Tag Archives: burrito

L.A.Grille

14 Aug

 Rating: 42 Bertangos

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I heard about L.A. Grille a while back and really wanted to give it a go. The problem is that I’m rarely in the area and when I am nearby it’s probably because I’m visiting my brother and if that’s the case why not just steal his food? However, I recently felt compelled to head that way in order to detail my girlfriend’s car so that I no longer had to hear the incessant “Ahmagahd my car’s like so dirty, I just spent, like, money on like tires or whateverrr.” Detailing a car in 9000 degree heat sucks balls in a bad, bad way so I demanded she at least buy us a  couple burritos from L.A. Grille.

Any time I’ve had a burrito at a Mexican joint my reaction is something along the lines of “get outta town.” They’re just kind of boring. Why would I want a boring dumbfucking burrito when I could eat at Flaming Amy’s? Flaming Amy’s is known to cause spontaneous bonerwaves continents away. It is quite often a religious experience. I guess we see where this little review is headed: Flaming Amy’s versus L.A. Grille.

2013-08-09_11-52-50_177There he is, Miss America. This, my friends, is a substantial burrito. I would wager these things are at least as big as a normal Amy’s burrito. They’re probably bigger and they seem more substantial in that the filling is less shitty rice and lettuce and more meat and veg and stuff. Also, the tortilla these things come wrapped in was very thin; I was kind of scared it would bust a hole or fall apart but it never did. In fact I far prefer these tortillas to the thick ones Flaming Amy’s uses to ridiculously over-wrap their burritos 18 times with.

I got to try two of their burrito offerings, their chicken burrito and their carnitas burrito, both clocking in at $5.50. With this comes a very small number of homemade tortilla chips and a tiny little thing of salsa. I was asked if I wanted spicy salsa and I said yes. Holy fuck was this salsa spicy. My asshole was terribly put upon following my rampant, thoughtless ingestion of this stuff. It tasted great though. Extremely fresh. The tortilla chips were okay. They seemed a bit over-cooked and a bit greasy. 2013-08-09_12-03-39_467The burritos  themselves were friggin’ great.

The carnitas meat was so juicy. I thought the chicken would never stand up to the dominant start of the carnitas but it came very close. Probably my favorite chicken burrito ever but I fucking hate chicken. Both burritos were mild in terms of spiciness but they were so full of flavor I think I am in support of the wimpy heat.

Overall, L.A. Grille is a great little hole in the wall place to get some great food at great prices. I think their half-pound burger is also only $5.50. If you are ever nearby I suggest you give them a try. However, a matchup between L.A. Grille and Flaming Amy’s is impossible. They are truly different beasts. But here is a bit of a rundown, it’s the best I can do:

  • Burrito: L.A. Grille – As much as I love Amy’s, I just thought the two burritos I had from L.A. Grille were a bit better. If I could get an L.A. Burrito at Flaming Amy’s next time I went there, no question, I would.
  • Sides: Flaming Amys – L.A. Grille has some spicy salsa but c’mon no one will ever beat Amy’s salsa bar.
  • PriceTied – $5.50 versus $7.00. You want a cheap burrito or you want some wacky salsas? AHH SO MANY DECISIONS.

lagrille

L.A. Grill on Urbanspoon

Taqueria La Tapatia

9 May

Rating: -1 Full Bar

I went here for Cinco De Mayo. Before I get all the, “It’s not a real holiday,” bullshit, I just want to say I WILL DRINK FOR ANY REASON. I had been planning on cooking enchiladas for the occasion, but after a 10-hour work day the thought of someone else preparing the feast sounded even better. So I rolled into this place, and was immediately overwhelmed by the menu. It was all in Spanish. I took latin as my foreign language and the only experience I have with Spanish is “kitchen Spanish” and a couple of hours on Rosetta Stone. I knew ‘pollo’ meant chicken so I grabbed a burrito, and my fellow eating-enthusasiast friend with much bigger balls got two tacos surtidos al pastor, and a tostada de ceviche. We ordered a couple beers to accompany it and sat down. While waiting for the food we noticed a bizzaro salad/salsa bar and got a cup of each of the green and reddish salsas. It reminded me very much of C-Street’s similar salsa bar so kudos to C-Street for bringing the real.

After a brief wait, our food was brought out and my first thought was that the burrito was freaking huge. I mean it was half as long as my arm. It was delicious and, once covered with a liberal application of the smokey hot sauce on the table, it was perfection. It was filled with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, refried beans, rice, and covered in a very light cheese and brown sauce. I wish there had been more cilantro because I am one of those people that just can’t get enough, but that’s not even a complaint so much as a preference.

Pictures do not do this bohemoth justice

My friend ordered the Tacos Surtidos Al Pastor (soft pork tacos gyro style) and Tostada de Ceviche and those mouthfuls were well worth taking the time to pronounce. I think he may have ordered the ceviche just to taunt me but jokes on him; anytime you go out to eat with me you agree to allow me sufficient bites to review your grubs. The tacos were the first to be stolen and I have to say the meat was fantastic. It was savory and flavorful and God help me but it brought to mind a cheeseless mexican philly cheesesteak. I have to admit I don’t like corn tortillas which is what this came on but I suppose that can be chalked up to my gringo status. Add that liberal topping of cilantro and I am in Mexican heaven. Which is just around the corner from real people heaven. [this racism was inserted by the editor – Ed.]

I was slightly concerned about trying ceviche from a hole in the wall at a strip mall, but I am nothing if not adventurous. I even eat hamburgers medium-rare and eggs over easy! That was a joke, I actually rip into living cows like a lion onto a gazelle and skip the eggs and just wait until the fetus is partially developed. I call it a chegg. Best of both worlds! Anywho I loved the ceviche. It was fresh tasting with a slightly citrusy tang and I wound up stealing any and all escapees that fell from the tostada.

I can’t say for certain if this is authentic, as I’ve never been to Mexico. I can say it tastes nothing like Taco Bell, Moe’s, or El Cerro Grande. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly cheap. With the soft tacos costing $1.75 each or even the ceviche at $2.99, no one has an excuse for buying fast food on South College Road. The menu is filled with options for $3 or less and the more expensive options were large enough to count as double portions. The beer selection is limited to the usual Miller, Modelo, and Dos Equis at around $2.50 each and the lack of a full bar is slightly depressing. I can’t imagine how many hours (and bucks) I would spend at this place if it could support a full night of drinking. Everyone else who came in looked to be hispanic and that’s generally a pretty good sign. The next time you think about stopping by Burger King or McDonalds for a quick fix, do your mouth a favor in flavor and stop in here instead. I’d forgo drinking the hard stuff to eat here, hence a rating of -1 Full Bar.
Taqueria La Tapatia on Urbanspoon

C-Street Mexican Grill

24 Mar

Rating: 1 DeLorean

I went to this C-Street because of some Restaurant Week deal. I’d heard some good things about it and have been craving “mex” food lately so why the hell not. I walked in and immediately liked that the ordering board was so plain. Basically, the menu consisted of burritos, tacos, quesadillas and nachos, with the choice of a meat filling. None of that El Cerro bullshit; 10 pages of variations on 5 ingredients. I was immediately drawn to the spicy chicken, but when my fellow diner staked their claim on the spicy chicken burrito I was forced into the nacho corner.

Right before ordering, said friend wondered out loud about a couple of smaller plaques next to the menu board containing a few extra menu items. After a quick glance I fell in lust with the ‘Catamaran’ and ordered it sans beans. I am totally biased against beans; I hate their mealy texture and mouthfeel. If pressed I will eat them but given the choice I prefer to go without. The guy I ordered from had apparently forgotten his glasses that day and had to recheck the ingredients list every two seconds but the actual prep was so quick I have no complaints.

I really enjoyed the fact that the ordering process was set up along the lines of Subway meaning any additions or on the fly switch ups are easily accomplished, which limits the fuck ups per order. Sucks when you’re the one making the order as screw ups are obvious, but sweet for the customer.  By the way, I hate Subway. They have ruined subs for the general public. You do not need olives, cukes, pickles, onions, green peppers, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, banana peppers, and the kitchen sink on a fucking sub. Why bother even getting meat at that point? I guess their meat is sliced too thick and shit quality so it works for them, but note to the population: do not ask for every vegetable and then some at actual sub shops. They have decent meat and its flavor does not need to be covered up. End rant, on to review.

The Catamaran was spicy chicken, rice, sour cream, queso, jalapenos (fresh, not pickled), onions, cilantro, and either red salsa or pico de gallo. With a sparse sprinkling of chips and an added cookie and beer I was ready to head to Scromtown. My first bite was heaven. This was probably one of my top 3 burritos I have ever eaten. It was as if I had handpicked every ingredient for my own personal super-burrito. Everything tasted fresh and amazing and was basically an orgasm in my mouth.

After a couple bites I realized I had chips with no salsa but my friend found a weirdo-looking tiny salsa bar near the soda fountain. It contained two separate salsas; an average regular red salsa and a green citrusy creation. Both were pretty decent, maybe even into the good category. There was also a bottle of orangish sauce at each table. My buddy and I squirted it on chips to decipher it’s components. The best we could do was a lot of citrus, something spicy and a pronounced vinegar component. It was, however, delicious, and I wish I had discovered it before consuming over 3/4’s of my meal. On the way out I asked and the guy told us it was some some sort of  Mexican chili, pumpkin seeds, other crazy spices and cider vinegar. It’s made in-house and I fucking loved it. My friend wasn’t as huge of a fan, but if anything it’s worth trying because of it’s uniqueness. The chips were freshly made and fantastic, and the cookie was mediocre. Who cares about a cookie anyway?

I love this place. The ingredients are obviously fresh and made with love, it’s like what Moe’s should be. The only problem is that the whole time I was eating, I was comparing it to the the local Juggernaut that is Flaming Amy’s. It’s an issue any local tex-mex or American-mex fusion restaurant is going to have to deal with. The salsa wasn’t as awe-inspiring as Flaming Amy’s, nor was the list of ingredients and burritos as crazy and impressive. But I dare say that if we (god forbid) lived in a world without Flaming Amy’s, this might be the best burrito joint in town. On top of that, it offers less of a wait and much more easily customizable burritos.

The domestic beers were $2.50 which is a definite drawback, but with the smaller space I’m assuming they can’t afford people having a decent drinking session; their few tables were almost filled when I was there. It’s worth checking out and I will definitely be going back to get another Catamaran in the very near future. And for that reason, I’m ranking it 1 DeLorean, because I wish I could go back in time and eat that shit again right now. Also, Deloreans may not have been the best car ever, but they were still pretty fucking sweet.

C-Street Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon