Are you this cool?
Barrio Brewing is located at 16th and Toole just a block North of the 17th Street Market. A long narrow patio extends the front of the converted warehouse displaying a nice view of some of the best industrial Tucson has to offer. Inside, Barrio is clean and hospitable with all the amenities one might look for in a bar to get a drink or watch a game. Upon my first visit I was skeptical about their beer. I haven’t been into microbrews since my favorite band was the Archers of Loaf.
On my first visit, I ordered the fish tacos, Cal got the tequila lime wings, and Valarie had a hamburger. My fish tacos came with flavorless beans and a lame salad garnish. The fish was fried which usually overpowers the other ingredients. Case in point with Barrio’s fish tacos, I might as well have ordered fish sticks and brought them home to share with my nephew. V’s hamburger was acceptable but with a side order of rather floppy fries the dish also missed. The only winner was Cal’s wings which featured only hints of both tequila and cilantro. They bordered on sublime. The real star of the night though was the beer, I got stuck on the Tucson Blonde which, after three or four, rendered me useless at shuffleboard.
On my second visit, my brother Eric and I sampled all of their beers. It cost 8.50 for a two once glass of everything they had on tap. It was worth it seeing how we downed them as fast as we could causing an odd buzz after such a small amount of beer. The beers ranged from amazing (Tucson Blonde, Copperhead Pale Ale, Nut Brown) to what the fuck is that (Stoops Oatmeal Stout, Nolan Porter). There is also Taylor Jayne’s Raspberry Ale which had an unmistakable of Smurfberries. My brother is somehow too young to remember Smurfberries and he thought the aftertate was Cap’n Crunch Oops All Berries. A tasty but inferior product.
I ordered the said raspberry ale making sure to pronounce the word “rasp” berrry just in case our weird looking waitress found it amusing. (she didn’t) and Eric had a Tucson Blonde. I went with the Althea, a turkey sandwich with guacamole and red pepper cream cheese on wheat. Eric ordered the Southwestern burger with pepper jack and green chile. We also ordered the Wicked Hot Habanero Buffalo Wings.
Eric’s Southwestern burger came out looking more like a Diane (mushrooms, swiss) which he confirmed by stick his finger into the burger and digging around for a mushroom. (our aplogies to whomever ordered that Diane) It was soon replaced with the correct burger, hopefully someone’s finger hadn’t been jammed in that one. It didn’t make much difference as the burger was a turd from start to finish. The bun failed to live up to a bun’s responsibilities somehow mananging to soak up the worst of the burger and still be too doughy. It pretty much fell apart by the time he was done. My turkey sandwich was uninspired at best. The guacamole was absent and the red pepper cream cheese didn’t have any pop. The turkey breast was shaved deli meat. The worst was the bread. It was billed as wheat but had all the look and taste of white. That really wasn’t the problem however as with each bite I took more of the bread disintigrated. I had to order an extra beer just to choke it down. (that’s where they get you) The wings however, were a revelation. They were, in fact, wicked hot. Both of us had tears in our eyes as we finished off the order with a pair of wings that had been soaking in the potent sauce. Then, per usual (allergies), I rubbed my eye and had to go to the bath room to flush it out. I have to say, these wings may be the best in town.
If you just want some wings and beer, it may be hard to beat Barrio. But if you want something to eat go somewhere else and hit up Barrio later for a cold brew .
I give Barrio six and a half little cups of ranch to go with their killer wings.
Here’s what the internet says:
“The crowd on the Sunday afternoon when we visited was a mixed bag” – Rita Connelly, Tucson Weekly
“It was sort of like those disaster movies where the sick passenger is whisked off the plane and driven at high speed right to the emergency room” – Vin F.
“God bless this place. ” – Adam S.
“Super! Now we have another place to drink Gentle Ben’s nasty microbrew beer.” – Justin C.