Let's get this clear right off the bat. There's nothing fancy about this place. Not that it's a dive, either. This space on Mountain Industrial Boulevard in Tucker used to be a Taco Mac and the decor may not have changed much since then, but the food certainly has. More on that momentarily.
They have poker night, bingo night, pool tables and so forth. The music is pretty loud. Lots of television screens, all tuned to sports channels. But you can bring your children here - and people do. There's a large non-smoking section away from the bar and the noise that is family friendly. This is what I would recommend if you're bringing the little ones.
The kids' menu has what you might expect. They can partake of mini corn dogs, grilled cheese, or a cheeseburger. All with fries, of course. Oh, ice cream too. All for $4.49.
So what about the grown-ups? Barlow's has daily lunch specials that range in price from $5.95 to $6.99. (Don't ask me why there's a four cent discrepancy.) Wings. Quesadillas, Chimichangas, Fish & Chips, that sort of thing. I didn't try a burger but there's a blogger out there who thinks it's "cooked to perfection." The crispy and smoked chicken wings seem to have quite a reputation as well.
One of the dishes I had was a Cajun Chicken ($9.99) with a side of mashed potatoes that were the real deal. None of that fake stuff out of a packet. It came with grilled vegatables and the mushrooms in particular were outstanding.
The dinner menu is comprehensive and varied. For $9.99 you can have Barlow's Beef Ravioli with Italian spices, the restaurant's own marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. A couple of other items inspired by that corner of the world are Fettuccine Alfredo ($7.99, or $9.99 with blackened chicken, $11.99 with shrimp) and Rigatoni ala Vodka, wihich as the name implies is made with creamy vodka sauce and proscuitto and herbs. It's also $7.99 and you can add chicken or shrimp to it to your heart's content.
If you're feeling fishy you can have Atlantic Salmon for $11.99 or Fried Clam Strips for $7.99.
Then there's the chili. This is really good. So good, in fact, that it recently won a top award at the first annual Tucker Chili Cook-Off. So if you're a fan of good chili, you know what to do.
I had a dessert of Chocolate Cobbler. That's what Nicole, the waitress, called it, though it's not on the menu and I don't know what I paid for it. Let's just say it put a big smile on my face.
"You all right, darlin'?" Nicole asked me once or twice. Yes, I was. I told you it was a casual sort of place.