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

LA SALSA (6)

Posted in Business District, Gringo, National Chain by burritowizard on April 5, 2010

601 West 5th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 623-6390

www.lasasa.com

 

Califonia (basic veggie) Burrito $5.54 after tax

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

Sitting in La Salsa neither enjoying, nor dis-enjoying my experience,I try to think of a way to describe it.  I can’t stop thinking about the novel Grendel, by John Gardner.  A heartwarming recounting of the epic Beowulf from the monster (Grendel’s) perspective.  The point is that you need to have ‘evil’ to create a ‘hero’.  But, Burrito Analysis is far more complicated.  The ‘great’ and ‘bad’, are easy to recognize.  We need mediocrity to determine the nuances between what is esculent, palatable, and delectable.  This is why La Salsa needs to exist, it is the bare minimum one should accept from a burrito place.

 

The salsa bar is beautiful, but none of the salsas are worth mentioning.

 

Value: blah

 

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6

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MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL (6.25)

Posted in Atlanta, National Chain by burritowizard on February 25, 2010

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL)

Concourse C

www.moes.com

Art Vandolay (Veggie)  Burrito $6.16 after tax

Measurements: 8″ circumference; 7″ length (standard size for a tightly wound burrito)

Whole black or pinto beans

The newest chain establishing a welcome national presence, the first Moe’s opened in Atlanta in 2000.  In 2007 Moe’s began spreading rapidly throughout the country, minus California.   Three details that set them apart from other chains are: They wind their burritos tightly in tinfoil, similar to Mission style; Fresh add-ins (cilantro, jalapenos, etc…); unlimited access to their one-type of salsa in their salsa bar.  The zany attitude at Moe’s is upbeat, but at times made me feel like Napoleon in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) in the scene at the ice cream shop when he eats the large ice cream concoction called a “Ziggy Pig”. The crowd eggs him on with the chant, “Eat the Pig! / Eat the Pig! / Eat the Ziggy, Ziggy Pig!” After he does so, they pin a badge depicting a cartoon pig on his lapel.  “Welcome to Moe’s!!!”

Moe’s salsa is versatile.  More of a chips and salsa house salsa than that of a taqueria.  Tastes to me like it is jarred or canned, then doctored up with fresh ingredients on-site.

Value: Amazing for an airport

WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.25

QDOBA (6.5)

Posted in Downtown, Gringo, National Chain by burritowizard on February 11, 2009

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National Chain

www.qdoba.com

 

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

 

Prices vary depending on where you are: between $6 and $7 after tax.  ($6.79 after tax in downtown LA)

 

The first Qdoba was opened in Denver, CO in 1995.  Currently owned by Jack in the Box, they make the finest burrito of all the national chains.  Burritos are made assembly line style (like Subway sandwiches).  The makers are generous and won’t nickel and dime if you want a little extra pico de gallo or whatever.  All chain burrito shops tend to be on the high salt side, and Qdoba is no exception. But, they manage to have “real ingredients” flavor (i.e. no special sauce or mysterious “tastes”), which is rare in “fast food”.   Steamed tortillas that solidifiy the burrito and 3 types of salsa: medium, hot and very hot.  They are a little on the “jar” side, but still a solid bet.  I have had Qdoba throughout the country and all seem to be comparable.  If you find a Qdoba in an airport (Atlanta and Pittsburgh) consider yourself lucky.  Their guacamole is particularly impressive compared to what you normally get outside of California.

 

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Value: Amazing for an airport.

 

 WIZARD’S SCORE: 6.5

 

There is one location in Los Angeles

655 S Hope Street Los Angeles CA 90017 (at Red Line Metro stop)

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