Hermanos Burritoing Hermanos

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The guys over at Kissing Suzy Kolber (a name which I love seeing as I’m a huge Jets/Joe Namath fan) posted this the other day in response to the growing fad called “Bros Icing Bros.” What? You haven’t heard of it? Well, I guess that means that you’ve managed to avoid frat boy douchebags, which is as impressive as completely avoiding the common cold. Anyways, it’s just as stupid as it sounds.  In fact, here is a rant by the same guy from KSK about Bros Icing Bros. (Thanks to Branick for the link!) 

I wanna kiss you... I couldn't care less about the team stru-guh-ling...

But I am not here to weigh in on the “brahsomeness” of “icing” your “bro.” I’m actually here to give props to KSK for the following:  

“Instead of icing your friends, we at KSK suggest you BURRITO THE SHIT OUT OF THEM INSTEAD.  

To quote KSK further (for those that don’t want to follow the link):  

It’s a relatively simple premise.  

1)  Buy a burrito. A nice one. With carnitas and everything.  

2) Find a friend.  

3) Present your friend with the burrito.  

Once presented with the burrito, your friend must take a knee and eat the burrito. No napkins are allowed.  

“But Drew,” you ask. “What if my bro refuses the burrito?” And my answer to that is SHUT THE FUCK UP. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD TURN DOWN A FREE BURRITO. BURRITOS ARE WONDERFUL AND FILLED WITH HAPPINESS AND LIFE AFFIRMATION. ”  

I love this idea. Do I have any friends who are dedicated enough to actually “burrito” me? Or maybe I should be the one “burritoing” my “hermanos” seeing as I am the one with a burrito blog? I’m not sure, but either way, this is much better than Bros Icing Bros.  

And speaking of, I will end on this ABOMINATION….  

   

   

The Anti-Christ?

Who would ruin a burrito like that?!?!

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Everything’s bigger in Texas… except Little Peen

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Editor’s Note: This is the Pino de Gallo debut of Mase’s brother that I decided right now to call Little Peen. He’s a college student in Boston, is (naturally) tan year round, and spent most of his youth in Texas. I sent him on a mission to that far off land. This is his report.

As most people know, Texas is known for making/having things bigger and less efficient (pretty much the exact opposite of the Japanese). This includes, but is not limited to: Cars , Stores People (in extraordinary fashion), and yes… the burritos, although not so much on the less efficient part…since it’s a burrito. Mission Burrito is located off one of the enormous highways (HWY 59) and is next to a “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” and about 5 other fast food chains.

When I entered Mission Burrito, there was a pretty long line, but it gave me time to look at a decently sized menu. Like most burrito places, they have other typical “Tex-Mex” (as it’s called here in Tejas) dishes like tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. Their selection for burritos was pretty good, allowing a choice of chicken, pulled pork, fajita beef, and the like, but nothing I hadn’t seen before. I appreciated having multiple options in what type of tortilla. They had flour, wheat, red pepper, and spinach; all of which were steamed, which definitely added to the structural soundness of the (rather large) burrito. They only had one size for their burritos, and it was roughly comparable to a Chipotle burrito. It was a little bit longer with about equal thickness (insert penis joke here… all puns intended).

I decided to keep my order pretty typical and ordered a chicken burrito on a flour tortilla. I had the choice between Spanish (red) rice and regular white rice with cilantro, but I went with the Spanish because it looked particularly delicious. I went with black beans from the normal choice of black, pinto, and refried.  Then they added the chicken breast chunks. I got the usual amenities like lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa verde.  They didn’t have much else to add besides that, a few other salsas that didn’t look particularly appetizing or well made, but the salsa verde looked good. I was very pleased that when they added the guac and sour cream they gave me quite a hefty portion, considering I was paying $1.50 extra. (I really hate when places skimp on the extras when they charge an arm and a leg for it….but then again, who doesn’t?)

I'm just layin' on the table for ya

When I checked out, the total came out to just over $9, so naturally I thought that this burrito better be pretty damn good. The first couple bites were pretty good, although I hadn’t even touched the meat yet. That’s where the problems began. From the moment I tasted the chicken, I noticed how dry it was. I even bit into a chunk where I could taste how burned it was. The guac and sour cream helped moisten it a bit, but that only does so much. It’s like when you are hung over and in a pool – just because you are surrounded by water doesn’t make you any more hydrated, and just because dried overcooked meat is surrounded by moist things doesn’t make the inside any less dry.  However, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds because of all the other ingredients around it. The rice was probably more delicious than it looked which was great and was easily the most enjoyable part of the burrito. Unfortunately, having the rice be the most enjoyable part is like having a house’s foundation be the best part. Sure, it’s crucial, but it’s not the game-breaker.

The lettuce was okay, but probably came from a bag (a la Subway).  The guacamole was also very good. It had a very fresh taste to it, and was very close to the rice in enjoyability. The beans were also middle of the road and clearly it wasn’t given the same loving touch that a priest gives to an altar boy. Although the preparer did a nice job on not having too much of the bean juice (?) get into the burrito, which can ruin any burrito’s structure as quickly as a Sarah Palin endorsement can ruin anyone’s chance of being taken seriously.

Look at that cross-section!

All-in-all the burrito was pretty average. It could have been above average had the chicken not been so dry. The rice and guac definitely picked up the slack for the chicken. However, it does get a minus for being a bit pricey. I hope that I just caught the chicken on a bad day. Unfortunately, I pulled an “Alaska governor” (like a certain Parah Salin) and was not able to finish the meal as Mase absolutely would have, so they have to get some credit on “fill-up ability” (that’s what she said!). Editor’s note: We have successfully met our Sarah Palin and “that’s what she said!” joke quota.

So on my first (and hopefully not last) review on Pino De Gallo, Mission Burrito gets 3 Sombreros out of 5. Arriba!

Mission Burritos
http://www.missionburritos.com/
15810 Southwest Freeway
Sugar Land, TX 77478-4090
(281) 325-0033

El Pelón: A New Addiction

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I need to start off this post by apologizing for not reviewing anything recently. I have a backlog of reviews that are forthcoming, but it has been difficult because of work (hiding from INS), La Copa Mundial (actually the NBA Finals… go Celtics!), and my strict workout regimen (drinking bottles of scotch alone). But I am back and I am focused!

My kind of addiction

El Pelón (loosely translates to “the Pelón”) is known in Boston for two things: 1) Making fantastic burritos, specifically El Guapo; and 2) for burning down not once, but twice. When it burned down the second time, I was disappointed because I had never made it to the Fenway location before I fled Boston for DC. Well, it has been rebuilt in the yuppie W.A.S.P.-y college neighborhood of Chestnut Hill near Boston College (the “Boston” institute of higher learning…. not actually located in Boston). It’s located at the end of the B-line on the Green line. On the upside, it’s accessible by public transportation, but on the downside, you have to take Boston public transportation, which is relatively as enjoyable as being a college girl at a bar with Ben Roethlisberger.

On day 2 of Pinothon weekend, a group of us make our way to the picturesque area near BC (read: inordinately Caucasian) to finally try the infamous El Pelon Taqueria. Being the genius that I am, I suggest to my brother (Little Peen) that we each get separate burritos and share them to cover more ground. Of course he complies (he has no other choice), and we put in the following order:

1) El Guapo (the handsome!): Grilled Steak, Mexican Rice, Black Beans, Fried Plantains, Jack Cheese, Fire Roasted Salsa, Romaine Lettuce, and Crema ($6.50)

2) Pollo Burrito: Grilled chicken, Mexican rice, Jack Cheese, Romaine Lettuce, Salsa Fresca, crema, hot sauce, and guacamole (+$.75 extra) ($4.95 before guac)

A guapo holds EL GUAPO!

First off, El Guapo! This is the trademark burrito of El Pelón. They add a unique twist to a standard burrito; the not-so secret ingredient: fried plantains (which can also be ordered as a side for $3.95).  The fried plantains provide a sweetness that contrasts superbly with the saltiness of the burrito. I have to admit that I was skeptical going into it, but Little Peen was optimistic.  The rest of the burrito’s ingredients were very good, but not amazing. The grilled steak was not overcooked, but not super flavorful; the rice was traditional Mexican rice that I really enjoyed, and the “fire-roasted salsa” must have referred to the way the salsa was made, not the actual heat content of it because it lacked real kick. The burrito itself was very well put together. Steamed flour tortilla and the right balance of each of the ingredients.

Secondly, the standard burrito. Gotta love the low price. Less than $6 for a delicious burrito including guacamole and sour cream? Sign. Me. Up. Or in the words of Pete Carroll, “I am so uh…. fired up.” The ingredients were fresh and, unlike many places, the chicken was not dry. Hooray! The burrito was a slightly scaled down version of El Guapo, so most of those points carry over here. Other options for the standard burrito include Bean and Cheese ($4.50), Calabacitas (veggie $4.95), Carnitas ($4.95), Carne Asada (steak $5.25), and Pescado (fish, $6.25).

A few minor knocks: 1) Salsa and guac were very good, but not great. 2) The brothers Pino were still a bit hungry at the of the burritos. That being said, it would probably satisfy most mere mortals, but it is not a massive burrito (Little Peen just has a small head).

Those few issues aside, I highly recommend El Pelón if you’re in Chestnut Hill yuppie watching. And unlike everything else on BC’s campus, El Pelón’s sense of superiority is well deserved (and not given to them by their parents). I give it an emphatic and strong 4 sombreros. ¡Olé!

What? Rehab? You're fiiiiiine.

El Pelón Taqueria
2197 Commonwealth Avenue
Brighton, MA
http://www.elpelon.com
617-779-9090

Upcoming Reviews

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While I have gotten some pretty phenomenal feedback for my sternly worded letter and the Wizards organization’s response, I have gotten some criticism (deservedly so) for not posting a review in sometime. Just to let people know that I am in fact doing the work for this blog and am very dedicated, I have been eating myself to an early (but delicious!) death. Below are the upcoming reviews:

– Pica Taco, Columbia Heights/Mt Pleasant, DC
– Burrito Brothers, Capitol Hill, DC
– El Pelon, Chestnut Hill/BC, Boston
– Boloco, Copley, Boston
– Sunset Grill & Tap, Allston
– Anna’s Taqueria , Davis Square, Somerville