Barrio Bistro

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The area in Davao City called Barrio Obrero is fast becoming commercialized, what with its proximity to Victoria Plaza Mall, and a university right in the middle of it. I’ve been noticing that a lot of different types of businesses have been opening up in Obrero — Internet cafés, massage clinics or spas (on one street there are in fact three of them!), retail stores… and lots & lots of food establishments.

Spicy Ribs

Spicy Ribs

A new one that I’ve tried twice in the span of a week is Barrio Bistro. The first time, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I wasn’t impressed at all. Together with a couple of friends, we had their Kaldereta, Spicy Ribs, and two kinds of pizza: Barrio Pizza (their house special, I presume) and Hungarian & Onion. Only the ribs made the grade, in my opinion. So the food trip was rather disappointing.

The spicy ribs was a hearty, enjoyable meal. It was indeed spicy, and the meat was tender. And, the rice was perfectly steamed: soft, moist, with just the right stickiness — a lot of times, no matter how good the main dish is, if the rice is bad the whole meal is ruined. The kaldereta would have been good if it had been cooked with more care, and time. I definitely detected an interesting flavor that I’ve never tasted in other kaldereta recipes before.

The two pizzas we had, unfortunately, were a disappointment. They have a buy-1-take-1 promotional offer, but that’s not going to keep their customers happy if the pizzas don’t get better. The crust was just too crunchy, like crackers, and the flavor of either pizza we had was nothing to rave about at all.

But I’m not one to dismiss a restaurant just after one visit. Plus, my close friends did say their non-pizza food was good. So off I went to Barrio Bistro again for a reprise.

This time, I had Grilled Pork Chops, and my dining companions had BLT Burger, Barrio Pasta, Spaghetti Bolognese, and Ham and Cheese Sandwich. The pork chops were tasty, if a bit dry because it was obviously overcooked. But it was a decent meal — and affordable at ₱140 for two big pieces of pork chops. And the rice was still perfect. I like it when restaurants are consistent.

I had a taste of the Barrio Pasta that my friend ordered, and it was satisfyingly good. Basically, it’s spaghetti aglio e olio, but enhanced with bite-sized bits of chorizo. On the other hand, the bolognese was a tad on the salty side. I think the cook may have underestimated how salty parmesan cheese can be. It was flavorful, though, so if you like this spaghetti, don’t forget to remind them about using less salt in the sauce.

Barrio Bistro is open everyday. They serve breakfast food as well — they’re open daily from 7:00am to 12 midnight. To get there, drive from McDonald’s in front of Victoria Plaza, straight towards Obrero on Lacson St. You’ll pass two intersections (Porras and Cervantes streets) and you’ll see the bistro on your left.

The place is not very big — to guesstimate, maybe good for a total of 20-25 people, comfortably seated. They have an al fresco area out back (good news for smokers!). The service is pretty good, too. Free wi-fi available.

13 Responses

  1. u8mypinkcookies 20 February 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    wow the Barrio Pasta looks so yummy big grin

    • Blogie 20 February 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      It’s not bad at all. happy

  2. Abby 21 February 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Blogie, if you were to rate this place, would you be able to recommend it?

    • Blogie 21 February 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Abby! For the pizza, no, I wouldn’t recommend this place. But if you’re looking for pasta and you’re in Obrero, then I’d recommend it. happy

  3. Apple 21 February 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    How i wish i got to read your review before i visited ths place. I went there with my daughter & her classmates (5 hungry college boys!) and we all went home hungry and disappointed. We were there at 4PM & left at a little past 6PM and that’s not because we ordered a lot! In fact, our orders came in “installments” like 2 pizzas then after 15 minutes the tuna pasta then after another 15 minutes the 1st of the 3 chorizo de bilbao pastas then the BLT then lastly the minestrone. It took them more than 2 hours to serve all our orders. Very disappointing. I also ordered the old timer burget to go the same time i ordered the pizzas and as i asked for our bill, the server said “out of stock” . Whew! Disappointment to the max =(

    • Blogie 21 February 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      That’s just too bad, Ms. Apple. I hope the owners of Barrio Bistro get to read this so they’ll know they have some improvements to attend to… Sayang kasi OK pa naman sana mga pasta dishes nila.

      • Barrio Bistro 25 February 2011 at 10:31 pm #

        Hi Blogie. Thanks for the review. We are in the process of improving our service and consistency. We need more honest opinion like yours and that of Ms. Apple to make us strive harder to serve fellow Davaoenos and visitors better. More power…happy)

        • Blogie 26 February 2011 at 3:19 am #

          That’s good to know! Thank you for taking the time to respond to the concerns here.

          Looking forward to the improved Barrio Bistro!

    • Barrio Bistro 25 February 2011 at 10:39 pm #

      Hi Ms. Apple. Thank you for your comment. We are in the process of improving our service to satisfy our customers. We aim to contribute in providing fellow Davaoenos and visitors decent and satisfying food. happy)

      • Apple 28 February 2011 at 10:46 pm #

        Thank you for your reply! I, too, am looking forward to my “second wind” at Barrio Bistro soon! =)

  4. Timmy Te 4 March 2011 at 4:52 pm #


    Oooh, so this is the place where Jude, Xtian and Jim have been hiding out at lately. Will definitely try the BLT burger, the picture looks fantastic. Found this review off of the search engine you got while looking for places to eat at obrero…..

    • Blogie 4 March 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      Glad you liked the search engine. cool

      Yup, the BLT burger at Barrio Bistro was OK.

  5. Louella 3 February 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    How Big is the pizza if buy 1 take 1 and how much?

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