Nestled in downtown Oxnard, Barroco’s restaurant is serving up the next frontier in food: organic.
Nearly 90 percent of the eatery’s ingredients are organic and the adjoining bakery is 100 percent organic.
Most of the choices on the massive 18-page menu are vegetarian, but the restaurant does serve chicken, fish and beef.
On a recent rainy Friday, a companion and I went to Barroco’s to test the newly opened restaurant’s cuisine.
Upon entering the large dining room, I noticed the delicate subtlety of the décor, which hinted that owner, Dr. Montano, a naturopathic doctor, was focused on making his restaurant a sophisticated classic.
The large windows looking out over A Street provide a spacious atmosphere, making the front dining room an ideal place to have a celebratory dinner party or a family gathering. The back room, housing dimly lit booths, illuminated by orange-tinted stained glass windows, is a romantic spot to take a special someone to dinner or the perfect place to have an intimate conversation.
Not only does the chic décor at Barroco’s offer something for everyone, but the food does, too.
Upon being seated next to a gaping window in the first dining room, we began to peruse the menu — all 12 sections of it. Nearly overwhelmed by the selection of appetizers, salads, vegetables, grains, pastas, legumes, soups, hot sandwiches, hamburgers, pizzas, Mexican dishes and kids dishes, we finally settled on our choices.
Intending to share all of the dishes — and probably take some home — we ordered the spinach and basil salad with tomatoes and candied walnuts ($8.95 half, $10.95 large), green enchiladas ($11.25), butternut squash soup with sage and parmesan croutons ($5.95 medium, $7.75 large) and a mushroom pizza ($10.95).
While waiting for our food to come, none other than the owner himself, Dr. Montano, walked up to our table to chat about the food and recommend his favorite dishes. The green enchiladas, which are stuffed with zucchini and mushrooms, are one of the most popular menu items, he said, along with the Mexican salad, which has bell pepper, jicama, corn, black beans, cilantro, avocado and feta cheese atop a bed of chopped green lettuce and Napa cabbage.
After stopping by our table, Montano made his rounds at the restaurant, stopping at each diner’s table and asking them how their Barroco’s experience was.
Our food arrived and we passed the dishes around, taking little nibbles here and there. The green enchilada sauce was flavorful, and the enchilada filling was tasty without being too cheesy. The salad and soup tasted fresh and healthy, as oils and fats were used very sparingly to prepare them. But the pizza was by far the best dish we tasted at Barroco’s, we both agreed.
The hearty portabella mushrooms, grilled onions and pesto sauce atop the thin, crisp crust resulted in a gourmet, delicious pizza.
All in all, with the personable staff and owner, the fabulous décor and the scrumptious, organic cuisine, eating at Barroco’s was an experience certainly worth repeating.
For anyone seeking a gourmet, health-conscious and affordable eatery, Barroco’s is the place.