We don’t really like Tex Mex that much. There, I said it. Maybe it’s the places I’ve tried (if someone has a reco, send it my way). Since I moved to Texas several years ago, I’ve repeatedly attempted to like Tex Mex. In San Antonio and Houston alike, margarita happy hours with chips and salsa are practically a way of life. Anyway, my parents were in town and they really love Tex Mex. Unfortunately, they live in Pittsburgh and the options are limited. Based on a friend’s recommendation, we decided to take them to Los Barrios on Blanco Road.
The place was packed, so J and I figured it must be good. We started with some drinks, 3 margaritas and a glass of sangria. The sangria was very good, but J and the ‘rents reported that the margaritas were a little light on the tequila. The chips and salsa were good, but nothing special. We snacked on chips as we reviewed the enormous menu.. thankfully, the wait staff replenished our chip supply a couple of times.
My mom’s dinner choice was definitely the best of the orders, despite the fact that it wasn’t really hot.. or warm.. when it arrived. She had the Brochettes Tropicales, chicken stuffed with jalapeño, cream cheese and wrapped in bacon grilled on a skewer with onions, tomatoes, bell pepper and pineapple. Actually, this dish would have been fab if it had arrived at a higher temperature.
My dad had the brisket gorditas and he thought it was okay, but a little dry. J ordered the Los Barrios Deluxe, a plate of 2 beef tacos, 2 cheese enchiladas, and a strip of steak plus the usual rice, refried beans, and guacamole. J’s exact words were, “it was like eating a salt lick, other than that, it was completely indistinguishable from any other Mexican place.” I have much kinder things to say about my fish tacos. They were a bit bland, but not bad.
After the entrees, we were still working on the margaritas, so we decided to order a slice of tres leches cake. J and I fancy ourselves connoisseurs of tres leches cake. It’s our favorite and we have had tres leches from countless restaurants and bakeries. Our wedding cake was even tres leches! This tres leches was alright – not amazing, but still good enough that we finished it.
While the food was less than amazing, the restaurant does have a good vibe and the staff is very friendly and quick. And, I really like the restaurant’s story, which is printed on the back of their menu. Basically, Viola Barrios came from Mexico with a few recipes and opened a little restaurant in a garage. I love that! Pursuing and reaching the American dream! I love that the restaurant is family-owned and I really admire the family’s charity, Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation, a foundation to help women in need in San Antonio and in Viola’s hometown in Mexico. Bonus points for hard work, family and charity!
More pics here.
Just ok. Maybe we were there on an off night? I am committed to being a Texan, so we’ll keep looking for at Tex Mex place we really love.
4223 Blanco Road
San Antonio, TX 78212