The Netscape-friendly hunt for the perfect urban food log.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Yet another burrito report from the road, this time New York City. What is not to like about a city where you can have any type of foodstuff brought to your door until the wee hours of the morning? We had burritos delivered from La Taqueria at 7th and Berkeley Place in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood. Interesting menu, sociologically and gustatorially. I ordered the Baja Burrito ("a smaller version of our Outrageous California burrito") with chicken and rajitas, roasted red peppers and onions. My dining companions went vegetarian, one getting the East L.A. Burrito (beans and rice and one filling) with spinach and garlic and the other getting a Baja with sauteed corn and mushrooms in an ancho cream sauce. Before the food arrived, our native guide warned us that most New York burritos are at best, California wannabes. These seemed to back up his warning -- perfectly tasty, but not distinctive. My Baja suffered from too much guacamole and crema -- I couldn't discern any roasted red peppers at all, although the chicken had a nice tea-smoked flavor. Finished the whole damn thing anyway.

A couple days later, I picked up a Bob Marley burrito at Burritoville in Chelsea. I couldn't resist visiting this blog's namesake, and it looks as if I will have to eat my words concerning whether brown rice belongs in a burrito. The Bob Marley gives you jerk chicken, brown rice, black beans, pico de gallo and crema in a (thank god) standard flour tortilla. It turns out Jerk chicken -- prepared with clove and cinnamon, Jamaican style -- is a TERRIFIC, if terribly untraditional, burrito filling. Burritoville gives you just a dollop of crema, rather than loading it on until it smothers the other flavors, and the nuttiness of the unseasoned brown rice was a terrific counterpoint to the Jerk seasoning.

I have to have a final snark, though -- also on the menu that night was a special Tempeh burrito! Some frontiers are simply not meant to be crossed.

A New York City burrito will set you back about $6-8 bucks, and it's not overlarge. Interesting price comparison: You can get your shoes spit-shined at Grand Central Station for a measley $3 bucks.


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