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

UNCLE MOE’S (6.5)

Posted in Flatiron, Gringo, Park Slope by burritowizard on June 26, 2009

Uncle Moe's Exterior

14 West 19th Street New York, NY 10011
(212) 727-9400

Measurements: 9″ circumference; 7″ length (standard size)

Vegetarian Burrito $7.95 after tax

All rice and beans are vegan

uncle moe’s menu

To view the menu click the above link, which will direct you to a comment screen, then click on the link one more time to load the pdf file.

Touting an East Los Angeles theme, but reflecting the whole of California, Uncle Moe’s is one of the few authentic feeling taquerias  in the NYC area.  The menu is complicated, so take a minute to look it over and feel free to ask questions.  The Vegetarian comes with guacamole, or you can order one of the other burritos and choose a filling or two.  Offering black or pinto beans and a slew of veggie fillings (some of which change seasonally) Uncle Moe’s gives you the variety you need.

Uncle Moe's Burrito

Also, one of the only places to offer a salsa bar (an L.A. staple) in the NYC area.  Some creative spicing choices that may or may not jibe with conventionalists.  The first Uncle Moe’s opened in 1991 in Park Slope, I visited their second (of 2) stores in Manhattan.  I’ve been to the Brooklyn store as well ,many, many moons ago…

Uncle Moe's Salsa Bar

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.5

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San Loco (6.25)

Posted in Alphabet City, East Village, Gringo, Lower East Side, Williamsburg by burritowizard on June 26, 2009

San Loco Exterior

124 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10003

(212) 260-7948

www.sanloco.com

If you’ve been drunk at a wedding danced with someone all night only to wake up the next morning shocked by what that someone’s  like in the morne, then you know what it’s like to eat at San Loco (sort of).  Open late, situated near points of inebriation, dark lighting.  Better than Chipotle and most of the national chains, San Loco is self-proclaimed Gringo Mex.  Not for the discerning Burritophile, but is a good healthy-ish late night option, with minimal regrets in the morning.

San Loco Burrito

Value: Good for NYC

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.25

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DOUGLAS ARMOUR

Posted in Interviews by burritowizard on June 21, 2009

douglasarmour.jpeg

The Burrito Wizard interviewed singer/ songwriter Douglas Armour through a series of emails between May 17th and May 26th 2009 :

BW: When I was in D.C. last week I went down to the Union Station food court, and found that the last remaining “original” recipe Burrito Brothers has closed.  As one of the original “Burrito Brothers” what are your thoughts?

DA: Yeah, that’s a bummer.  But I kind of feel like Burrito Brothers died awhile ago.  Once they were run out of Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan, it was over.  They were kind of too simple for their own good.  Looking back I feel like half the time I went there they were inexplicably closed or the person working there was nowhere to be found… this was the Adams Morgan spot specifically.  The only one that’s left in D.C. is the one on Capitol Hill, right?  There is one out by Tyson’s Corner in Northern Virginia, which is my old stomping grounds, but I’ve never been there… (Whoa, just felt an earthquake!)  Not sure if it’s the original recipe there or not. I left D.C. in 1996.

BW: I think the Virginia location is closed as well, I tried calling them and the number has been disconnected (next time I’m in the area I will try to stop by in person).
In 1996 you moved from D.C. and Burrito Brothers to S.F. what was your first impression of S.F. burritos?

 DA: When I moved to S.F. I moved into the Mission District (into an art-school and punk rawk group house on Mission Street called “the Mission House”.)  I think the first place I went to was Taqueria Cancun. Glorious.  I was in burrito Mecca.  Cancun is still my “old standby” place in S.F. … if I’m only there for a day and want to get a burrito I’ll go there.  Pancho Villa’s probably makes a better burrito but the vibe at Cancun is much better.  I mean, you could go there and just have a beer and it wouldn’t feel strange.  I think we can agree that S.F. has the best packaging of burritos out there.  Tin-foil rolled super-tight.

BW: In S.F. you lived lived away from burritos but near former “Burrito Brother” and inventor of the Hardflip Dan Gallagher ( according to Rodney Mullen )

You moved to L.A. in the late 1990’s, what are your thoughts about Los Angeles burritos???

DA: Yeah, the last year I was in S.F. I lived out in the Sunset District on 42nd Avenue a few blocks from the beach.  It was pretty bleak out there.  Not much in the burrito department but I do remember ordering vanilla and being sold Durian flavored ice cream at a Chinese ice cream place in the Sunset… yikes.  I moved to LA (the first time) in the summer of 1998.  I really think of LA as being a taco (and bacon-wrapped hot-dogs) town.  I love the taco trucks (El Taco Movil is my local truck) and the newer, higher-end specialty kind of places… like the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, Loteria or Malo (Oaxacan cuisine, etc…)  It seems that your typical “historic” family-style Mexican place in LA like Castitas del Campo, Lucy’s El Adobe, or that place down on Western and 9th (who also run El Coyote) are really nice to hang out and have a margarita or four, but the food is kind of gnarly and expensive for what you get… a big, hot plate with refried beans, overcooked, over-seasoned rice, and melted velveeta cheese.

My favorite burrito when I first moved to LA was the vegetarian chile relleno burrito at Tacos Delta in Silverlake.  Nowadays, it’s the bean, rice and cheese burrito at Mariela’s Tacos on 3rd Street in Koreatown.  But on a whole I’m still shocked that no one in LA has come close to making a solid Mission-style burrito.

Last Spring (2008), the Burrito Wizard and Douglas Armour met up for a burrito at Washington’s Union Station for what they didn’t realize was their “Last Burrito” at Burrito Brothers, sacrificed, hopefully to rise again.

If you Haven’t seen Douglas Armour’s Headbanger video for the song Flushed and Flamelike Themselves click on this link: VIDEO

 

JULIO’S MEXICAN GRILL (7.75) CLOSED FOR BUSINESS

Posted in Hancock Park, Miricle Mile by burritowizard on June 17, 2009

Julio's Exterior

CLOSED!!!!! CLOSED!!!!! CLOSED!!!!!

5174 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 931-5868

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

Garden Burrito $5.90 after tax

Julio’s sub rosa storefront near the corner of Wilshire and La Brea is known only to a few, which may be the side effect of locating inside strip mall real estate.  Centralized location near LACMA,  Julio’s is a sleeper burrito shop with a great vegetarian menu.

Originally opened sometime around 1994, the current ownership took over about 8 years ago keeping all the original recipes, decor, and Carlos the inventor of the Atomic salsa (an alien looking salsa that’s Balls to the Walls hot).

Julio's Salsa

(ABOVE TOP LEFT: ATOMIC; TOP RIGHT: MEDIUM NEGRO; BOTTOM LEFT: HOT SRIRACHA; BOTTOM RIGHT MILD TOMATILLO)

Three types of vegetarian burritos: (1) Standard: beans, rice, cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo; (2) Garden: zucchini, potato, carrot, broccoli, rice, cheese and guacamole; (3) Fajita style.  Take your pick, but the Garden Burrito is unique and has a synergy with the salsas that the other two don’t.

Julio's Burrito

(ABOVE VEGETARIAN BURRITO)

Julio's Garden Burrito

(ABOVE GARDEN BURRITO)

Value: very good for the area

WIZARD’S SCORE: 7.75

STANDARDIZED TEST ANALOGY

Posted in Ethos by burritowizard on June 7, 2009

BURRITOS ARE TO NYC AS:

1) Communism is to Russia

2) Ron Paul is to Texas

3) Capitalist Democracy is to Africa

4)  Disney World is to Orlando

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