I have been walking by this place every day for the past few weeks, and I finally decided to look it up..mainly because I have no idea what it is. Apparently the "Barros Luco" is a traditional Chilean sandwich named after the president of Chile in 1910, and consists of beef and melted cheese. Sound familiar? This spot on 52nd and 2nd has not been lucky; I've been here for two years and I have seen the rise and fall of two greasy joints: Zipburger and 99 Miles to Philly. Guess what those also consisted of? You guessed it - beef and cheese. I knew this combo was bad for your arteries, but I never knew it had such an impact on real estate.
Fortunately, from reading their menu online, it seems as though someone has warned the folks at Barros Luco that you cannot get by here with just plain ol' meat and cheese. They will be serving up "Authentic Chilean Cuisine for a Presidential Appetite." Whatever that means. In all seriousness though, it sounds pretty damn good and it has more options than Zipburger and 99 Miles to Philly. Some tidbits from the menu include: the Chacarero sandwich (grilled steak or chicken, string beans, tomatoes and cheese, above), the Barros Luco Italiano (Grilled steak, cheese, avocado, tomato and mayo), and empanadas. They even have Chilean style hot dogs! These dogs are made with your choice of beef, chicken or salmon and come in three varieties: the Completo (tomato, sauerkraut, mashed avocado, mayo); the Italiano (tomato, mashed avocado, mayo); and the Dinamico (avocado, tomato, relish, sauerkraut, mayo, mustard). I stole this pic below from Midtown Lunch of what that's supposed to look like:
I salivated a little. And everything on the menu is supposed to be under $10. Hooray recession!
So far I am hopeful of Barros Luco, and judging by the homage to el Presidente in their logo, they mean business. Any guy who serves you food with furrowed brows and a handlebar mustache is not one to be tangled with. But if I were them, I would play it safe and put some puppies and kittens outside to lure people in anyway. It really couldn't hurt.
300 1/2 East 52nd Street
New York, NY, 10022