In college, I drank a lot. I would go to parties, have one (or a few) cocktails while eating dim sum at midnight, drink in friends’ apartments while we watched bad movies, et cetera.
Since graduating from college, however, I don’t drink a lot anymore. I’ve gone several months without consuming a drop of alcohol, something that would’ve been unfathomable during my college days. I’m a proper adult now (ugh). Instead of parties, I have bills to pay. Instead of midnight dim sum, I’m eating a banana at midnight because um, have you seen gas prices these days? And instead of watching bad movies with friends, I’m watching matinees in liquor-free movie theaters.
But last week, I was really in the mood for a cocktail, so I decided to treat myself to one. Since I was in Westlake, I went to Barroco in Crocker Park, where I ordered a pina colada and—because one shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach—one of Barroco’s delicious arepas.
The pina colada hit the spot. It was a refreshing, pleasantly sweet drink that was perfect for the summer. It was so pleasantly sweet that I initially wondered if the bartender made me a mocktail. However, half an hour later, I felt the rum kick in and thought with a smile, Oh yeah, definitely not a mocktail.
My food was just as good as my cocktail. I ordered a La Sucia arepa with a side of maduros. The La Sucia arepa consisted of Barroco’s signature handmade thick tortilla stuffed with juicy carne asada, corn and peppers, potato chips, garlic aioli, and mozzarella. The arepa was good and offered plenty of flavor on its own, but it came with an assortment of delicious sauces that made my meal even better.
The green sauce was Barroco’s chimichurri sauce, the orange sauce next to it was spicy peanut, the white sauce was garlic aioli, and the pinkish sauce next to that was ranchero. All of the sauces were delicious, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would say it’s a tie between the chimichurri and ranchero.
My maduros (sweet caramelized plantains) were also great, a yummy balance between sweet and savory.
If you’re in Crocker Park and looking for a place to grab food after shopping or watching a movie, you should definitely consider this locally-owned restaurant.
The Westlake location of Barroco is located at 287 Crocker Park Blvd, Westlake, OH 44145. Barroco also has locations at Lakewood (12906 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107) and Willoughby (3941 Erie St 2nd Level, Willoughby, OH 44094).