Bácaro: One of the Most Under-Appreciated Happy Hours in Boulder

As the title says, I find Bácaro to be one of the most under-appreciated happy hours in Boulder. It has a nice happy hour menu, good food, and friendly service. Yet, it is never busy on an off-night and always possible to find a table even on a weekend.

The Bácaro menu changed within the past year to focus on small plates at reasonable prices. As the menu says, “Our menu consists of a wide variety of  small plates of moderate portions meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends and family.”

This produces a ton of great options for dinner at any hour:

  • Salads and soups range from $5.00 to $9.00
  • Pastas range from $8.00 to $12.75
  • Even more expensive meats and seafood range from $7.00 to $12.50

But during happy hour, finding excellent dishes at reasonable prices is even easier:

  • A list of 18 appetizers ranges from $2.50 to $6.50
  • Small pizzas range from $5.25 to $8.00
  • Olives are $2.00, side dishes are $3.00, and cheeses are $4.00 or $5.00

On a recent evening, we arrived at 6:26 PM, just enough time to scan the familiar menu and order drinks and food before the 6:30 PM deadline for happy hour. We ordered three appetizers, one pizza, and one flatbread, which was plenty for dinner.

The staff at Bácaro is super nice, there is very little wait, and the location on the 900 block of Pearl Street is excellent. We enjoyed our experience.

Having said all this, the restaurant could use a little help in organization. Our waitress did the trendy thing and did not write down our order. Personally, I’d rather not be impressed with a waiter’s memory and be impressed my food came out the way I ordered it. In this case, she had to come back twice to make sure she got our order right. And it still didn’t work.

We also were served the palpettine di pollo (chicken meatballs) rather than the polpetti (grill baby octupus salad), requiring us to send them back for the proper dish. Worst of all, there were three mistakes on our bill: we were charged for two flatbreads, the flatbreads were priced at $7.00 rather than the stated $5.50, and  we were charged $7.00 for the polpetti instead of the $4.00 on the menu. I questioned all three mistakes and the waitress took off one flatbread but said the other prices were correct – it wasn’t worth asking for a menu to point out her other mistakes.

However, I tend not to castigate a restaurant for service mistakes during one visit by vowing never to return. We can all have an off night. Plus, I do have some hope the service will improve. Bácaro has hired a new General Manager, Klaus Nowels (who is female). She seems very on top of things and responded immediately to the palpettine for polpetti mixup. She also confirmed she was the person who replaced the fancy napkins of Bácaro’s past, which shed all over waiters and patrons alike.

In all, Bácaro is an excellent choice for a good happy hour meal at reasonable prices and is a perfect place to head on a crowded night when you don’t want to put your name on a list to get a table elsewhere. It is not the place to see and be seen. If you have not been to Bácaro in awhile, my suggestion is to give it another chance.