BURRITO WISDOM – a vegetarian burrito quest www.burritowisdom.com

LA TORTA LOCA (8.25)

Posted in Fashion District, Historic Core by burritowizard on May 26, 2009

la-torta-loca-exterior

855 Santee Street Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 627-2424

www.latortaloca.com


Measurements: 8” circumference, 7” length (smaller than average)


Vegetarian Burrito: $5.25 or $6 Cuban Style after tax


All beans and rice are vegetarian


Hard to find owner operated oasis at the north end of the Santee shopping strip (Santee Alley). Nice blend of multi-cultural recipes from Mexico, Cuba, and the USA give La Torta Loca an original taste. Fresh ingredients, amazing habanero hot sauce and fresh mole (on Mondays), keep you coming back.  The speak easy of downtown lunch spots.  Not specifically a vegetarian place, but they do a great job of accommodating. Cuban style black beans without pork, rice without chicken stock and grilled tortillas. Three different red salsas: hot, medium and mild. The hot is killer hot (and one of the best out there), medium is a well balanced serrano pepper salsa, and the mild is made with arbol chiles. No salsa bar.  Not open after 5pm.


la-torta-loca-burrito

Value: Good considering the quality


WIZARD’S SCORE: 8.25


BIG ENCHILADA (6)

Posted in Union Square by burritowizard on May 20, 2009

Big Enchilada Exterior

28 East 12th Street New York, NY 10003

(212) 627-7950

Veggie Burrito $4.32 after tax

This place is cheap in New York City.  That’s not common.  Reminds me of an SNL Kevin Nealon sketch from the early 1990’s.  I’ll officially refer to Kevin Nealon as Big Enchilada from now on.  Heard this place is “Los Angeles themed”.  No truth to that rumor, but they play dated Mexican Umpa music which sounds inappropriately out of place in NYC.  Very good homemade hot sauce (salsa), and totally mediocre yet reasonable food.

 

big enchilada burrito

 

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6

 

BURRITO BOX (6.75)

Posted in Gringo, Midtown West by burritowizard on May 18, 2009

Burrito Box Exterior

885 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 489-6889

MENU

Measurements: 10” circumference; 6” length (larger than average)

Organic Seitan Burrito $8.55 after tax.

Pinto Bean Burrito $7.85 after tax.


Considered the best burrito in NYC by some, Burrito Box is certainly the biggest.  Veggie options abound, but I’d stick with the Pinto Bean Burrito.  Lacking in distinct character, but still better than most of what you will find in Manhattan.

Burrito Box Burrito

Value: expensive

 

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.75

PAQUITO’S (5.75)

Posted in East Village by burritowizard on May 17, 2009

Paquito's Exterior

143 1st Avenue New York, NY 10003

(212) 674-2071

www.paquitosrestaurant.com

Cactus Burrito $7.05 after tax.

Paquitos plated burrito is different than the hundreds of other plated burrito spots in and around NYC, because it’s a couple of dollars cheaper. Plated burritos degrade one’s ability to appreciate the culinary achievements of its creator.  The reality of the sloppy pile of food reminds me of the KFC Bit by Patton Oswalt.  Cactus Burrito: standard NYC yellow rice, pinto or black beans, semi-fresh salsa.


Paquitos Burrito

WIZARD’S SCORE: 5.75

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SUPER TACOS & BAKERY (7.5)

Posted in Adams Morgan, Washington D.C. by burritowizard on May 9, 2009

Super Tacos & Bakery Exterior

1762 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

(202) 232-7121

Measurements: 9” circumference, 7” length (standard)

Burrito Vegetariano $7.10 after tax.

Refried Beans: vegetarian

Super Tacos & Burritos Salsa Bar

Washington, D.C. is one of the most transient cities in the world, literally torn down and re-built every 4 to 8 years.  Cataloging restaurants can be like following stock quotes on the ticker while the market is open.  But, Super Tacos & Bakery (formerly Pepito’s II) seems to have staying power.  Considered to be the best “contemporary” burrito in D.C. by just about anyone who’s been to Super Tacos, I am not disappointed.  The veggie burrito is filled with sautéed vegetables (which usually doesn’t work, but does here).  Sauces: a pureed mild salsa; a warm cheese sauce.  Hot Sauces: spicy red & green (over salted).  Decent pico de gallo w/ jalapenos.  Feels more Central American than Mexican.

Super Tacos & Bakery Burrito

(Above photo of plate I was handed at Super Tacos & Bakery w/ cheese sauce and pureed salsa)

Value: The word was removed from the dictionary in D.C. sometime around the year 2002.

WIZARD’S SCORE: 7.5

LA TAQUIZA (8.25)

Posted in USC by burritowizard on May 7, 2009

la-taquiza-sign1

3009 S Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90007

(213) 741-9795


Measurements: 9” circumference, 7” length (standard size)


Veggie Burrito: $5.74 after tax

Egg and Potato Burrito: $6.28 after tax


Near USC campus south of downtown Los Angeles La Taquiza is an anomaly.  Kind of a hybrid hole-in-the-wall taquiria and USC friendly Gringo joint. They produced two well concocted vegetarian burritos: Egg & Potato (my favorite); and Veggie. The main difference between the two is trading guacamole in the Veggie for seasoned egg and potato. Both are excellent. The salsa bar is a fruitful. Rich Verde; hearty spicy Rojo; Guacamole Crema a cool refreshing break; Sriracha Thai hot sauce (or something similar to it). Nice fresh pico de gallo (unfortunately without jalapenos).  Legendary spot that many Los Angelenos don’t know exists.

la-taquiza-burrito

USC Vegetarian Burrito

la-taquiza-salsa

Value: Prices recently went up, but OK considering the quality and fresh fixings.


WIZARD’S SCORE: 8.25

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HOLY GUACAMOLE (7)

Posted in Santa Monica by burritowizard on May 4, 2009

holy-guacamole-exterior

2906 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 314-4850

Measurements: 9” circumference, 7” length (standard size)

Veggie Burrito $7 after tax

holy-guacamole-salsa

On paper this should be one of the best burritos in the area.  Unique yet authentic environment, with Santa Monica flavor; Clean fresh ingredients and homemade salsa.  But, somehow it doesn’t come together right.  Reminds of the type of burrito place you find in Manhattan or Brooklyn.  I like the traditional restaurant style fresh red salsa, but the spicy green has a pickling spice flavor that doesn’t jibe with me.  Grilled tortillas, black refried beans or whole pinto, and decent guacamole, if I sound negative it’s only because I had really high hopes.

holy-guacamole-burrito

Value: what you’d expect from an over-priced place in Santa Monica

WIZARD’S SCORE: 7