Arriba Arriba for Barriba Cantina on the River Walk
Arriba Arriba means a fun celebration at Barriba. When strolling the River Walk, look up! Above The County Line you will find a Mexican Cantina. Barriba Cantina transports you to a quaint bar somewhere in small town Mexico. You don’t have to leave the River Walk to experience the sights, sounds and wonderful street foods that we all love about our neighbors to the south.
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown on the south bank of the River Walk this lively cantina is an authentic experience and live music every night is sure to get you in a festive mood.
When you enter Barriba look up again, over the bar this time, to view the colorful hand drawn Mexican graffiti mural by local artist Oscar Chavarria Jr. (street name Mans). Walk around the entire bar to see this work of art.
You walked up the stairs and around the bar and now you want a cocktail, am I right? Well Barriba’s signature cocktails will definitely tweak your mood barometer. Made with fresh fruits and juices hand squeezed daily, these cocktails will have you swaying to the beat and wanting to practice your college Spanish. You might even see a little tropical sand on the glass… no wait, I think that’s rim salt.
First of all, check out the Piña Rita. Sauza tequila infused with pineapple, lime juice, muddled pineapple with a bit of Patron Citronge. You could be on a beach, am I right?
Nice cooler weather means patio time. Barriba’s patio overlooking the river is the perfect setting for sipping on the Mercadito. A blend of some spicy jalapeno infused tequila, fresh citrus undertones from muddled cilantro combined with lime juice and cucumber slices, this tonic brings back memories of summer’s past.
Or maybe you are just in the mood for a nice sipping cocktail like the Tomcat. Made with Tomcat Gin, this gin has a whiskey-like taste of oak and spice with a hint of juniper and honey. The drink itself is a mix of Tomcat, chartreuse, Orangeville, lemon and cranberry juice and is served in an Old Fashion glass over a cube of ice. You may almost mistake it for a traditional Old Fashion.
While sipping on your chosen libation, share this not so typical botana, Mexican Deviled Eggs, with your campadres. Just perfect for stimulating your appetite, these eggs with a Mexican twist are topped with jalapeno bacon. It won’t take more than a minute for these jewels to disappear and you’ll be tempted to order more.
But wait, don’t fill up yet! You should really try another one of their outstanding appetizers. Order instead a large scoop of fresh guac spiced with jalapenos and a squeeze of mixed citrus juices. Or maybe some fresh house-made ceviche to put you on that beach again. Tilapia chunks cooked in citrus juices and mixed with tomato, sweet corn, just a light hand of jalapenos, onion and bam… garlic.
You may be done with starters, but you aren’t finished yet. Not by a Mexican mile. This is chili weather in Central Texas and Barriba’s smoky version of this hearty stew is a great mix. A mixture of the slow-cooked brisket from their sister restaurant, The County Line downstairs, and chorizo give this chili a Tex-Mex style any gringo would be pleased to eat. When you throw in black beans, spices, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, fritos and a little chocolate for good measure, you may feel a little like a foreigner. Isn’t that what visiting a border town is about? You are going to love this chili. Try this paired with a Shiner based Shiner Blonde Light or the Houston based Saint Arnold black Kölsch Santo.
Another popular dish I recommend you try before leaving is the Chipotle Pork Carnitas Tacos. Now this is what Mexican street food is about. Lean pork is slow simmered in Mexican spices until it’s tender but still juicy. Piled on red tortillas with caramelized and pickled onions, chipotle slaw, avocado tomatillo sauce and cotija cheese, these tacos speak volumes about the greatness of Street Food. Bowls of cilantro lime rice and black beans complete and compliment this dish.
Arriba Arriba! Barriba always has a Happy Hour happening. The complimentary chips and salsa and $.50 deviled eggs are always a good thing after work, or before dinner. Mondays are MexiCan Mondays with 12oz. cans of Tecate, Texate Light and Modelo for only $2.75. Tuesday means Craft Cans are $4 all day.
Event planning is made simple at Barriba Cantina. Their large, private event room upstairs as well as a large covered patio give guests plenty of room to mingle. Sweeping views of both the river walk and the cityscape make this space both festive and romantic. Additionally, they can customize your menu selections from Barriba Cantina and/or County Line so that everyone is sure to to find something they like. Arriba arriba!
There is also convenient parking across the street in the South Bank Lot.
**Full Disclosure: I received lunch in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.
Location: 111 W. Crockett St. #214 • San Antonio, TX
Sunday – Thursday 11am – Midnight
Friday & Saturday 11am – 2am