Review: Barracuda's Locust Point Tavern
Contributor Jeremy Trucker reviews recent addition to Locust Point, Barracuda's.
I haven't spent a lot of time in South Baltimore's Locust Point neighborhood, but I would go back for a dinner or drinks at Barracuda's, one of the neighborhood's newest haunts.
The evening at Barracuda's wasn't without its minor setbacks, but overall, the casual restaurant/bar seems to have a winning formula. To begin, free street parking on Fort Ave was plentiful on a Friday night, which is a major plus.
On this particular night, the bar was full though not packed and the crowd was both racially and age-diverse, hosting men and women from their 20s into their 60s and white, black, and Latino customers. This is an occurrence rarer than it should be in Baltimore.
Call drinks were $4.50 a shot and well poured by the friendly if overworked bartender/server. Apparently, the place was short-staffed on Friday, which led a neighboring table to complain.
But the same server didn't seem frazzled as she hurried around the rest of the table and bar area on the first floor. Additional seating is available upstairs, but going out of sight seemed a bad idea on a busy, understaffed night.
The atmosphere at Barracuda's is casual. The bar and table area each feature a flat screen, both showing the NCAA tournament at the time, though patrons didn't seem interested in the contests. One thing that stood out about Barracuda's is that, on this night anyway, it is not the type of place that tries to create atmosphere by blasting music or televised programming at ear-piercing decimals. While there was plenty of chatter and a few customers who seemed to have been in their stools long enough to be louder than necessary, no one had to shout to hear the person sitting next to them. If only all pubs realized that loud = fun does not apply to the post-collegiate set.
A few minor glitches stood out. First, the men's room is so small that I nearly bashed my shin into the toilet on my way in. The door and the can miss touching by only an inch or two when the door swings in to open. If I'm struggling to fit into the stall, consider yourself warned. Also, a blank chalkboard separated the bar from the tables, obstructing an otherwise open floor design.
More importantly, though, the food at Barracuda's, which apparently derives its name from a seafood theme and not a 70s hard rock song as I had suspected, was delicious. The pub grub staples, particularly the Old Bay wings and chicken salad sandwich, and sea salt chips, were satisfying. A cup of Carribean Turkey soup had just enough kick. A deep dish of surf 'n' turf nachos at a nearby table looked appealing enough to warrant a return visit. My fish tacos were small for an entree, but not bad for $8. Daily specials were pricier but much larger. Last weekend's specials included a whole red snapper. Though more than triple the price of the tacos at $27, my server promised that this was a very large dish.
Overall, Barracuda's is a friendly, convenient, casual bar with a menu that includes your average bar fare and several more imaginative seafood options. Since it just opened last Autumn, it will be interesting to see how the business picks up if and when the weather finally turns around and the neighborhood comes alive.
Barracuda's, at 1230 Fort Avenue, is open Monday through Sundays 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Jay Trucker is a frequent contributor to Midnight Sun. He teaches at the Community College of Baltimore County in Dundalk and blogs occasionally at WNST.net. He last reviewed Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj's show at 1st Mariner Arena.