A large part of my childhood was spent in the sunrise community of East Hastings. Drugs and prostitutions infest the once friendly neighborhood. I used to hate the stench every time I had to help my mother out in her garment factory on East Hastings and Victoria. Over the years I have seen changes to the community. Gourmet Factory moved from the back streets to Hastings. Café Nuba opened a location down the street in the Waldorf Hotel building. What used to be Kings Pizza (from memory of my childhood) to Campagnolo Roma, which I am dying to try out. Finally, theirs Red Wagon which serves, comfort food. The neighborhood facade has changed, so did the quality of food.
Out of 5… (1: Don’t bother —> 5: Excellent)
We were actually on our way to Pizzeria Farina and had the feeling of starvation, we settled half way down Hastings Street. At the end of the day, El Barrio was the right choice.
We started out with a Sol, and a mojito. The mojito was made just right.
For appetizer, and the most memorable dish of the night: Mussels! A pound of Gorge Inlet mussels tossed in a butter cream ale reduction and ancho peppers. (Mejillones En Cerveza) I tried my best to demonstrate how big and juicy these mussels were. These were so fresh, so damn good. The broth that the mussels were swimming in was addictive. Every time I cracked open a mussel, I looked forward to dipping it in the bowl. The broth even made me order another basket of bread to dip it in.
We originally wanted to do have one appetizer and one entrée to share. We decided on the tacos since I’ve been going on a rampage at Dona Cata and Biercraft with their tacos as well. There was a choice and we chose the home made chorizo. The chorizo itself was a bit dry in my opinion but the packed with flavor. At the end of the day my hand was still a mess with everything falling out. Licking my hand has never been more enjoyable.
Are we done? NO! We have decided to indulge more into this food porn dispute the fact that we already ordered and almost finished everything. We saw that everyone had the special from the sign so we decided to try it. Stuffed Poblano Peppers. I didn’t realize it was a vegetarian dish after I started writing it sentence. Why I say that is because usually veggie dishes doesn’t have that intense punch of flavours.
We ended the night with an open mic performed by two lovely ladies. Did this fit the style of the restaurant? I don’t know, I wasn’t able to concentrate on the music because all I kept thinking about was the food on the table.