Brunch season: Barrio

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Atmosphere: Barrio's distinct and stylish space is layered over an upper and lower deck. It's starkly white painted brick walls are complemented by lots of smooth dark wood, a disconnected wooden-plank ceiling and a huge communal Amish-made table located in the swanky bar area.

The simple urban patio exists to take advantage of its Downtown address. Lounging at its umbrella-ed tables on that prime High and Spring location can engender a pleasant, big-city vibe.

Food: Barrio borrows lively cooking strategies from the Spanish-speaking world to create its cuisine. Lately, my two brunchy favorites here are the Torta Espanola -a rich and creamy frittata-like egg mass sheathed in peppers, thinly sliced potatoes and a romesco sauce; and championship-quality Chilaquiles - scrambled eggs and freshly fried flour tortilla chips amazingly graced with a generous amount of stewy pulled pork dressed in a zesty tomatillo-spiked barbecue-like sauce.

Sweet stuff: Do you like something a little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy and a little smoky? Then try the bang, bang play of flavors that happens in Barrio's Arepas (cornmeal pancakes) served with Ohio maple syrup, "jalapeno strawberries" and caramelized bacon.

Don't miss: Barrio's mimosa is a run-scoring squeeze play of blood orange juice puree and sparkling Spanish Cava.