Whenever I think of Queen Anne dining I think of Thai, Indian, or maybe Mexican. Oh, and The 5 Spot. Barbacoa is a nice change of pace. It was started by a couple fellows who worked at Cactus in Madison Park. It bills itself as a BBQ joint, but I found it to be more like some BBQ with TexMex influence. I thought it was good, but not as great as the press clippings on its web site suggest.
The place is really small, and when they get full I suspect they feel cramped. But the size allows the wait staff to be particularly attentive. In our party of 6 we had 2 couples who were going to a play and 1 going to the ballet so we needed to move right along. Our waiter made sure there was no delay, but we never felt rushed.
We started with a queso fondue that wasn't a fondue at all but layers of ground beef and melted cheese with onions and peppers. It was somewhat bland. And the meet wasn't mentioned in the description on the menu, so our vegetarian couple was a little surprised when it arrived. The shrimp tostadas were much better, though a little heavy on the guacamole (which was store bought).
The main courses were better. I had the special - prime rib with cheese enchiladas, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I've had a similar version of this dish at both Reata in Ft. Worth and El Camino in Fremont, and both were better. The potatoes were overkill. The meat was flavorful, and they didn't overdo the spices. But the enchiladas were a little bland. Not terrible, just not great.
My wife had the tostadas with chile cole slaw. She didn't like them at all, claiming the slaw was too soupy. I thought they were OK. The tostadas were two tortillas with frejoles and melted cheese. Slaw was nice and spicy, though a little heavy on liquid.
Among the other dishes the chicken enchilada was a hit. As was their version of a shimp cocktail.
Dessert was better. The flan was very good. Key lime pie was nice and citrusy. My apple pie had mushy apples with good flavor and a crust that stood up pretty well.
Oh, and the margaritas and mojitos were good.
I should mention that they were out of a couple things - halibut and an ultra chocolate dessert - which surprised me for a Saturday night.
I wasn't blown away, but I will try them again.