The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Burrito Updates for October 2011 – Coast to Coast, Baby!

The Burrito Guide has been chugging along for a few months and the Hedonist Burrito Index is working as expected. As I mentioned in my introduction to the Burrito Guide, the purpose of this scoring system is to give burrito diners – aficianados and newbies alike – a tool to help them find the best burritos in America. By creating a total score based on varying factors, diners can focus in on certain factors to make sure that their burrito dollars are well spent. A little overboard for a late night snack? Not at all, hater…

This month, I’ve reached out to fellow bloggers who have written about burritos they’ve enjoyed and asked them to submit scores. I’m happy to say that we now have reviews from New York, California, and Georgia! There are actually more folks who have blogged about burritos, but their work failed to meet the high standards of this blog….. Ok, I can’t type that with a straight face.

Anyway, here are our additions to the Guide for October, along with links to their blogs. They all have done some great work on their sites with restaurants, recipes, and other musings. It’s certainly worth it to visit them because, let’s face it, if you came here you obviously don’t put much value on your time.

Tio’s

Reviewer: The Food and Wine Hedonist

Restaurant Description: Local Ann Arbor institution, started up years ago by some hippie. Featured on Food Network’s “Man vs Food” when the fat guy eats the whole Mt Nachismo – 5lbs of Nachos.

Review: Another TOFTT – Took one for the team. I’ve been to this place a couple of times already, and don’t recall it being that good, but I gave it another shot for the Guide. To be fair, the bean and cheese appetizer was really good and their hot sauce had terrific heat and flavor. Descriptions for other items looked encouraging, but the burrito sucked ass.

Price: $9.68 for the shredded sirloin

Atmosphere =2. It’s too clean and a Jimmy Buffett song came on. That shouldn’t be on ANYONE’S playlist.

Taste = 2. The beef was braised, but not very flavorful. Overall taste of burrito was monotonous. Steamed rubbery shell.

Heft = 1. For that price, it should either be huge or come with sides. It was literally the size of a Taco Bell Burrito Supreme.

Messiness = 1. Too neat, not dripping. Not enough in there to make a mess.

Intangibles = 4. High score for their craft beers and huge tequila selection.

Overall Score = 10

Bomber’s Burrito

Reviewer: The Hungry Dyke. Click here for full review.

Restaurant Description: One of the best eats in Albany. It’s independently owned, the crowd is chill, the food is cheap, delicious, and filling.

That’s what she said: How can you go wrong?
They have a decent beer list. The atmosphere is kitschy. There’s a seedy downstairs area that’s more of a fast food place, and a sit-down upstairs that’s attached to the bar. The service is great too. I went there last Sunday and the guy turned on the Rugby World Cup for me, much to the chagrin of the dudes watching the Sunday football game.

Price: $8-9

Atmosphere =5

Taste = 4

Heft = 4

Messiness = 2

Intangibles = 5

Overall Score = 20

Willy’s Mexicana Grill

Reviewer: Pamplemousse. Click here for full review http://plylerdoesfood.wordpress.com/

Restaurant Description: 15 locations in Athens/ATL area, very popular, fresh ingredients, cheese dip, tacos, quesadillas, salads, beer

That’s what she said: Every time I’ve been away from home, Willy’s has always been my first stop back in town. My dad even brought it to the airport for me when I returned from a semester in Paris. I missed it THAT much. To all of you who swear by Moe’s, Chipotle, Qdoba, etc., prepare to be converted because Willy’s will blow your mind. The cheese dip is a bowl of silky heaven; the chips are golden, light and crispy; the ingredients taste like they’ve just been plucked from the ground; and nothing tastes over-cooked or over-seasoned. Basically, it’s perfection.

Price: $6-8

Atmosphere =3

Taste = 5

Heft = 4

Messiness = 3

Intangibles = 5

Overall Score = 20

Casa Gourmet Burrito

Reviewer: Keryge at The Happy Tummy. Click here for full review http://tummyhappy.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/this-really-expensive-burrito-place/

Restaurant Description: Casa Gourmet Burrito in Lafayette, California is an institution in the community.

That’s what she said: During high school, I used to sneak away – risking suspension at the hands of Paul, the golf-cart driving campus look-out – during lunch to snag one of Casa Dave’s stupidly awesome wraps. Dave also provided “special sauce”, which at one point we all thought he made from scratch in the far recesses of his kitchen but which in actual fact is just sweet chili sauce. But still. Who would have thought of putting Asian sweet chili sauce on a Cali burrito? It rocks.

Price: $7-9

Atmosphere =3

Taste = 5

Heft = 5

Messiness = 4

Intangibles = 5

Overall Score = 22

Arturo’s

Reviewer: The Food and Wine Hedonist

Restaurant Description: 24/7 independent in the Bucktown area of Chicago. One of three restaurants rightsmackdabnextoeachother on Armitage and Western.

Review: I was in the Chi briefly this month and stopped here for lunch on the way out. I guess it could be considered brunch, because it was 10:45 am on a Sunday. The chips and salsa were absolute perfection – nice balance of taste and heat. It wasn’t the densest of burritos but, like all the other ones I’ve had in Chicago, it doesn’t have rice. So there’s plenty of the good stuff in there. On the way out I saw a guy eating the seafood soup. Althougt it’s probably not the safest to eat, it looked pretty damn good. I’m going to try it out one of these days and let you know how it is from the grave.

Price: $7.95

Atmosphere =4. Brightly colored, homey and just clean enough.

Taste = 4. The seasonings on the steak were terrific. I would’ve given it a 5 if the steak was a little firmer. Nicely toasted shell.

Heft = 3. Average size for Chicago, but not very densely packed.

Messiness = 4. Really well rolled with the only mess coming from grease natural juices.

Intangibles = 4.

Overall Score = 19

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

2 comments on “Burrito Updates for October 2011 – Coast to Coast, Baby!

  1. adriguerreirasemarmas
    December 1, 2011

    You need to get yourself to Papalote in San Francisco. It’s mad delicious yummy. From my yelp review:

    Dear Papalote: I was so hungry, and so tired, and had been cooking all day and was not in the mood to make food decisions. Your lovely cashier asked me so nicely, “what kind of burrito would you like?” Upon seeing my distressed and indecisive face, she calmly recommended the grilled veggie burrito with guac on the side and spicy sauce inside. Oh, and a watermelon agua fresca (be still my heart!) to wash it all down. I. Am. Still. Full.

    Love,
    Adri’s Tummy

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This entry was posted on October 31, 2011 by in Ann Arbor, Burritos, Cooking, Dining, The Chi and tagged , , , , , .
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