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EDINBURG — I was asked to do a sort of New Years Eve-themed review of a local restaurant. I was also told that I need to stop reviewing Mexican and barbecue restaurants.
So since I can’t review a bowl of menudo, which is all I really want to eat on New Year’s Eve, I might as well do my third-favorite New Year’s Eve tradition, second only to playing with firearms (I mean fireworks). That’s to drink.
I decided to try Barrel House Kitchen & Bar, which is located at 1927 S. Tourist Drive in Edinburg, to not only try their food, but to also try some of their cocktails.
Full disclosure, I am not much of a cocktail guy. I am more of a straight tequila and order random stuff on Amazon and then forget about it until it arrives type of guy. Not that I don’t enjoy mixed drinks, but I definitely prefer beer or straight liquor.
With that being said, it was happy hour when my girlfriend and I arrived at Barrel House, and the thought of drinking on the clock did indeed make me happy. Yes, it’s quite nice. I would 100% recommend it.
(Please drink responsibly.)
We were seated at a table near the front entrance of the sparsely filled restaurant, and were quickly greeted by our waiter and his trainee who were both very well-versed in the menu options and appeared to be happy to share that knowledge with us.
We decided to start off with an order of poblano egg rolls, which are made with grilled chicken, mushrooms, red peppers and of course poblano peppers; rolled up in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried. They were served cut in half diagonally with a creamy poblano dipping sauce.
The Barrel House Happy Hour menu offered House Margaritas, House Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay, Spiked Lemonades (watermelon, prickly pear, peach or cucumber flavored), House Red Sangria, as well as some select beers and, well, liquor — all for the price of $4 each.
I decided to go with the House Margarita, which is made with Jose Cuevo Silver Tequila, triple sec, and lime served on the rocks in a stemmed margarita glass with salt on the rim. My girlfriend chose the prickly pear flavored spiked lemonade.
She’s not much of a drinker and only had a few sips, which she really enjoyed. I also had a few sips. Large sips. And lots of them.
We also decided to try the Cucumber Barreltini, which is made with Titos Vodka, Chardonnay, cucumber and agave. The drink was served in a martini glass with Trechas on the rim.
Our servers recommended the poblano pasta, but we were all poblanoed out, and the Backyard Burger, which I ordered. The burger comes with two 6-ounce beef patties, American cheese, bacon, pickles, and “secret sauce,” which our server compared to Cane’s sauce. I don’t know who Cane is, but he must make some pretty good sauce.
My girlfriend ordered the Tamarind Steak Salad, which comes with grilled sirloin steak, tomatoes, cilantro, carrots and peanuts. She ordered the steak cooked well-done (shaking my head), and asked for raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
I must say, the burger certainly lived up to the very high expectations set by our server. The patties were perfectly cooked and juicy, the buns were soft and lightly toasted, and their housemade pickles were just the right blend of sweet and sour with a nice crunch.
My only complaint would probably be that the burger was not bigger. Despite a belly full of poblano egg rolls, I did not want the burger to finish.
If you’re looking for some fine drinks, great service, and delicious food, be sure to give Barrel House a try. They will be open on New Year’s Eve.
Now it’s time to order a weighted blanket and maybe some stretchy pants on Amazon.