Editor’s (aka Mase’s) notes: Little Peen returns for his second review on Pino(s) de Gallo. As always, my notes are in italics. You can find his first review here
So here I am, back for my second (and I’m sure long-awaited) review on Pino De Gallo. I’m back in Boston now, finally back from where Ma$e had carried me on his back as a young child over the Rio Grande (Large River for all of you who don’t “habla espanol”) in Texas. Unfortunately, it took me a while to get back to the Northeast because a certain Pase Mino spent our life savings on a block of ice to send down to our family in Mexico to keep them cool during the summer. I wonder how that worked out… regardless, it caused for a certain delay in my return to Boston.
Anyway, back to burritos. While there is not quite the vibrant Mejicano environment in Boston as there is in Houston, there are still some quality burrito joints (as demonstrated by The Pelon). The marijuana cigarette I went to is called Viva! Burrito, and is located very close to where I work (in the MA State House), right by Suffolk University. I also went with my co-workers John, Juli (yes spelled that way), and Jaime, which we can call ThreeJ (all of their names start with J…see what I did there?).
It was your typical Mexican restaurant, although a bit different from your typical burritoria. The menu was pretty big and rather intimidating. Not Vince Wilfork intimidating, but more like Jared Allen with a mullet intimidating. It wasn’t to the point where you feared for your life, but it’s still pretty daunting, but still inviting. Orders were placed at the register, and it was made in the pseudo-kitchen just to the left. You did not get to see your food being made or get to pick which things you wanted in it during assembly; you simply had to know what you wanted in it when you ordered. While they had all the normal things to put in a burrito, not being able to see what I wanted in front of me was a bit of a letdown. However, the price came out to be pretty cheap, and was only $7.44. I kept up my optimism, as did ThreeJ, because we had heard that this place had the “Best Burrito in Boston” .
I ordered a chicken burrito with black beans, brown rice, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa (seemed to be pico de gallo) and guacamole. It took them a little while to make my food, about 5 minutes, but I was okay with it. I wanted my burrito to have the tender love and care a “Mama Grizzly has for her Cubs“. ThreeJ and I got our food and started hammerin’ away as quickly as “The Situation” plows through ugly chicks. ThreeJ ordered a chicken burrito (like me!), a salad with chicken (lame), and a taco salad (slutty). As I bit into the burrito, I immediately loved it. Everything was distributed nicely, unlike some burritos that are layered and you get bites of just rice or salsa. The chicken was unbelievably juicy, tender, and well-seasoned, and was far and away the best part of the burrito. The steamed tortilla helped keep the burrito’s structural integrity intact, which is a bonus every time. The brown rice I got in the burrito was also quite delicious and tasted as if it and the chicken were perfect for each other, just like Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin. This was a theme for ThreeJ as well, and they all agreed that both the rice and chicken were the best parts of their respective meals (for the TwoJ that had rice, at least). (I think we hit our Palin joke quota again)
The only flaws I could find in this burrito were that the guac and pico were mediocre and a bit runny, causing for a bit of a mess on my hands, and not the Tobias Funke kind. And although they were sliding downwards faster than Lindsey Lohan’s career, I still found them tasty. ThreeJ pointed out that the avocados tasted particularly fresh, but unfortunately the lettuce was moderately less fresh (pictured right).
Being that the flaws in the Viva! Burrito burrito were marginal, its overall quality was fantastic. I really can’t say enough about the chicken and the rice. They were simply delicious. ThreeJ reassured me that the sensation in my mouth was normal and indeed, quite enjoyable. And to top it all off, it’s in a great location and will look especially nice when the renovations to the sidewalk outside of it are done.
All in all, the quality of the burrito was superb, and at the price and setting there is no way you can go wrong with a Viva! Burrito burrito. While I feel it was not quite as good as El Pelon, it’s certainly nippin’ at its heels and also gets some cheap points for actually being in Boston (unlike a certain ‘Chestnut Hill College’ of Eagles) and being close to my work. Viva! Burrito gets a very respectable 4 sombreros. (Thankfully there is no limit to allowed number of cheap shots at BC)
And maybe now that I have a second review under my belt, Mase can call me “Slightly-below-average Peen,” or he can just come up with a better nickname all together. (Not happening.)
66 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114-2525