but the server’s are very good at explaining it. You basically build your own tacos. Only warming I have is making sure you combine the right things. Your taco can go from perfect  to horrible in a blink! My new favorite spot, hope you like it too!” 

 Another customer, named Ron S gave the restaurant 2 out of 5 stars on Yelp and said “Got the avocado tostada and was very disappointed. It was tiny, tasted awful, had no avocado that I could find and was topped with a slurpee runny egg. I sent it back. Very impressive inside with the view and all but I dare not venture further with the menu.” Even though these two customers give Barrio’s two completely different reviews, they are similar in the fact where both of them state that people should be careful with the menu, and how your custom taco could be ruined in a second. Barrio’s might not be for everyone, but if you like Mexican food and tacos, it’s a great new place to try out if you haven’t been before. 

I have personally gone to Barrio, and I really enjoyed it. The waitress was very helpful about the menu, because it can be confusing at first. I really liked how I had the option to order my own custom taco. Before ordering, I was able to start off with some tortilla chips, salsa, and a strawberry lemonade. I thought that the tortilla chips were very good, the salsa wasn’t that spicy, and the strawberry lemonade was okay, I don’t think it was bad, but I don’t think it was worth $6 either.

For my meal, I ordered a soft flour tortilla with Coca-Cola marinated steak with cilantro, lime rice, and cheese and I also ordered another soft flour tortilla with pulled pork and cheese. The tacos came out quickly, and they tasted very good. The bill wasn’t big either, it only came out to be $13.91, and I left a $2 dollar tip for the waitress, so the total came out to be $15.91. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a new restaurant to try, and I know that I will be coming back to Barrio’s soon.