Stopped at Barro for lunch today- first time I've checked out this (chain?) mexican spot on Lake street. I was skeptical, as the decor is a bit over the top and I've never heard anything about it one way or the other.
Arrived around Noon- plenty of open tables. Very large dining area, full bar in the middle. Tables and chairs were not very comfy.
I started with the Monthly Special empanadas, which was 2 bean and cheese empenadas in a tomatillo sauce. The shells were a tad oily, but the sauce was magnificent. Very rich, almost mole-like flavor was the perfect compliment to the basic bean and cheese interior.
The dining companion had the Cilantro soup- a soup of chicken broth, cream and cilantro. As fresh tasting as it sounds.
Both of these dishes far exceeded my expectations.
The main dishes were a bit more dissapointing- the dining companion had the "house salad" which came in a taco salad-style bowl and topped with chicken. Not really what I expected.
I ordered the tamales- 3 chicken tamales, out of the husk, layed over one husk in a light green chili salsa. These were way overpriced at $9. The flavor was okay, the chicken slightly dry. I've had tamales twice as good and for about 1/5th the price from the guy who walks into Quenchers Saloon (and other establishments) with a mini-cooler full of wonderful warm tamales.
Ended up spending about $13 a person, so it was steep for a quick loop lunch, but the appetizers were excellent. They had us in and out within 45 minutes. Might return for a few cocktails and some of the excellent soup (they had others listed that sounded great- Apple Cream for instance), but not for a full on lunch.
73 East Lake, Chicago, (312)