Lucky 13 BBQ looked super on paper. The website listed a bunch of cocktails, and a good mix of BBQ, tacos, and small plates with Asian twists. Our group of fun-lovers figured this would be a great place for lunch.
When we arrived I was a bit surprised to see how small the place is. The interior really doesn't have much proper seating (other than a smallish bar and some couches), and the covered outdoor area has mostly high-top tables (not necessarily ideal for groups with children). There are some standard tables with umbrellas set up on the patio/parking lot, but they weren't an option on this very typically sunny/rainy/sunny/rainy Rincon January afternoon.
We had plenty of time to review the menus, as the single server on duty was quite busy doing everything that needed to be done. We mapped out our meal and cocktails, and were very much looking forward to getting into some BBQ and tacos and small plates with Asian twists. This eventually sort of happened, but not without some bumps in the road.
I ended up with their "Perfect Margarita." Patron, citrus, Grand Marnier, according to the menu. I suppose that was an accurate description. A perfectly fine afternoon cocktail, but much too much OJ in this drink. And at $14? That's North Jersey pricing right there. There is absolutely no reason to use such an expensive tequila in a cocktail like this. El Jimador, for example, would have been fine, and I could have saved a few bucks.
Cocktail issues aside, I was very happy to see pitchers of water placed on the table. This seems to be standard practice everywhere in the world other than the NYC area.
Then it turned out they didn't have two of the four dishes we wanted. Unlucky. At this point, as you might imagine, I was properly blooming annoyed. But we adapted and overcame these challenges, and managed to pull together a quite decent meal at the end of it all.
The group decided that some vegetables were in order. We had been eating much more mofongo and fritters and meat than vegetables, as you might find yourself doing on vacation. Our bodies were screaming for roughage. Mine, wailing like that of a big, flabby, petulant man-child. The "Baja Ensalada" was perfectly fine, with fresh lettuce, some avocado, pickled vegetables, and a sesame dressing. We tore through this thing with relish.
There was a tuna poke dish on the menu, which was quite possibly more tartare than poke. Since I always order tuna poke (or tartare) when I see it, I ordered tuna poke. Fresh and no doubt local tuna, seaweed, avocado. Another well-executed dish that we all enjoyed.
The star of the show, for me and the missus at least, was the Korean-style short rib. Essentially a perfectly executed kalbi dish. Not only did it taste great, but it looked beautiful. I should note that the kitchen did seem to be taking their time with and putting some thought into plating these dishes. Especially for a BBQ place.
Short ribs made their way into the tacos as well, and we were very happy about that. Pickled vegetables, kimchi, spicy mayo. Great tacos. Although at that point I could have just eaten another serving of the short ribs on their own.
Overall Lucky 13 BBQ seems to have a young, energetic, edgy vibe. Great alternative-type music was blasting inside. They apparently have live music at times, per their Facebook page. Crazy painted walls and whatnot. Seems like a good spot to hit at night, if you're a nighttime spot-hitter.
We certainly got off to a rough start with Lucky 13. I'm still a little annoyed that they were out of so many items. But, we had a really good meal here, and I'd consider going back if I find myself in Rincon again.
Lucky 13 BBQ : Carr 115 km 11.6 : Rincon, PR 00677 : 939.697.8005 : Don't believe google maps. Lucky 13 BBQ is not in the Rincon Inn. It is across the street from Edwards.