Monday, July 11, 2011

Burrito Bar

Hippies and Burritos!  Burrito Bar is a fun and colorful place in the heart of park slope with sometimes painful 60's overtones, but it rides the line between artsy and tacky well.  It reminds me of the kind of burrito place I'd expect to find in San Francisco.
Observe the intense hippie overtones of the signage.
I've eaten here a couple of times and the menu has a lot of fun variety, though I'd, of course, recommend the burritos.  The food, in general, is high quality, lean and healthy(er).  They do a lot of natural and organic type stuff to go with their hippie roots, which I think is a nice bonus.  So, even though the name says 'burrito' my eternal search for a good taco place in NY demanded that I check it out, but there were some annoying restrictions.

First, they don't serve Carne Asada tacos as an entree, only appetizer (along with chicken, shrimp, and ground beef)  and you get a choice of either 4 hard shell ones or 3 soft shell.  I was hoping for a little variety so I could try all of them, but they said I could only pick one so I made two orders, one chicken and one steak.  Entree tacos are chicken (corn tortilla), ground beef (hard-shell), or fish (hard and soft shell together).  As a side note, they played Brazilian music during my entire visit to this 'mexican' restaurant.  I was amused.  Doesn't effect the important stuff though; let's get to it.

The Taco: 2/5
A lemon wedge?  Really?  REALLY?
Honestly, not my favorite.  It wasn't like they made me violently angry, just disappointed, like a parent would feel when they realize their kid is born with webbed toes.  Mostly it was the chicken that hurt my feelings, it was bland and silly in its whiteness.  And dry, always dry with the chicken breast!  I appreciate the effort to be healthy and all, but give me some damn flavor.  Sheesh.  The steak was actually pretty killer, juicy and tender and grilled just right, but that was mostly ruined by the crappy bland tortillas that tasted stale and had a mealy sort of texture.  They could've used some grilling or pan frying or...something.  Also, the addition of cheese/tomato/lettuce toppings is just silly, this isn't taco bell for goodness sake.  Just get the steak or a burrito with steak, those are damn good.

Acoutrement: 3/5
There were definitely some good things happening in this category.  The initial salsa with the chips was a nice, mild, lumpy red.  Not a weird mystery lumpiness, but the kind that has little bits of flavor lumps that burst happiness into your mouth.  I ate a lot of it with their homemade chips that come in 4 colors (red, blue, yellow, and ORANGE.  Though depending on when in the day you go they may be stale.)  So, that stuff is good, but they didn't have any homemade piquante salsas or anything, just standard El Yucateco (a brand I'm finding owns New York mexican food, bleh) and cholula, a solid classic.

Value: 4/5
Don't be fooled by the nice presentation!  Mealy Tortillas!
 An appetizer order of 3-4 tacos for $7, not so bad.  It probably makes an alright meal for most people, though I nearly finished two orders and the complimentary chips and salsa and muffins (Muffins! I think because I went during brunch time).  Maybe go for the hard shell ones and see if you can get steak, that makes it a little better I think.

Other: 4/5 
Everything else about this place is great, just not the tacos.  They've got an amazing full bar, fresh squeezed juices, complimentary muffins during brunch, a wild fresh guacamole, and it's all mostly hippied out in it's natural/organic-ness, and mostly made with lean options, not too greasy, things like that.  Also, there is a really friendly server there named Sebbes who looks like he'd cut you something fierce if you met him in a dark alley but is the most helpful and soft-spoken guy in the restaurant.  So, go hang out here, just don't get chicken tacos or corn-tortillas.

Overall: 3/5
Bright colors!  Lights!  Racial Diversity!
It's not so bad that I haven't gone back, I just won't get the tacos.  It's in a good location, they have nice outdoor seating, a cool atmosphere, and most everything else is good, just know what to avoid and what to have.  It's called Burrito Bar for a reason, go their for Burritos or the Bar.

No comments:

Post a Comment