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Editors Eats: Barrio (Kent OH)

Ashley+Rabers+Meal+at+Barrio
Ashley Raber
Ashley Raber’s Meal at Barrio

My experience at Barrio was wonderful. From the atmosphere to the food, the restaurant earns five stars from me. Barrio is located in Kent near Acorn Alley, a popular and business-filled area that attracts much of the college demographic. Barrio has a plentiful selection of appetizers, drinks, “pre-built” tacos and build-your-own tacos/bowls. I created my order, as I have a handful of food allergies and intolerances, and I was almost overwhelmed by their wide selection of gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options. My bowl consisted of cauliflower rice, spice-rubbed chicken, beer-braised black beans, lettuce and Barrio secret sauce. I also ordered a guacamole appetizer. I have been to Barrio multiple times before, but this is the first time I have tried multiple of these things. Cauliflower rice was new to me, and I was not disappointed. It had the perfect texture, was seasoned amazingly and tasted like white rice. The chicken was absolutely delicious. It was seasoned incredibly well and was neither spicy nor bland. Lastly, the sauce was quite nice. It was a bit spicy and did not have much of a definitive taste, but I still enjoyed it. I decided to add some of my guacamole to my bowl after a few bites, and it was a game-changer. Their guacamole appears and tastes homemade and has a nice salty flavor. Not only is Barrio’s food next level for me, but the atmosphere and decor are enticing. The graffiti-like black-and-white artwork covering the walls is busy yet captivating. Bikes and fun light fixtures hanging from the ceiling tie everything together extremely well. Unfortunately, the Kent Barrio is the closest one to North Canton, and it may be a forty-minute drive for some, but it is definitely worth it. All-in-all, Barrio was a wonderful experience. Being extremely limited in what I can eat, I found various things I could enjoy without any consequences. I recommend Barrio to any of my fellow Mexican food and taco lovers out there.
— Sophie Imhoff ’25

Sophie Imoff’s bowl meal at Barrio (Sophie Imhoff)

The food here to me was just mediocre. Everything had a very strong lime taste, which if you like that would be great. However, for me it overpowered everything else in the meal. I got a bowl with chicken on it, there was way less chicken than a normal serving size would be. No more than five cubes of chicken, but the chicken I did get was okay. In my opinion, this whole experience felt like a glamorized version of Chipotle with worse food. They had a variety of different protein options but they all sounded like they’d taste similar. Their menu did have something for everyone on there though including vegan and gluten free options. The actual inside of the place was really cool with all the murals. The way you ordered there was unique compared to most restaurants. To order you have to fill out a paper with all their options for your meal. I will say it could get confusing to do if you get more than one thing, however if you just get one like I did it’s a pretty easy process. It was also very loud in the building, it made it hard to hear others as they were speaking to you even if you were sitting close to them. This restaurant location was on a college campus so that could be to blame for the sound. I might come back to try their other vegan options, but if it’s the same strong taste as everything else, I don’t think I would come back after. All in all, I probably wouldn’t recommend this restaurant unless you really like lime and cilantro as it is in everything there.
— Ashley Raber ’25

If affordable food is your preferred option, Barrio in Kent is your spot. Barrio has a flexible menu with tacos and bowls for your liking. The create-your-own taco option is affordable at under 4 dollars, however, the options are limited and need certain ingredients added. But if creating your own taco is too time-consuming, Barrio has a taco of the month, which is already crafted for you. The nachos and queso are also top-notch for such a low price and were my favorite items that they offered for appetizers. The tacos themselves are okay; the cilantro easily overpowers the flavor of any taco you get it on, as they put on a large amount of it. The other ingredients on each taco are good but are hard to taste due to the overpowering cilantro. Barrio has kind staff as well who answered all of my questions with kindness and sincerity, the wait time is also low, but when it got busy the line went out of the door. If you are ever in the Kent State University area, I recommend going to Barrio if you want a quick sit-down meal with customizable options and have a good time with friends and family.
— Ben Hollis ’25

Ben Hollis’ Taco at Barrio in Kent Ohio (Ben Hollis)

The first time I had Barrio was when I was in middle school after my family had just visited the Christmas Story house in Cleveland: delicious is an understatement for Barrio. I might be a tad biased because I have been getting the exact same order for years, a soft flour taco, pulled pork, cilantro-lime rice, lettuce, cilantro and onions, and cilantro-lime aioli and it leaves me satisfied every time. There’s just something about the pork and rice with the aioli that is just so good I can’t even describe it. But, if you don’t like cilantro I recommend trying something else which isn’t with the simple build your own taco/bowl option Barrio offers. Now, let me say not only were my tacos delicious, the customer service and overall atmosphere was top notch. After being seated we only waited about three minutes until our server came to ask for our drink and appetizer order. Also, all of the walls are painted with black and white skeletons, some are dancing, some riding horses, it really enhances the experience because I have never been to another restaurant with that type of decor. I really enjoy eating at Barrio and will give it a five star rating
each and every time I go, if you like tacos TRY IT.
— Kaitlyn Zelenko ’25

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About the Contributors
Ben Hollis
Ben Hollis, Chief of OP-ED
Hello! My name is Ben and this is my second year on staff. I am the local Chocolate Milk Connoisseur of this joint.
Sophie Imhoff
Sophie Imhoff, Chief Entertainment Editor
My name is Sophie, and this is my second year on staff. I’m looking forward to being chief of entertainment this year and being able to focus more on design. I’ll be diving this year as well as running track, which will be two newer sports for me. Newspaper has definitely become a favorite class of mine, and I’m considering minoring in journalism in college!
Ashley Raber
Ashley Raber, Chief of Features
My name is Ashley and I’m a junior this year. I love frogs and the color green. I like drawing on my iPad and sleeping.
Kaitlyn Zelenko
Kaitlyn Zelenko, Circulation Manager
My name is Kaitlyn and this my second year on staff! I am a junior this year and I am in various clubs and sports! I also love to read and bake in my free time.