I like my Mexican food like I like my hookers, fast and cheap. Too far? OK, I’ve never done anything with a prosty. And I guess at least they’re earning a living. But, what I DO like and DO have a lot of experience with is Mexican food. I’d eat it every freaking day if 1. I didn’t swear it off every time I ate it because I over-eat and 2. I wouldn’t get as fat as Gilbert Grape’s mom. Too far again? I can’t ever tell. I mean, come on, the poor woman was fat enough they had to put reinforcements in the basement to hold her and burn the house down after she died. Sad? Yes. But do I want to be her? No. So I try to limit my Mexican intake. Both food and boys. OK. That was tacky.
I like my salsa like I like my boys: Hot and spicy. Aye! Aye! Aye!
Karla, Lynds and I actually hit up Mexican Burrito several months ago. But in our haste to eat (it was a dysfunctional dinner – we couldn’t find a place that was open) we didn’t take pictures. So rather than NOT post about the place, I figured I’d lump it in with a similar restaurant and hope no one noticed the missing pictures. I guess telling you the pictures are missing will make it easier to discover they are, huh? Oh well.
Anyway, there I am, driving west on Pawnee, looking for the elusive Mexican Burrito. I’m half expecting a building shaped like a gigantic burrito with Mexican tunes blaring out of it. How freaking awesome would that be? Second runner up for dream food establishment (second to my ultimate dream: The Quesodome!). But I digress. All I know is I wanted some Mexican in me, ASAP. (Sorry, Mom. My mind’s in the gutter today.) When I finally see Mexican Burrito I realize two things. First, there’s a Bud Light sign in the window. HELL YEAH! And second, this is the fast food Mexcian place that went in way back in the day when I drove down Pawnee to work. Damn. I heard this place was gross. But in all fairness, I’m pretty sure this is a different owner/restaurant name. For no reason other than having a cold beer, we went in.
First thing I see is a salsa bar. I love salsa bars! But they remind me of Rene’s. Well, and Taco Bueno. I’m not a Rene’s fan, other than I’ve had some fun post-bar memories there. But her food? Sorry, Rene. Even blackout drunk it’s not good. Well, OK, I never get blackout drunk. But “too drunk to drive so I have to eat” drunk I have been. I’ll eat IHOP and think it’s good. But not Rene’s. Kathy and I even ordered “chips and cheese” one time to end up with a plate of chips with UN-MELTED shredded cheese. What-the-wha-whaaa? I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
Karla and I stare at the menu for several minutes waiting on Lynds to reroute her train to meet us (remember this was a dysfunctional dinner). And we finally decide to get a few different things. I get a taco and a sancho. Karla gets a burrito and chips with guacamole. No queso on the menu. The guy behind the register spoke limited English, but we’re pretty sure they don’t serve it. And of course, I got a Bud Light. Fast food with beer? Why don’t more places have this offering?!? Then we hit the salsa bar! Yum. I love salsa, so I was amped.
In the end the food was good. The tortillas are homemade (YUM!). You pick up your own food, and it’s on disposable plates, which saves you a tip. The beer was reasonably priced. And I liked the salsas enough that I couldn’t choose between two as my favorite. Bottom line: It’s similar to Rene’s, Alejandro’s, Abelardo’s and the other similar restaurants in setup. But they serve beer. Check it out.
Second on the list of the mini-Mexican fast food tour was Taco Nacho. Never heard of it? Yeah, neither had we until our friend Jeff explained to us the glory that is Taco Nacho. In his astonishment we’d never been he told Karla she needed to “Taco Nacho the shit out of that!” Well, hell! Of course we’re jumping on that train!
Problem was, our attempts were foiled by Taco Nacho being open only lunch hours.
Finally we coordinated lunch schedules, and met at this tiny, tiny place on the corner of Seneca and Walker. Not too far from Whiskey Dicks. And a quick jaunt from El Mexico Cafe. We weren’t sure where to go in, but found the entrance on the north side of the building. It opened up to a SMALL (and by small, I mean small – as in saying Kirby’s Beer Store is a small bar, I mean it) room. In fact, there aren’t even tables. Just an L-shaped counter that’s adorned with several (and I mean several) salsas and dish toppings (by toppings I mean mixes of onions, onions and cilantro, etc.).
We ordered drinks (which were mostly canned sodas, but you could also get water or tea), and asked for recommendations while she gave us each a small bowl of chips and a bowl to put salsas in. She recommended the green chile with pork burrito if we wanted something spicy. Otherwise she also suggested the steak ranchero burrito. Karla got the former, I got the latter. You can get tacos (which means the same filling, sans the sauces). And both tacos and burritos can be ordered alone or as a platter with rice and/or beans.
My steak ranchero burrito was pretty good. I ended up wishing I’d also gotten the green chile with pork burrito. We had fun mixing together the different salsas to make our own desired mix, and I put my salsa mixture on my burrito. The group who came in after us ordered similarly, and it seemed the green chile with pork burrito (or tacos) were the way to go.
All in all, I LOVED the salsa. Everything was very reasonably priced (both burritos and two cans of Diet Pepsi cost under $10). The service was VERY friendly and helpful. And aside from being a bit warm in the dining area, the lunch was a success.
Some of the salsa choices, our chips, and an errant can of Diet Pepsi
Even MORE salsa choices (seriously, they surrounded the entire counter), salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes. Trust me, you can dress up your burrito however you’d like.
A single burrito (meaning not a platter with rice and beans). The guy next to us ordered two burritos and said that’s what he generally gets. So guys will probably plan on a two-burrito meal, or a platter.