When we walked into Barret Bar we weren't expecting to have an impressive culinary experience. No one talks about this place. Ever. For that matter, it wasn't even listed on Urban Spoon. I had to register it to be accepted to even be able to post this review of it. We ended up here by accident. After trying both Hammerheads and Come Back Inn, both of which closed at 10:00 (!!!) on a Friday night, trying The Back Door which was so crowded we could hardly move we knew Barret Bar served food so we thought we would give it a shot.
They have recently undergone a complete remodel. I didn't see it before, but it's pretty swanky now. Lots of booths, a long bar and pool tables make it a bar but the lighting, spacious floor layout and small stage make it a destination. The night we were there a band was playing and of course, it wasn't exactly our scene but the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. Imagine my surprise when the band was done for the night, Santigold started playing throughout the bar. Score. Our drinks were not too strong but not too weak and the bartenders were really attentive. We asked for a food menu and the guy waiting on us got really excited. Due to local regulations they have to make up a certain percentage of their profits in food so they've been working hard on developing a menu. Under his suggestion we ordered the swiss cheese dip appetizer, the tequila lime sliders and the Barret burger with an extra beef patty.
The swiss cheese dip came with housemade tortilla chips and was tasty but not the "liquid crack" it was described to be. Cheesy but also kind of oily it wasn't bad because we ate it all, but we were fighting over the list bite either. As we ate our appetizer a waiter walked by with the most deliciously nasty chili cheese burger I've seen since the Slayer at Kuma's Corner in Chicago.
Jesse asked if he could get that instead and they quickly adjusted our order. When the chili cheese burger (not on the menu but just ask and I'm sure they'll make it for you) was everything he had expected. The burger was well cooked and didn't taste frozen and the chili was housemade and just the right amount of spiciness for a chili cheese burger but might not have been spicy enough on its own. It looked and smelled so good that I actually took a bite and I can't tell you the last time I ate chili by choice and not under the influence. Why this isn't a standard item on the menu? I just don't know.
The tequila lime sliders I ordered were described as Beef Temderloin medallions served on a freshly-basked Pretzel Roll and topped with Carmelized Onions and house-made Tequila Lime Sauce. They were pretty good. The meat quality was excellent and I am a VERY picky meat eater. The pretzel rolls made for a perfect base with they great chewy texture and bite that only a pretzel roll can give. I was skeptical about tequila, lime and beef but I was proven wrong. The plate came with either slaw or dill potato salad. I'm not a huge fan of slaw so I got the potato salad but I wish I had paid for an order of fries instead. The potato salad was good but made no sense with the rest of the meal. I felt like it was 'scavenger' night at our house. You know, the night when you eat a make-shift quesadilla from the microwave and the rest of that muffin you've been staring at for two days. Individually good, but together not a good combination.
My final verdict? I don't know that I would make a special trip for either item, but it is definitely on our radar. I love a good, reasonably priced bar with good, reasonably priced food and Barret Bar has it. Plus, their pool tables are not skeezy and creepy and their outside patio is beautiful in the summer. While our hearts belong to The Back Door, Barret Bar is quickly becoming a new favorite hangout of ours.