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


Posted in Uncategorized by burritowizard on March 23, 2010

On this very night, 10 years ago; along this same stretch of road, in a dense fog, just like this, Andy Cone was forcefully removed from Cactus Mexican Food #2.  Like a garbage truck dropped off the Empire State Building, he did not go gently.

Patronizing Cactus on a regular basis, you’ll find they put out their salsa bar, which is one of the best in the country, on an erratic schedule.

Like a shoe gazer in front of a methadone clinic, you wait for them to put out the salsa bar.  “What time do you put out the salsa bar?”, you ask.  “Que” she responds.  “A que hora se saquen las salsas”, you ask.  “No se”, she responds.  You hover over the stand for the next 2 and ½ hours, much to her chagrin.  At 3:15 pm she puts out the salsa bar.

The next day repeat the above, only it’s 5:59 pm when the salsa bar goes out.

The following day: repeat, but it’s 12:34 pm when the salsa bar is out.

The illogical inconsistency drives you insane.  Enter Andy Cone.  He’s mad as hell and not gonna take this anymore.  He begins to pound on the plexiglass demanding the mole sauce (actually chipotle), and the salsa bar.

He’s spent a great deal of money and pain on dental work, and is just today able to chew solid food on the right side of his mouth.

Chuy, the biggest guy in the kitchen, comes out and lightly grabs Andy, and politely escorts him to the curb at Beverly Blvd.  He then cajoles him with his oversized hands, causing Andy to begin walking away from Cactus Mexican Food #2.  Andy turns around, and makes a motion back towards the stand, but Chuy like an All Pro NFL Tackle, pushes him away with a thrusting of the palms of his hands.

Andy made one more effort, but like General Custer’s Last Stand at Little Bighorn, it was futile.  Rest assured, Andy did not go gently that night.


Posted in Noho, Nolita, Soho by burritowizard on March 13, 2010

227 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 625-0090

333 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 343-9977


Vegetarian Burrito $7.89 after tax

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

Fish Taco Shack themed with prime NYC prices, Pinche is one of the better places for Mexican Food in Manhattan.  Note the salsa squeeze bottle, which is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to dispense salsa.  Their salsa is simple, straight forward and some of the best I’ve had in New York City.  The burrito is traditional, with quality ingredients.  Pinche Taqueria boasts of humble beginnings on the streets of Tijuana, which may excite some north eastern foodies.  Thankfully I noticed nothing about the food at Pinche to reminded me of T.J.

Value: New York City Prices



Posted in Gringo, Venice by burritowizard on March 8, 2010

1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90291

(310) 664-1177


Bean & Cheese Burrito $5.49 after tax

Measurements: 8″ circumference; 7″ length (smaller than average)

At the former location of Tortilla Grill, Casalinda is a step down from its predecessor.  Fresh food, fresh ingredients, but with little inspiration.  In our party of three, all three burritos had a big lump of cheese in the middle.  Great location on prime Abbott Kinney, chill atmosphere, forgettable salsa bar.   I paid with a $10 bill, and they gave me a Panamanian dime (.99 USD exchange)

Value: Over Priced




Posted in Buckhead, Vegan by burritowizard on March 4, 2010

1877 Piedmont Road

Atlanta, GA 30324

(404) 815-0227


If Sam Malone from “Cheers” owned a Persian Southwestern Fusion Burrito shop in Atlanta, and dressed like legendary Redskins coach George Allen, you’d have Jahan, the friendly, brilliant patriarch of Sheik’s Burritos.  The food has the look and form of West Coast Mexican, with the flavors and spices of Persian cuisine.  Most new places brag about quality ingredients, but the Sheik actually has them.  Healthy, creative, sustainable, simplicity: makes Sheik the destination of choice for those in search of an evolved lunch option in Buckhead.  Dune Buggy, Dune Buggy, I like You, I like You.  The reviewers can be misleading.  If you want the skinny, talk to the regulars.  I recommend eating the following: Sun Devil Beats, Chic Dip, Guacamole, Redskin Chili, Red Spinach Salad, Bad-Man-Jon sauce.  Real women and men order the El Riggins Burrito.  Yes Sheik, yogurt is superior to sour cream.

Chic Sauce (what’s left of it)

DONA ROSA (7.25)

Posted in Gringo, Pasadena by burritowizard on March 2, 2010

577 S Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 449-2999

Bean-Rice-Cheese-Pico de Gallo Burrito $6.50 after tax

Measurements: 9″ circumference; 6″ length (smaller than average)

A woman with a sexy body and an ugly face is called a Butterface (But-Her-Face), this slur reminds me of Dona Rosa’s Burritos.  “10” for effort, the look, the feel, the atmosphere, the signage; I’d love to hang out here all day, especially Tuesdays with $1.50 margaritas.  Everything seems perfect, but-the-taste.  The black bean, rice, shredded cheese and pico de gallo (no jalapenos) burrito is simple, but well executed.  The salsa bar is one of the most beautiful I have seen.  But, the taste of the salsas, particularly in the hotter sauces, is where Dona Rosa misses the mark.

Spicy Red Salsa (upper left) is not that spicy, and tastes more like tomato paste than salsa.  Salsa Quemada (fire roasted) (upper right) doesn’t jibe with the burritos or chips.  Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa (lower left) is a straight forward house salsa, but a bit too watery.  Tomatillo Salsa (lower right) This is their best salsa, rich bodied and well executed.  SUMMARY: Dona Rosa is worth a visit, just don’t get your hopes up for greatness.

Value: Pricey, but worth it if you are looking for atmosphere, and a nice place to hang out.