Mi Barrio Restaurant Review – Grant Park, Atlanta, GA [From The Archives]

Originally Posted 11.16.2008

I returned to Mi Barrio last night for what was probably my fifth meal there.  While I will say that it was the best meal I’ve ever had there, that was not a consequence of the cuisine.  Ultimately, Mi Barrio is a decent restaurant, but drastically overrated in the food community.  At the end of the day, I would only recommend Mi Barrio if you have a hankering for some Mexican food and live in nearby Grant Park.  The food last night was par for the course for Barrio.  However, my good buddy Chris (from Café Agora fame) and Leslie, his wonderful wife, were kind enough to join me.  That’s what made this fun.

It’s a small joint with about 15 tables that usually have their share of patrons.  The decor is predictably “Cantina-esk” and the service comes and goes – friendly but not always the best.  Many people say this is “authentic” Mexican cuisine – I wonder how many of them have actually been south of the border.  The menu is straight forward Tex-Mex with a handful of “traditional” options.  As usual, the food was fairly bland and under seasoned.  The beans and rice are unremarkable.  However, the fresh tortillas are a big plus.

I managed to convince Chris to try the Beef tongue tacos.  He got them with cilantro and thought they were tasty, though lacking some seasoning.  The beef tongue is definitely the star of the menu and worthy of 3-star consideration.  The rest of the food banters back in forth between decent and “not so much.”  More often than not, what you’ll have is decent.

For example, Leslie had enchiladas.  Her first observation was that they were the greasiest she had seen; her second was that they were solid.  I’d agree with her on both accounts.  I went with a steak taco and a chicken taco.  As usual, the steak was tough, chewy, and under seasoned. The chicken was better.  It was moist, but pretty much like everything else.  What’s that you ask? yeah – it was flavorless.

The pitcher of margaritas is a bit on the pricy side at $23.00 a pop; however, it’s a good sized serving and that makes the price tag more reasonable.  It helps that they are pretty strong too!  Beer runs less than $5.00, so it’s a good option.  I don’t drink beer, so I never get it here.

Bottom line – this place is affordable.  A good spot for some drinks and a meal if you are in the hood, it’s not a disaster.  To further beat down the idea:  I wouldn’t put this anywhere near my top 10 Mexican spots in the city.

Mi Barrio Restaurant Address & Information

571 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 // 404.223.9279
Mi Barrio on Urbanspoon

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  • jo

    I really enjoy Mi Barrio but I see your point. We mainly go on Sundays for the Menudo soup (wonderful) and I like the tongue taco’s. Your right, the best thing is the hand made tortillas! I had also noticed that the steak is usually a little tough, so I usually go with tongue. I have had two completely different experiences with the tamales – first time they were just okay, the second time they were amazing – I guess maybe it depends on how fresh they are?? I love the people though and always have a good time there with friends. Where are your favourite Mexican spots in the city?? (I’m assuming Nuevo Laredo is in there somewhere).

    • http://www.foodiebuddha.com foodiebuddha

      I haven’t had the Menudo soup … but I’ll try it if I’m ever there on a Sunday. The tortillas are really tasty when fresh. I agree that the freshness might have had something to do with your tamale experience. The staff is super friendly and that’s important.

      As for the Mexican restaurant question: I’ll have to think on it a bit and get back to you

  • Gildo

    If there is a “next time” the Relleno is rocking!

    • http://www.foodiebuddha.com foodiebuddha

      Sounds like a Sunday trip with a relleno and Menudo soup is in order.

  • Maura

    Dude- you haven’t tried their chimichangas or their pasole have you? Usually pasole is made with chicken, but their pork version is SO delicious! I agree that their margaritas are the bomb! This is a great family restaurant, and actually, is pretty authentic. That’s why you’ll find more Mexicans there than at Agave or Holy Taco.
    I give it four forks! Yum!

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