After everyone got all riled up about how much they love breakfast burritos in a previous installment of This vs. That, I decided to do some soul searching on the topic of burritos. What makes a good burrito? Is it the ingredients? The tortilla? The speed at which it can be constructed?
For Bostonians, there seem to be two local gems dominating the discussions of burrito greatness: Boloco and Anna’s Taqueria. Both are Boston-born restaurants, yet both take a distinctly unique spin on the burrito. I live by Anna’s and work by Boloco, so the amount of times I go to each in any given week is way more than any person should be consuming burritos on a regular basis. Sorry, I’m not sorry, belly.
What’s the better burrito joint, though? That’s a tough call. Let’s explore…
Besides having a badass name (Boston Local, duh), Boloco has “inspired burritos.” Or at least that’s how they describe them. What’s so inspired about a rolled up tortilla stuffed with meat and veggies? Well, a lot, actually.
Boloco isn’t afraid to throw any type of ingredients into their burritos. Sure, you can opt for the Cajun, which is essentially a typical corn, sour cream, lettuce burrito. But what if you’re craving Thai? Add some broccoli and peanuts to that tortilla. BBQ? Yep, bring on the coleslaw and spice. And while I don’t recommend doing it, if you want all those ingredients in one ‘rito, all you have to do is ask. That’s pretty inspiring if you ask me.
Also, this has nothing to do with the food, but as a self-proclaimed social media junkie, I adore the fact that Boloco knows what they’re doing when it comes to social media. From having a killer Twitter strategy to attempting to nab robbers via Facebook, the burrito chain isn’t afraid to explore new forms of communication to reach their customers. And they get bonus points for admitting when they’ve messed up.
If traditional Mexican is what you’re going for, Anna’s is your place. I appreciate the burritos and tacos just as they are, but I could rave for days about the Al Pastor and Chile Verde versions. Plus, the sheer size of their Mexican platters — loaded with enough beans and rice to feed a small country — are something to write home about. Wash it down with some Horchata or Mexican coke, and it’s like you’re on a beach in Cancun.
Also, there’s just something about their quesadillas that keep you coming back for more. They stuff in the cheese, fry them on the griddle, and then throw in whatever ingredients you choose, resulting in a crispy, melty, folded concoction that looks and tastes 1,000 times better than the traditional quesadilla triangles you’re used to ordering from lesser places.
Anna’s is also fast. You can be in and out of there in a matter of 60 seconds (really, I’ve timed it a few times). They’re practically McDonald’s fast, without the nasty grease. In fact, they have so much excess grease that they use it to power their trucks, converting vats of leftover cooking oil into fuel for their delivery vehicles. And that’s better than being in your stomach.
This is probably the toughest This vs. That decision I’ve had to make thus far. But life isn’t always easy. And neither are your burrito choices. Boloco wins this one for me, though. I not only commend the chain for their variety in ingredients, but also their variety in sizes. A small works just fine for me, whereas at Anna’s, I get about halfway through a burrito and I need to go up three pants sizes. Attractive, I know.
Now, that’s not to say I’ll change my mind later this week when I pop into Anna’s for a chicken quesadilla. Perhaps this is a dilemma that will never be solved. What’s your pick?
And because you’re thinking about burritos, why not look at them? Here are so photos of the most delicious dishes from each chain, courtesy of Tasted Menu.