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

TACOS POR FAVOR (7.75)

Posted in Gringo, Santa Monica by burritowizard on October 27, 2010

tacos-por-favor-exterior

1408 Olymipic Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404

(310) 392-5768

www.tacosporfavormenu.info

 

Measurements: 9”to 8″ circumference, 6.5” to 7″ length (generally smaller than average)


Potato Burrito $5.21 after tax


tacos-por-favor-burrito1

 

This place has pulled off totally satisfying the traditional authentic LA Mexican food crowd, the gringos, the foodies, the locals, and me: everyone likes this place.  Firm fresh black beans, pico de gallo (not so gallo). Red sauce with nutmeg, or is it cinnamon?  Long extensive menu, but not confusing, with appropriate options, all of which are good.  Very simple, not reinventing the wheel.  If they put more care into crafting their salsa this place could possibly blow my mind.


tacos-por-favor-salsa

Value: Best of the beach (not that close to the beach)


WIZARD’S SCORE: 7.75


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BLUE MESA (5.5)

Posted in Texas by burritowizard on October 23, 2010

DFW Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Gate D31 in Terminal D

www.bluemesagrill.com

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

Vegetarian Burrito $8.95 after tax

‘pretty’ ‘good’ ‘sober’ president’ all terms that have a different meaning in Texas.

Salsa Fresca is less understood north of James K Polk era American expansion.

Value: Remembering the Alamo no longer gets you a discount.

WIZARD’S SCORE: 5.5

TOMATILLO 6.75

Posted in Gringo, Koreatown by burritowizard on October 19, 2010

3435 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

(213) 388-9636

Vegetarian Burrito: $6.24

Measurements: 9″ circumference; 7″ length (but they’ll hook you up with a monster if you ask nicely)

Today is a special day in American History: I walk into Tomatillo in Koreatown.  The very first Tomatillo.  I feel the energy, this is going to be big…  Like the hot band with a record contract before their first practice, Tomatillo is destined for greatness.  The underpaid staff greets me with big smiles, and jovial attitudes, knowing that they are a part of the very first one…

You have to compare Tomatillo to Chipotle, I’ll use this analogy: Chipotle is Mario from Super Mario Brothers, and Tomatillo is Luigi; but with fresh quality ingredients not seen at Chipotle since the pre-1998-corporate-expansion of the franchise.

Decent traditional red and green salsas with fresh chunks of tomato, cilantro and of course tomatillo.

Value: Standard Issue

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.75

EL COCHE 6.25

Posted in Business District, Downtown by burritowizard on October 14, 2010

505 S Flower St
CIty National Plz
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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

Bean, Rice and Cheese burrito $3.84

For the past few years foodies, trend-trackers, and the general public seem to believe that tacos and burritos from food carts taste better than those cooked in a conventional kitchen.  Enter El Coche; located in the food court under the Arco building in downtown Los Angeles.  This food cart themed restaurant turns the tables on those sentiments, offering some of the fun and aesthetic of a food cart, with the enforced health code of a restaurant.  I have a soft spot for unique one-offs in food courts.

Decent standard issue salsa bar

Value: good for downtown

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.25

KNAVE FINDS BURRITO IN IDAHO, POTATOES DON’T PREVAIL

Posted in Boise, Guest Reviews, Idaho by burritowizard on October 8, 2010

222 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702

(208) 345-0323

www.polloreyboise.com

1994 was weird.  D’you know how amazing hippies look in photographs?  Beautiful kids without the slightest hint of self-doubt.  That youthful, idealistic brazenness.  Those teenage pheromones pre-Loofa and bodywash technology that sent the space age forwards, and then backwards decades.

In 1994, our president was a fake hippie.  Our parents were fake hippies.  Cold War-era baby-boomers tried to save the world, but only sped-up the endgame.  There was a heavy grassroots vibe out there.  There were computers that didn’t really do anything.  Kids protested on campuses for reasons other than litigation and self-promotion.  Raves were killing it but only creeps went to raves, because raves cost, like, twenty bucks to get-in to, and the music was not our thing because we felt a certain way about ourselves, and things like ecstasy only existed around pederasts.  There were random punk bands from Northern California putting out records with artwork like this: www.polloreyboise.com (only Xerox styled)

2010 is confusing.  I happened to be in Boise for my cousin’s wedding.  Boise is a city seeking an identity.  In a way, it seems to align itself with Portland, Oregon (some 430 miles west).  But I’d imagine that Boise would turn an even paler shade of white if it undressed and examined Portland under a bright light and saw the track marks, hairy legs, scabies bites, and bad tattoos.

Pollo Rey is located at, what I can gather, is potentially the prime retail spot in all of Boise, across from the badass North Face store in the heart of downtown. This beauty of a burrito spot may or may not exist on a street closed to automobiles.  Know what I mean?  They love that stuff in the Pacific Northwest and Holland/Belgium/Denmark.  This city has graffiti murals in the alleys of downtown, but no tags or throw-ups, anywhere.  Know what I mean?

Really good burritos, SF Mission-style in a place that feels about fifteen years behind the times.  Basques, dude.  Highly recommended.

Burrito Knave rating: 7.47

Downtown Bakery 7.75

Posted in Breakfast Burrito, East Village by burritowizard on October 6, 2010

69 1st Ave
(between 4th St & 5th St)
New York, NY 10003

(212) 254-1757

Vegetarian Burrito $7.08 after tax; Veggie Breakfast Burrito $4.90 after tax

Authentic Central American/ Mexican hybrid, with amazing breakfast burritos.  Featuring the Best salsa in NYC (spicy hot).

Good Stuff: Amazing breakfast menu; Old school East Village feel; Best Salsa in NYC; Decent coffee

Bad Stuff: Portions are too large; NO fresh jalapenos

tomatillo (left) spicy flavorful amazing; and guajillo (right) flavorful rich medium spicy

Value: Great value, particularly in the breakfast menu.

WIZARD’S SCORE: 7.75

BURRITOVILLE (6.5)

Posted in Chelsea, Gringo, New York by burritowizard on October 3, 2010

266 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10004
Phone# 212-675-5030

www.burritoville.com

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

Border Burrito (Brown Rice, Cheese, Beans, Pico De Gallo & Sour Cream) $8.70 after tax

Burritoville, the original Mission influenced burrito in Manhattan first opened in 1992.  At their height, they had locations in virtually every nook of the island, but now are left with only one in Chelsea.  Specialty burritos, Mexican style brown rice, and unimpressive salsas leave Burritoville at a disadvantage for competing with the coming new wave of NYC burrito makers.  The rotating daily $5 burrito menu selection makes Burritoville worth cataloging for the sake of value.

VALUE: Yes, if you take advantage of the daily $5 burrito; No if you order off the regular menu.

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.5