I know it’s kind of ridiculous for me to even mention the number of douchebags present at a restaurant on McKinney Avenue in Uptown Dallas, but not mentioning it seems somehow worse.
Let’s talk about Barter! Deal?
These were fabulous, even before I realized Rocco was behind them. My only complaint? Their names. Don’t make me ask for a “Cloontang” before I’ve had anything to take the edge off, okay? I don’t care how delicious your ‘tang is, or how large a glass it arrives in. Just don’t. But damn if it wasn’t a tasty tiki.
If you’re up for a little cocktail roulette, order the Bartender’s Choice for $13 and answer a few quick questions to assure a custom beverage you’ll like. The drink menu ranges in price from $10-13. They also make a killer Old Fashioned, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Buffalo-style Quail Legs. These surprised me, mainly because I hate buffalo flavor, usually. But these adorbs little legs were sauced in a sauce unlike any buffalo I’ve ever had and I liked it.
Deviled Egg & Crispy Artichoke. Every part of this was really addictive, if a little odd. Where were the egg whites? What did they do with them? No matter; I’d eat the hell out of that deviled egg stuffing scraped up by crispy bits of artichoke. A definite must for any lover of things deviled.
Black Truffle “Mac ‘n Cheese.” Not sure why the Mac ‘n Cheese is in quotes. Perhaps it’s to distract you from the $18 price tag? I am not a truffle person, but real truffle shavings like the ones pictured above are the only way you’ll see me consume any on purpose. Oil? No way. The mac part of this side was pretty rich and creamy, but the truffle didn’t add much more than about a $10 bill.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts. Oh yes. These were some of the best Brussels sprouts I’ve had in town. They were crispy as described, salty and sweet. Perfect. I will likely be attempting to recreate these at home once a month for roughly a year.
Crispy Black Bass. This is where we went a bit off-course. The most expensive thing we ordered, the bass was not the least bit crispy. It lacked flavor and — just look at it — it’s sad. Sad bass. Sad foodbitch. Now we find out where the quote marks truly belong.
Sliced Tenderloin Sandwich. Much more affordably-priced at just $12, the tenderloin sandwich is far less likely to disappoint. Do yourself a favor and don’t get too fancy.
My fellow diners enjoyed the Cajun BBQ Shrimp & Biscuits and the Chili Crab Fajitas, but I can’t comment more since I didn’t try either of them myself.
Let’s move on to dessert, shall we?
Seasonal cobbler. Warm and comforting, if a little on the small side.
Banana pudding. I’m always a fan of such things. This one was large enough to share and had some fancy bruleed meringue on top.
House made moon pie. I was quite excited about this, but it was pretty difficult to eat. Not as great as I’d hoped. Kinda made me want to stop on the way home for a real Moonpie.
Pecan pie. I’m not a pecan pie person. This was rather forgettable, and something tells me it would have been even if I were into pecan pie.
By far, the appetizers and sides were the best part of the meal. I suggest ordering a bunch of these items for your table and feasting. Mains were less impressive all around. Price and taste do not scale together.
Which brings us back around to The Douchepocolypse. The skirts were short. The high fives were plentiful. Shots were ordered. Yep. Before you pronounce me jealous of 23-year-olds spending Mommy and Daddy’s money, let me tell you I was not. They were quite entertaining, in fact. I even saw some butt cheek. How lucky is that? Anyway, I just want to make sure you know what you’re in for at Barter.
And I didn’t even refer to Barter chef Tim Love’s recent labeling as a douchebag. That’s because I really don’t care. If the food’s good, I’m in.
Overall, there is better-priced and more memorable food elsewhere in town, but it’s certainly not a bad place to spend a little cash, drink some well-made cocktails, eat some pretty tasty things and do a lot of people-watching.
Barter | 3232 McKinney Avenue | barteruptown.com