Pair This: El Barrio’s Shrimp Quesadillas & Grapefruit Margaritas

By Jan Walsh  

Photography by Beau Gustafson

El Barrio

El Barrio is Spanish for neighborhood. Birmingham’s El Barrio opened recently on Second Avenue North downtown, serving Mexican-influenced cuisine. Brian Somershield and Geoff Lockert—owners of the Italian restaurant, Trattoria Centrale—are the owners/restaurateurs, along with their long-time friend, Chris Cullen.

We are seated at a cocktail-style table in the window where a banquette wraps itself around the space. We order shrimp quesadillas and grapefruit margaritas. The tasty, acidic pink cocktails are rimmed with salt and have slices of red grapefruit in the bottom. And they pair well with the three hot, overfilled quesadillas. Accompaniments of sweet lime crema—a masterpiece of mildness and creaminess—perfectly balance the shrimp’s sharpness and the heat of the Monterey jack cheese and de gallo

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