Cocina del Barrio

by kara on February 20, 2011

Crab and Poblano Enchilada

I’m still trying to comprehend all the events of the dinner I had last night with my girlfriends at Cocina del Barrio in Edina, MN.  I’ve been to Barrio downtown and have enjoyed their food and the atmosphere, so was thrilled when Cocina del Barrio opened close to our home.  Girl’s night out was scheduled.   We had reservations at 8:00 pm, arrived at 7:40 and were told by the hostest, “Your table is almost ready, their just paying their bill.”  So we thought 15-20 minutes tops to wait.  The crowd continued to fill in, other parties were seated.  Eight o’clock rolled around, and we went back to the hostess.   She questioned who’s name our reservation was under, and again told us our table was almost ready.   At 8:30 we asked her again.  We were asked our reservation name a second time and told that our table will be ready soon.   Additional parties continue to be seated.  By 8:45, my girlfriend asked to speak to the manager.    The manager came over and listened to our concerns about the hostess and apologized profusely.  She reassured us that if we waited a bit longer, we would be seated soon with drinks and guacamole/chips on the house.

Twenty minutes later, we were finally seated and our waiter was attentive in getting our drinks and appetizers right away.  And this is where it gets good:  the food.   It was all delicious.  We shared the guacamole with chips (which were crispy and seasoned well).

We each ordered a few small plates of our own.  No complaints.  The ladies all said their food was great.  I especially enjoyed the Crab and Poblano Enchilada above.

Grilled Flatbread
Fried Mahi Mahi Taco.
Grilled Shrimp Taco
Fried Jalapeno Pepper
Sweet Corn and Mushroom Tamal
Roasted Poblano Pepper
Steamed Mussels

This is where it turned sour again:  A few of us ordered a second round of drinks, that didn’t come. . ..and didn’t come.  We were almost done with our food.  The waiter came back and said that the bartender didn’t see the drink ticket and he would bring our drinks over asap.  By the time our drinks arrived, we were done eating and ready to pay or bill.   We were comped for the bad service with our bill, as we should have been.
Then . . .I got up from my seat and noticed I had salsa on the shoulder and alongside the back of my sweater. . . .and on my winter coat.  Yes, red sauce was spilled on me when our dishes had been cleared from the table.   We were all baffled and the thought of telling the manager about my clothing was just too daunting.  At this point, I’m washing my coat and hoping the dry cleaners will be able to take the red stains off my sweater.
So there you have it. . .good food, lousy service.  I understand that this is the new hot spot in Edina, and the staff is trying to keep up with the pace of the crowd.  I certainly hope that Cocina del Barrio re-trains their hostess and wait staff.  Good food can be found elsewhere.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Similar experience here – we got there, the place was empty but we couldn't get seated "because the tables in the bar were all reserved". We had a couple of drinks at the bar, an hour later when we left the place was still empty, I guess the tables were still reserved for some phantom guests to arrive later.

Mike February 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Kara- We are so sorry that you had a bad experience at Cocina del Barrio- We do very much care and would love to have you back in for a "second chance" dinner. Please send me an email at to discuss. Our number one goal is to make our staff and food the best in town so we can make our guests experiences great! Love the blog and can't wait to try some of the recipes.


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