Saturday, January 7, 2012

Restaurant Review: La Hacienda los Barrios

Some of the best Mexican food in San Antonio is located just off of Highway 281 and the 1604 Loop (18747 Redland Road, San Antonio, TX 78259; (210) 497-8000). Opened in 2004, La Hacienda los Barrios is the second restaurant to be opened by the Barrios family and brings to the edge of Hill Country cuisine the family has been serving at its downtown San Antonio location since 1979. It is managed by Diana Barrios Trevino, daughter of the restaurant’s founder, who is a world renowned chef in her own right.

My wife Diane and I had heard good things about La Hacienda from some of our neighbors and recently decided to check it out. We were pleased to discover that the restaurant has a beautiful outdoor eating area and chose to enjoy our meal there.

La Hacienda has an extensive menu with entrees starting at under $10 and running up to more than $20, along with by a very nice drink list that includes several varieties of flavored margaritas and a terrific selection of both domestic and imported Mexican beers. The place also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also has a menu of early bird specials. House specialties include San Antonio-style puffy tacos and several very decent looking vegetarian offerings, along with all the items associated with traditional Tex-Mex fare.

I opted for the fish tacos, one of my favorites if they are done right, and was pleased to discover that they were made with blackened tilapia and accompanied by rice, a vegetable relish, and slices of tomato and avocado. My wife opted for a platter with three different enchiladas, one each filled with cheese, chicken, and pork — and each topped with a different sauce — and accompanied by beans and other sides. I had a Victoria imported beer with my dinner and my wife had a margarita with hers.

While we were pleased with our choices they were not easy to make and other very tempting looking items that we will want to try on future visits to La Hacienda include its brisket gorditas and shrimp enchiladas.

One item we had never before encountered anywhere else was something called chimichurri, a condiment made with parsley, garlic, pimentos, and oil, that our waiter brought to our table with the complimentary chips and salsa and which went well on just about anything (and which I enjoyed on both my fish tacos and the salad items that accompanied them). It was just one of the things we enjoyed about this terrific restaurant and which will bring us back to enjoy it yet again.