Restaurant Review: Casa Del Barco: Mediocre Mexican, Terrific Tequila

Words and Photos by Alison A. Bower

With Baja Bean relocating from their popular Main Street location, many Richmond locals are in search of a new Mexican-inspired restaurant to satisfy their distinct cravings.

Casa Del Barco has become a popular destination for Mexican cuisine since it opened in October 2012 across from the Canal Walk.

Upon my arrival, I noticed beautifully intricate Mexican-inspired artwork in the lobby. However, as I followed the hostess further in to the restaurant, the Mexican atmosphere began to disintegrate as flashing lights and loud music began to fill my senses.

As my friend and I were seated, I noticed dozens of empty liquor bottles hanging above the tables from a lighted strip nailed to the ceiling. The idea of glass bottles hanging over my head made me feel a bit uncomfortable, so I asked to switch tables.

In spite of that, our waitress promptly greeted us and was interested in helping my friend and me understand the menu, as neither of us had been there before.

The waitress informed us that Casa Del Barco just debuted a new menu last week, created by Executive Chef and Mexican-native, Todd Richardson, which boasts over 100 different types of tequila, various signature Mexican dishes, and a glossary for those new to Mexican cuisine.

While the food menu was confusing at first, the drink menu was thorough, listing over 100 types of tequila and providing details regarding taste and consistency for each type.

The waitress checked on us a few times before we were finally ready to place an order. She mentioned that most all options were gluten-free and could be prepared vegetarian-style, upon request.

I decided on an appetizer of chips and guacamole, and “pollo mole,” or chicken tacos, for my entrée. The waitress generously brought us two extra salsas for the appetizer, a jalapeno cream salsa, and a side of pico de gallo, on the house.

After a 15-minute-wait, my chicken tacos were room temperature and mediocre at best. The chicken itself was overcooked and hard to chew. The tacos were pretty pricey at for two of them, although the waitress did kindly provide extra corn tortillas and a box, for any leftover ingredients I had.

Overall, Casa Del Barco is a fairly upscale Mexican restaurant with an exceptional location, an impressive selection of tequila and other liquors, but merely average Mexican cuisine.

Casa Del Barco is located downtown across from the Canal Walk, a 20-minute walk from the Monroe Park campus, and is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30a.m. until kitchen closing at 10 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until kitchen closing at 1 a.m., and on Sunday’s for brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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