Guac is Extra: July

This month, I mostly ate my share of burritos at familiar restaurants. I ventured to the ever-convenient Chipotle three times on my lunch breaks for a variety of meat and veggie filled meals. I also returned to Shaka Burrito for the third time since I began my challenge.

Among these usual stomping ground, I finally ordered food from a place that has been on my radar for quite some time: the Calexico Cart parked just outside of Madison Square Park. I have hunted for this truck on multiple occasions, only to be disappointed when it was nowhere to be found. But alas, just the other day when I wasn’t intentionally seeking it out, there it sat. I now believe the saying that good things come when you least expect them.

By the time I had reached the front of the line, a running list of sold-out ingredients had accumulated. Instead of ordering the carne asada option like I intended, I opted for the chipotle pork burrito, which is slow cooked and combined with pickled red onions, rice, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, and pico de gallo. I also added their avocado sauce for no extra charge. This long-awaited burrito was worth the constant search and has now slid with ease into a spot among my favorites.

Mexicali Blue.

When I found time to escape New York City, I revisited a few of my favorite Mexican spots in the Hudson Valley.

I returned to Mexicali Blue for another one of their fresh, California style burritos. Before this month, I had only eaten at Mexicali’s New Paltz location, which is primarily suited for take-out. However, in the last few months, a full-service and eat-in restaurant opened in Wappingers Falls. This new location offers a larger menu, with greater options under all sections.

Considering I have tasted mostly every burrito offered in New Paltz, I decided to try one specific to the Wappingers Falls location. And so, I dug into their delightful pulled pork burrito. Mexicali chefs marinate the pork for a full 24 hours. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and slowly baked for an additional eight hours. When ready to serve, the meat melds with fresh pico de gallo, cilantro, red onion marmalade, guacamole, coleslaw, vegetable rice, black beans, and a sweet spicy chili sauce inside a toasted flour tortilla. As of this month, this may be one of my favorite burritos, if not my favorite in the overall challenge, at least of the ones I have ordered from Mexicali Blue.

When I made my way back towards New Paltz, I stopped into a different Mexican restaurant, one no more than a mile up the road from Mexicali Blue. Among the town’s college students, Taco Shack has earned the reputation as a cheaper and greasier alternative to its competitor. This, however, does not make their food any less deserving of a rave review.

I ordered the Supreme Chicken burrito, stuffed with cheddar and monterey jack cheese, black beans, Mexican rice, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, tomato, and onion. I also added guacamole and Taco Shack’s chipotle ranch dressing for only a dollar more.

This burrito definitely held true to the buzz I had been hearing about it. The tortilla was nearly breaking at the seams and dripping with oil. At a certain point, around the time I had used up all of my napkins, I opted for utensils. Despite the grease and poorly wrapped shell, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. The burrito had an abundance of flavor with a slight but not overwhelming level of heat. I also appreciated that the chicken came shredded, which I prefer to cubed or sliced pieces. If you’re looking for a filling lunch or dinner, but also trying to save your wallet some stress, Taco Shack is the place to turn.

Mexicue.

Aside from the burritos I have mentioned, I also had two breakfast burritos from KoFoo and another from the Copper Roof Deli in Beacon, New York. I ordered another burrito from Mexicue, which to my surprise lacked the heat that had deterred me on my last visit. Lastly, I tasted yet another delicious burrito from Tito Santana Taqueria.

With five more months to go, I am well on my way to meeting and exceeding my goal of 100 burritos this year.

Burrito Count: 72

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