Holy Camarones! Did Orinda Just Get a Mexican Restaurant?

It may have been a "soft" opening but Barbacoa has fired up the oven and iced the margaritas. And locals have taken notice.


Barbacoa, brought to you by the team behind Table 24, opened its doors next to its flagship restaurant and claimed even more space at Orinda's Theatre Square this week and bringing a much-hoped-for Mexican restaurant into play.

Early reviews by patrons who happened by the "soft" Grand Opening Tuesday, saw the doors open and the grill turning out wood-fired Mexican food were favorable.

And there's a full bar. And spatial separation for imbibing adults who want to sit at the bar for a post-work cocktail free of war cries from rampaging children -- and a space for families hoping to keep those very children happy while they feed the brood.

Patchers have expressed a hankering for good Mexican food for months here. If you got in the door, let us know what you think of Barbacoa. And good luck to them.

Chris Nicholson June 07, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Just got back from dinner. It was a full house. Still some kinks, to be sure, but a very nice and very promising addition to Orinda. We love the design/decor. I think they'll be very successful. We tried several of their different tacos, which were all really good. The margaritas were a bit heavy on the acidic/lime versus agave syrup for my taste, but my wife liked it.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Cool, CNick and Mrs. CNich, thanks for checking in. I'm Jonesing heavily for some good Mexican food and hope to make it by soon.
Amanda June 07, 2012 at 04:47 AM
I got to sample their food a few weeks ago at a fundraiser. Pretty yummy. Don't know what the full menu looks like, but I appreciated the vegetarian taquitos and the fact that the beans and rice are also veg.
Nath June 07, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Just happened upon the opening night and decided to have dinner with some friends. All four of us thought the food was fabulous. I had the shrimp dinner and my husband had the carnitas tacos. Delicious! We ate outside, which was lovely. I think the bar will be a wonderful addition to the downtown for an after the movie drink. Barbacoa is sure to be a success!
Chris F. June 07, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I was at a OBA fundraiser that Barbacoa catered, Very good!
Brad Katkowsky June 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I'll check it out and let you know
CJ June 08, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Went last night. Service was awful. Drinks were OK. Decor was very good. Food- It was not by any stretch authentic Mexican. Most of the dishes were flavorless. Barbacoa was OK and had potential, but was salty and had zero spice. Carnitas was pretty good but any idiot can make carnitas as it is just refried stewed pork shoulder. Chips were OK but were metered out in ridiculous plates in small quantities, so you had to keep asking for more. Tortillas are store bought and nuked. Beans were flavorless and thick with no redeeming qualities or seasoning. El Charro is better food. I sense no great passion for the cuisine here. Sadly disappointing particularly at the prices they charge.
Chris Nicholson June 08, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The tacos are a strong point sample from the extensive selection next time you go. FYI, we also tried the barbacoa and carne asada entrees and agree that they need more (some?) kick. I held my fire as I thought the first week of beta testing was too soon to be too critical. I say: give 'em a chance. They have a solid foundation upon which to tweak and build.
CJ June 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I will go one more time as I agree the service issue was related to inexperience of the staff. But the food issues should be worked out prior to opening the doors. Wife had the tacos(Barbacoa) , We bought 2 appetizers as well. The chicharrons which I didn't mention were not as good as the ones out of the bag. For $7+ I would expect freshly fried pork skin that is crisp and light. We go cold chewy.
yosh toby June 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM
lets hope they do real mexican food and not suburban mex,like chevys ...sigh


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