March 09, 2012

Barú Urbano

We were walking along South Miami Avenue in Downtown looking for a place to eat and picked BARÚ Urbano because it was such a sexy-good-looking restaurant. Boy, were we in for a surprise.

We were unpleasantly welcomed by Mr. Ricardo Malpic who seemed to be under the impression that I was trying to “steal” the art on the walls by taking pictures of them. He did calm down, convinced that we were harmless, potential customers just admiring the beauty of the venue. When we ventured inside, yet another person, approached me about taking photos of the art. I informed her that Mr. Malpic was aware and that he was OK with it.

Needless to say, we were already disappointed before we even had our first bite but decided to stay anyway and give the food a chance. After all, we were here for the food, right?

Arepa Colombiana ($5)

Arepa is a corncake with shredded white cheese. It was huge and good even though not much effort was put into the presentation.

Picada Skirt Steak, Chicken, Chorizo, Morcilla ($35 for 2 people)

This is the equivalent of a “parrillada” in South America: meat & sausages grilled and served with various accompaniments. Chorizo is a pork sausage and morcilla is a blood sausage with a filler of rice. Well…it was good, but barely good. The morcilla was my favorite by far. We have had so much better in other establishments. With the meat, came a giant platter of potatoes (cooked 2 ways), fried yucca and “Patacones” which are a popular Latin American appetizer or side dish of thick plantain chips, and all served with 4 delicious sauces. We had leftovers which we brought home and the meat did taste better the next day.

Milo Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream ($6)

The beauty of the brownie is the dense and intense concentration of chocolate. It baffles me that anyone would want to substitute Milo, which is a powdered chocolate and malt drink mix, for chocolate and still dare to call it a “brownie “ just because it was brown. This was the first time my daughter did not finish a dessert, as a matter of fact, she barely touched it. One taste of the milo confection was more than enough.

The whole experience at BARÚ Urbano was rather bizarre: we felt scrutinized and observed by the staff at all times. Was it my camera? Was it the constant laughter coming from our table after tasting one insipid dish after another? The shining light was our waiter, Jorge H, who was excellent.

We went there for lunch but BARÚ Urbano also offers a Happy Hour and dinner and seems to be a “happening” spot at night.

We are not coming back to find out.

BARÚ Urbano

1001 South Miami Avenue

Miami, FL 33131

(305) 381-5901

By Contributor Writer Brenda Benoit
Barú Urbano on Urbanspoon

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