If you head to Colonia, make sure you avoid Parrilla del Barrio on Real 166. It is awful - a waste of time and money. This place is ripping people off.
Virtual Tourist review from my June 22 visit....
After scoping out virtually all of the restaurants in Colonia, we decided to try Parrilla del Barrio for its quaint charm, seemingly low prices and promising menu. From the street, the little restaurant is a dream - a small stone house covered in ivy and several small wooden tables set up in the street. We walked inside and the scene changed dramatically.
Upon entering, we were encouraged to sit outside (riverside on a 55F day - no thanks). We declined and opted to sit at one of the four (yes, FOUR) tables inside. The inside of the restaurant had a unique charm, so to speak. The walls were covered with LPs from the 1960s (ironically, absolutely no music was playing), an office desk with the owner behind it was set in the corner, and we could see straight into the owner's living room and bedroom - which made us feel as if we were invading someone's home. But we sucked it up and assumed we would be feasting on some great home style cooking.
I order breaded fish and my husband order a chivito (steak sandwich). While we waited, we were brought bread and a small plate of tasty cheese. Things were starting off pretty well. Then I was poured a glass of wine. The wine was apparently a home brew called Il Piu. 'Pew' was quite a fitting name, indeed. They should really put their energies into their restaurant because the vinegary wine was the worst I had had in literally years.
A few minutes later, our food arrived and the look of shock spread over my face. The waitress plopped down a plate of six fish-shaped frozen nuggets, a leaf of lettuce and a wedge of lemon. Then, she gave my husband a chivito the size of his fist. We kept quiet and ate the sub-par food. A bit later, we saw the waitress bring the so-called grilled pizza to another patron. It was half of a personal-size frozen grocery store pizza. Obviously, the gentleman complained and said he was expecting something homemade, as were we.
Anyways....my husband and I finished eating and asked for dessert, which was included with our meal. We were each handed a plastic spoon and a tiny little cup of ice cream - compliments of Il Pui. The ice cream did not meet Uruguayan standards but we ate up, since we were still hungry. Our main objective at this point was to pay and get the heck out of the restaurant.
When we paid with Argentine pesos, we were given a horrible exchange rate (5 instead of 6, which all the other local stores and restaurants were giving us). In addition, we were charged an extra 50 Uruguayan pesos per person ('cubiertos', which usually cost 20-30 pesos pp) because we sat inside. We were extremely upset because in the end, we spent more money ($500 pesos total) than we would have at a nice parrillada in the area. When we left, we were livid. We felt cheated, swindled and hungry. Do not make the same mistake we did - AVOID this place like the plague.
Favorite Dish: Between the mini-chivito, the frozen fish nuggets and the frozen pizza, it's hard to say. Perhaps a nice platter of lettuce would be a safe choice. :/
Comparison: more expensive than average
Address: Real 166
Directions: In the main historic district of Colonia. Half a block from the river.