No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Fast Foodie: Barriba Cantina 

click to enlarge 1229646.jpg

Barriba is one of those names I wish I had thought of. It's also the best thing about this upstairs sibling of the County Line on the River Walk. The cantina occupies the space vacated by Starbucks (now representing the empire on North St. Mary's across from Sip), and said space has been redone in the hip-chaotic style that is the contemporary equivalent of the old serape/cactus/sleeping-Mexican genre: Day of the Dead, lottery motifs, etc. Lots of etc. But at least local artists were used, and the place should appeal to tourists.

Tourists are apparently the target audience. Tiny tacos run three for $9.99, and a margarita with top-top-shelf tequila can get up to $19.95 — not that you would do that. Other mix-y cocktails hover around the 10- and 12-dollar range. The Purple Reign with Cîroc vodka, limoncello, violet liqueur, and agave syrup clocks in at $9.50 and needed a lot of squeezed lime to tame the sweetness. The Skinny Dulce Vida, a bargain at $8.50, is actually a pretty good marg variant, though, with orange juice subbing for orange liqueur. With it, you also avoid the pre-made margarita mix.

At $6.99, Mexican Deviled Eggs stand out as one of the more appealing sounding apps, and part of their presumed appeal is "crispy candied jalapeño bacon." Good luck finding much of it; forget the crispy part altogether. Otherwise, the eggs, three of them halved, are OK if a little gratuitously chilé hot. The mango pork carnita tacos that also sounded appealing come on decent tiny tortillas, but the topping is a train wreck of too many ingredients, many of which are much too cold. The carnitas get lost in the shuffle. And the accompanying coconut rice and black beans, both of which are well worth eating, are served in small, black plastic cups that frustrate attempts to excavate them with a fork. A spoon would be welcome. Does nobody ever think of these things?

Be warned that live bands can be very live indeed, even if you're sitting on the pleasant patio overlooking the river. But also know that service is swift and, on two occasions, very friendly and efficient. No disappearing act at check time, for example. It would be a shame to abandon all this to tourists alone.


Barriba Cantina

111 W Crockett St, Ste 214
(210) 228-9876

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation