A staple to the Greater Ashmont District is El Barrio, originally opened in 2015 under the name Seabreeze Mexican Grille. As the community grew and evolved the owners of El Barrio decided it was time to revamp the restaurant. In October of 2018 the name was changed to to El Barrio, the menu size was decreased which allowed El Barrio to serve customers faster and they were able to focus on providing the Ashmont community with high quality food that is all made in the restaurant from scratch by the chefs which have many years of experience in the industry.
When Covid struck, the industry was hit hard. With many restaurants being forced to close for long periods and reduce staff. El Barrio was forced to close for over a month, this time allowing the owner to recess how to go about reopening in the safest way for his staff while also providing the same amazing food and customer service that they provided prior to Covid. When they reopened the business changed from in person to strictly delivery, they were able to adjust to this new model due to switch because they were already shifting their focus to online orders
Since reopening El Barrio has been able to grow, they now currently have 13 employees which is in stark contrast to the 4 people they employed pre reopening. They added a mural to the side of the building last year which stands out and adds to the sense of community they have been able to establish. They also added Outdoor seating last year which has created a welcoming environment for people to come get amazing food and perhaps some margaritas. and the outdoor seating is here to stay, will be a pediment feature for the restaurant.
Let’s dive into what we are all here for, the food! El Barrio makes all of their food on site, including their handmade tortillas. They have the classics like Tacos and Burritos but they also offer Cantina Bowl, Chimichangas, Quesadillas & Nachos, Street Corn and even Empanadas, All of which are made with fresh ingredients and served quickly. Have a sweet tooth, try their Tres, Leches cake or the classic homemade Flan. They even offer 5$ frozen margaritas.
They recently add a new item to the menu called the Beria taco, they are braised beef tacos that are served in their handmade tortillas that are twice cooked on the grill in berria fat which makes them extra crispy, They created a special sauce only for this taco called the berria sauce which they pour on top of the tacos that are served with cheese onion and cilantro. They then serve you a side portion of the sauce that you can use to dip the taco into.
El Barrio is one of the many amazing local small businesses in the Greater Ashmont District. They are a staple in the community and we encourage you all to stop by El Barrio next time you are looking to eat out.
1782 DORCHESTER AVE, DORCHESTER. MA 02124
OPENING HOURS MON- SAT: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
CLOSED ON SUNDAYS
More about El Barrio Owner
He started cooking at a young age with his family, at the time he had no idea cooking would become his passion. After graduating from high school in the Dominican Republic, Joandry came to the U.S at the time his family thought he would become an engineer. Joandry’s first job was at the old homestead steakhouse at the Gorbata Casino in Atlantic City. It was here where Joandry’s passion and love for cooking began. He truly tested himself working in a very busy casino restaurant, he realized that he could handle the stress of cooking at a well renowned restaurant and it inspired him to open his own restaurant. It was here that he began to create and perfect a lot of the recipes that El Barrio currently offers.
Joandry would then move to Dorchester, where he has spent over 10 years living in starting out in Roxbury and then opening time on Florida St. In 2010 Joandry went to eat at the Seabreeze Mexican Grille, after the meal Joandry said to himself “I would like to start with a restaurant like this” 3 years later the owners listed the business for sale. He approached the previous ownership about buying the restaurant and they immediately recognized him from this lone visit to the restaurant. After some back and forth they were able to strike a deal and Joandry’s current journey started.
Joandry started out with a chef mindset, as someone who only knew the kitchen Joandry had to evolve and grow with the business. Joandry accessed many of the small business resources that the city and Greater Ashmont Main St offers, he was able to acquire new storefront signage as well as acquire permits and their liquor license. Joandry was able to secure outdoor seating for his restaurants by attending virtual small business calls that the city hosts every Tuesday.
Joandry and El Barrio have become a staple of the Greater Ashmont District, we highly encourage you to stop by El Barrio, have great authentic all homemade Mexican food and meet the friendly faces behind El Barrio.