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?)
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.
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!
15810 Southwest Freeway
Sugar Land, TX 77478-4090