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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

There are so many choices for burritos in this city it’s insane: Ole Cito, Dorado, Baja Bettys, Anna’s, Boca, Boloco, and Chipotle to name a few. I personally am an Anna’s kind of gal, who’s your favorite?

Let’s start with Chipotle. Let me start by saying that these burritos are huge, the size of a Nerf football (remember those?) and probably weighs 5 lbs. This burrito definitely has the biggest girth. When I go to the Chipotle out west in Framingham, there is a line around the block-and finding a seat-forget about it. When I go to the one in Fenway, 3 people. Go figure. It’s like people in the suburbs think that burritos are a novelty. I favor the chicken fajita burrito-chicken, rice, peppers and onions, no beans.

High points:

  • sheer size, but depending on the day, it could be a low point too.
  • The chicken in super spicy, I always leave with my lips tingling. The chicken is consistent-bite sized cubes.
  • They sell beer-who doesn’t love a corona with their burrito? (or a margarita).
  • You can order your burrito ahead of time with the i-phone app or go to the website and order online.
  • They have corn salsa in addition to their ‘hot, medium or mild’ salsas. I love corn on my burritos.
  • You can get crispy or soft tacos.
  • They are efficient, one guy does the steaming of the tortilla the rice and meat, you move down the line, another guy does salsa, cheese and other extras and then you pay at the end.

Low points:

  • Either you love cilantro or you hate it. I hate it…. and they put cilantro into their white rice. Ick.
  • They have shredded cheese-now while I like shredded cheese (that part should be in the high points) they put it on after they steam the tortilla, so your cheese doesn’t always get melted.
  • Because the burrito is so thick, when you get towards the last third of it, it tends to start falling apart. It’s like an ice cream cone that’s melting faster than you can lick the drips. You try to eat the stuff spilling out on the top, but then realize you have to go at it from the sides, and then you just give up and eat it with a fork.
  • Sometimes their veggies can be charred.

Anna’s. Oh how I love you, let me count the ways. Now, on a whole other feud, are you an Anna’s or a Boca? Anna’s opened in 1995 in Coolidge Corner by Michael Kamio (wikipedia says he opened Anna’s because of an argument with his sister Mariko, who owns Boca). Super chicken is the burrito of choice here (for those who aren’t in the know-super is the larger of the sizes).

High points:

  • The rice. They cook it in chicken stock so it has a nice color and flavor to it. I think that the rice is the star of the burritos here. The cheese.
  • They melt the cheese when they steam your tortilla, ensuring melted cheese-y deliciousness.
  • Their burritos have gotten a bit smaller over the years (they used to fill them up with rice and they were the size of Chipotle burritos), but they are wrapped tightly and don’t fall apart when you try and eat them.

Low points:

  • The chicken is inconsistent. You can get small bite sized pieces or a piece that’s half the length of the burrito. Sometimes the chicken is super charred..sometimes it borders on the under cooked side.
  • They used to have corn in their grilled veggies (squash, zucchini, carrots, onions, peppers, broccoli) but they don’t seem to have it anymore.
  • This is another high point/low point comment.They have two sides for maximum efficiency (high point). Anna’s has become this place that’s almost like a tourist stop. They should have lines like the grocery store, but instead of 10 items or less and everyone else, it should be newbies and veterans. When you go in for a burrito, if you’re a regular, you want to be in and out, you know what you want. You don’t want to get stuck behind a person who is spending 20 minutes looking at the menu, doesn’t know the lingo, or is just clueless in general. Patience is not one of my virtues (can you tell?!)
  • Cash only folks- don’t forget to stop at the atm before you come.
  • They only have soft tacos.

Here’s how you order at Anna’s (in the interest of making the line go quicker for all of us). Pick your size-burrito or super. Ask for the kind of meat you want (chicken, steak, carnitas or veggies etc). They all come with cheese (now’s your chance to say if you don’t want it). They all come with rice. Order red or black beans. Salsa, lettuce and hot sauce can be added for no extra charge. What does cost extra is the sour cream and the guacamole.

Boloco. The name comes from ‘Boston Local Company”. They are associated with the chain of restaurants formerly known as ‘the wrap’ and b.good. They are a green company, using naturally raised meats, getting rid of Styrofoam at all locations, changing to bamboo bowls, and converting their smoothie cups to corn based ones. Boloco has burritos that represent Thai, Japanese, Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines.

This burrito is my least favorite of all the choices. Boloco is different than other companies in that you order and pay first and then they send your burrito down the line to be made. So if you change your mind and want to get guacamole when they are making your burrito, you either have to go back and pay for it or you have to live with out it. There are so many choices for burritos you almost get confused when ordering. At the last minute I just decided I wanted the chicken without any sauce on it, and that was a mistake because it was so dry, clearly the sauce is supposed to cover that up. I’m lucky that there wasn’t anyone behind me, otherwise I would have been that jerk holding up the line. This was a chicken burrito with cheese, regular rice, corn salsa and (unfortunately) celery (I couldn’t stop her fast enough from putting it on).

High Points:

  • You can get white meat only chicken
  • The burritos are tightly wrapped for easy, neat eating
  • There are different choices for rice, boloco, lime or brown
  • There are different choices for tortillas-white or the healthy whole wheat option
  • They have corn salsa

Low Points:

  • The chicken is dry-I’d rather you marinate the meat instead of trying to cover up the fact that it’s dry with sauce
  • Even though I saw them steam my tortilla, the burrito was cold
  • You have to pay extra for white meat chicken
  • It’s confusing when there are that many choices

El Pelon. Formerly located in the Fenway area, the twice burned down restaurant has relocated to the Boston College area (next to the BC ‘T’ stop. Reports on opening day (3/19) said that the line was out the door and the wait was over 30 minutes. I couldn’t imagine it, but after going there,  I believe it. The space is tiny, there are 4 tables and a few stools at the counter. You order in the back, and then they call your name when it’s ready.

There was a pretty good mix of people on Saturday afternoon, BC college students, families with young children and young professionals.The decor is simple: masks on one wall, t-shirts displayed by the counter, and the wall over the stools has customers in different places wearing their El Pelon t-shirts.

We ordered a chicken burrito. Similar is size, but not quite as big, to Chipotle, these burritos come with black beans, Mexican rice, Jack cheese, romaine lettuce and salsa fresca, rolled in a flour tortilla.

We also order a steak torta. A torta is a Mexican sandwich on a toasted roll with refried beans, limed onions, lettuce, salsa, spicy mayo and guacamole. The bread is amazing-it doesn’t taste toasted…it’s super soft. The one drawback to this sandwich is that you probably will end up eating it with a fork. One bite and half the sandwich comes out the back end. There’s no shortage of guacamole or salsa here.

High Points:

  • overall great flavors in the burrito
  • ingredients taste fresh-crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes in the salsa
  • other choices if you don’t want a burrito (quesadillas, enchiladas, tortas, soft tacos)
  • they plan on opening in Fenway again when the building is rebuilt

Low Points:

  • only black beans
  • the cheese wasn’t melted
  • there wasn’t a lot of salsa in the burrito-you really had to hunt for it
  • the salsa fresca has cilantro in it
  • limited seating

2197 Commonwealth Ave Boston Ma 617-799-9090

Whole Foods-Legacy Place-Dedham

I think that I should have known better then I got a burrito at Whole Foods. If you’re going to commit, be all in! The burrito was large in girth but that could have been due to the loose wrapping job. I was really disappointed with this one, I didn’t even finish it!

High Points:

  • you could get a white wrap or a whole wheat wrap
  • you could get white or brown rice
  • they had corn!!

Low Points:

  • the rice wasn’t flavored
  • the burrito wasn’t wrapped tightly so it made for a messy lunch
  • there were moments of sheer bland-ness and then a quick moment of super spicy (can you even be bland and spicy at the same time?)
  • the chicken wasn’t cut into bite size pieces-when you take a bite and your chicken is the size of a business card-it just makes it hard to eat

900 Providence Highway Dedham

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