Eating the World

Barrio Cafe: Good -- But Glorified -- Mexican Food

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I'm probably going to get a lot of heat for what I'm about to explain.

But this is Phoenix -- so why not?

I have issues with upscale Mexican food. Call it being a traditionalist. Call it being a hater. Both apply, in this case, so let me tell you why.

To me, Mexican food is naturally rustic. It's meant to be eaten with your hands. It's messy. It's rough on the untrained palate. The roots of most (if not all) Mexican dishes are campesino foods. Meals that are meant to be eaten by the layman, the worker, not the mayor.

That's the beauty of it -- that it's not meant to be fancy.

Barrio Cafe has an admirable mission: a little neighborhood eatery providing authentic southern Mexico cuisine and chef's original creations in an unpretentious atmosphere.

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Alex Rodriguez