Where Tasty Mexican Food and Great Views Come For Lunch | Barcocina, Fells Point

Barcocina

Mexican food is a fickle beast, sometimes it’s great. And when it’s great, it’s reaaaly great. But when it stinks, you’ll swear to yourself that you’ll never pay for tacos again.

Luckily Barcocina in Fells Point, falls into the great category and not the bad category. (Sorry gave away the punch line in the second sentence, but I run the show here!)

I was on an afternoon stroll through Fells Point when I had a hankering for some lunch and I quite literally just walked into Barcocina. It’s conveniently located in Fells Point with a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay. It’s location is every Persian parent’s dream, if you didn’t know already, Persians LOVE a good view. So a view by the “vahter” that’s like a zillion bonus points.

When you step into Barcocina, the first thing you notice is the wide open layout of the restaurant. It’s a huge restaurant, with plenty of seating.

Evidently Barcocina attracts a “bro” crowd and that was sort of evident. What’s a bro? The scholars at Urban Dictionary characterize a “bro” as :

Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying. Nearly everyone in a fraternity is a bro but there are also many bros who are not in a fraternity. They often wear a rugby shirt and a baseball cap.

While I wouldn’t say that this is a 100% of the crowd at Barcocina, there are definitely strong hints of it, so you’ve been warned. And “bros” are people too so why shouldn’t a restaurant as good as Barcocina capitalize on their desire for tacos.

The restaurant itself has a post-industrial chic decor to it with the singular light bulb light fixtures that are now all the rage in the restaurant world.

But enough about the visuals and the people who eat their, lets get down to the important stuff. The food!

We weren’t looking to go full blast at lunch, but who doesn’t love dips right? Dips when done well, are perfect little bites of happiness that leaves you wanting more.

We started by ordering the Barcocina Dip and the Oaxaca Guacamole Dip. Good choice.

First the Barcocina dip, this was a fundido dip. What’s a fundido dip? A fundido dip is a popular dip that’s hitting palates across the U.S. in a nutshell it’s a spicy queso dip that has spicy chorizo in it.

At Barcocina, the dip has crispy chunks of flavorful chorizo that pop in your mouth with each bite of queso dip. The cheese dip itself is cheesy in a good way, think queso dip without the processed cheese. It’s seasoned well to have just enough of a spicy zing to keep things interesting, but not so much to the point that you can’t remember your name after a bite. The only thing I could’ve done without was the fried egg at the bottom of the dip, the yolk provides a great flavor to the dip but the chunks of egg white kind of throw off the consistency of textures in your mouth as you eat.

Next was the guacamole, this was what you want your guacamole to taste like. No weird ingredients just creamy avocado with a touch of cilantro. The crisp fresh flavor of the guacamole was the perfect counter to the rich cheesiness of a fundido dip.

The house chips are abundant and addicting, unlike other places that scrimp on the chips and force you to make a Sophie’s Choice with each dip, the ample amounts of chips make for an endless dipping adventure. The chips have a good crunch to them that can hold up to the dip, amidst the fresh chips were some stale ones that were soft for some reason, but eh I’ll give them a pass.

We ordered the grilled steak tacos, I was expecting corn tortillas since that’s supposed to be the authentic way of eating tacos, but they were served with flour tortillas. Which quite honestly, I prefer. Too often restaurants serve you corn tortillas that haven’t been prepped correctly and you’re just left with mealy tortillas that are not satisfying. The flour tortilla is a simple option that while maybe not 100% authentic does a better job on a consistent basis. The steak tacos were filled with tender cuts of steak that don’t fight back which can often be the case with a real steak taco. The cuts of beef  were seasoned perfectly, with just the right blend of salt and pepper. The tacos are topped with a fresh chimmichurri sauce that lacked a little flavor in my opinion but I understand for most it’s probably enough. (I like a lot of cilantro, I’ll eat a whole bowl of it by itself with just some vinegar)

All in all I would go back to Barcocina, the food was pretty damn good and the service was respectful. The prices were a bit high, but you’re paying for the view and the location, so considering that they weren’t so bad. If a bro-tastic night life isn’t your thing, I would say go during lunch or brunch where you can eat your meal in peace. Barcocina does a great job of delivering a final product that will leave you satisfied and happy with just about any menu decision you make.

 

 

 

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Gochujang Braised Beef Short Rib | Braised Short Rib

Beef Short Rib

Beef short rib is in right now. Like gluten free in. Like I’m only eating things that don’t have a shadow in. You get my point. If you go into any fine dining restaurant or “hip & trendy” restaurant you will see beef short rib on the menu. What exactly is beef short rib? Well lucky for you, I’ve cooked with it a zillion times and went into a explanation of it in a previous post.

Basically, you can get beef short rib in two cuts, either the English cut or the flanken cut. The flanken cut, will go across the rib, while the English cut will be more of a singular piece of the rib with the meat. Most people prefer the English cut because there is so much more meat to eat/cook with. When you go out to eat, you’re getting English cut, they’re just not telling you that.

What I’ve created is a mix on two kinds flavors, Korean and traditional braising flavors (thyme, garlic, etc. etc.).  Short rib is very popular in Korean cuisine (it’s usually always a flanken cut though). But I love braising meats, why? Because the meat is always tender and you can really build complex flavors with the meat.

I browned the short ribs here, then I braised them for a few hours with some tomatoes, carrots, and some spices. You’re gonna ask, how are these Korean flavors? You’ll see. Once the meat is completely cooked, remove it from the broth/sauce you have, then I added some gochujang sauce, fish sauce, a touch of brown sugar, and rice wine. I then pureed the whole thing and allowed it to simmer, it left me with a delicious Korean BBQ sauce that was perfect for the short rib.

Recipe – Gochujang Braised Beef Short Ribs

1 Package of English Cut Beef Short Rib

1 Cup Diced Onion

3 Tbsp. Crushed Garlic

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Pepper

1 Tsp. Thyme

2 Whole tomatoes, chopped into quarters

1 Cup of Broth/Water

1 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Carrot sliced

1 Tbsp. Gochujang Sauce

1 Tsp. Fish Sauce

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Rice Wine

Method

In a large pot, heat your butter, then as it foams add your onions and garlic.

Brown the onions/garlic. Add your spices.

Now add your short ribs browning each side.

Once the short ribs are browned on each side, add your tomatoes, carrots, and water/broth.

Cook on a low heat with the cover lid on for 2 to 3 hours. If you have bone in short ribs, the bones will fall out just fish them out at the end. You want to leave them in as you cook so they add flavor to the meal.

Once the short ribs are fully cooked (they should be so tender than they can break apart with your fork pretty much), remove them from the pot.

The short ribs tend to leave a lot of grease in a braising sauce, use a spoon remove all the excess fat as it will ruin the meal. I save the fat for later use down the road, it’s perfectly fine.

Now add the gochujang, fish sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, and rice wine to the pot. Stir intermittently for a 2 minutes on medium heat.

Use an immersion blender to completley puree the sauce, if you don’t have one a regular blender will do, just be careful to not burn yourself.

Once it’s completely smooth, add it back to your pot and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

While your sauce simmers, add your short ribs to a skillet and broil them in the oven for 1 minute on high to brown the tops. Be careful not to burn the meat.

Once it’s all done, you can opt to cut the layer of fat off the back of the rib before you serve it.

Serve with your sauce and enjoy!

 

Beef Short Rib

 

Gochujang Braised Beef Short Rib
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe - Gochujang Braised Beef Short Ribs
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 Package of English Cut Beef Short Rib
  • 1 Cup Diced Onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Crushed Garlic
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Tsp. Thyme
  • 2 Whole tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1 Cup of Broth/Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Carrot sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Gochujang Sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Rice Wine
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat your butter, then as it foams add your onions and garlic.
  2. Brown the onions/garlic. Add your spices.
  3. Now add your short ribs browning each side.
  4. Once the short ribs are browned on each side, add your tomatoes, carrots, and water/broth.
  5. Cook on a low heat with the cover lid on for 2 to 3 hours. If you have bone in short ribs, the bones will fall out just fish them out at the end. You want to leave them in as you cook so they add flavor to the meal.
  6. Once the short ribs are fully cooked (they should be so tender than they can break apart with your fork pretty much), remove them from the pot.
  7. The short ribs tend to leave a lot of grease in a braising sauce, use a spoon remove all the excess fat as it will ruin the meal. I save the fat for later use down the road, it's perfectly fine.
  8. Now add the gochujang, fish sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, and rice wine to the pot. Stir intermittently for a 2 minutes on medium heat.
  9. Use an immersion blender to completley puree the sauce, if you don't have one a regular blender will do, just be careful to not burn yourself.
  10. Once it's completely smooth, add it back to your pot and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. While your sauce simmers, add your short ribs to a skillet and broil them in the oven for 1 minute on high to brown the tops. Be careful not to burn the meat.
  12. Once it's all done, you can opt to cut the layer of fat off the back of the rib before you serve it.
  13. Serve with your sauce and enjoy!

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