Guac is Extra: September

My burrito-eating momentum picked up speed again this month, which brings my count for the year just 10 shy of my original goal. If I plan accordingly, I will be feasting on my 100th burrito at one of my favorite restaurants, Boca Fiesta in Gainesville, FL. On Halloween weekend, I intend to take a hefty bite out of Boca Fiesta’s Gator Burrito to celebrate my feat. Until then, I will fill everyone in on the mouthwatering meals I enjoyed this September.

Boca Fiesta.

On Labor Day weekend, I headed up to Boston to visit my best friend. Before I even arrived, she researched “best burritos in Boston.” Can you tell why I consider her my best friend? We decided on Purple Cactus, a California-style joint located in Jamaica Plain. I ordered the Shrimp Burrito, a red chile tortilla filled with juicy poached shrimp, simmered black beans, brown rice, shredded Monterey Jack, and salsa. I chose to make the meal “super,” meaning I paid an additional charge for guacamole and sour cream.

As much as it pains me, this challenge has made apparent the fact that complimentary guac is truly rare. The tradeoff: they offer large portions for an affordable price. Despite the extra cost, I enjoyed Purple Cactus. It especially hit the spot after wandering the neighborhood for nearly an hour trying to find it. Plus, they just might find their way on the “best wrapped burrito” list.

Keeping with the theme of out-of-state burritos, I stopped in New Jersey to eat at Hoboken Burrito. I have eaten at Hoboken Burrito one other time, but before I started chronicling my journey. I had rave reviews for it then and it far exceeded my memories. They don’t have much of a storefront and it seems to cater mostly to people ordering takeout. I was, however, able to dine at one of the few tables available at the restaurant, which was convenient because I’m not from the area. The spot is a bit hidden off of the city’s main street, so I managed to dodge most of the crowds that appear abundant on a Saturday night in the neighborhood.

I ordered the Mole Burrito, which comes equipped with a homemade mole sauce, shredded chicken, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and a small salad of greens and tomatoes on the side. Only a few minutes after ordering, an enormous burrito was sitting on the table in front of me. I devoured my meal and almost licked the plate clean. Granted I needed to eat my burrito with a fork and knife, I savored every last bite. I have no doubt that Hoboken Burrito will make the cut for best of the year. Until I go back, I’ll be dreaming of swimming in that delectable mole sauce.

Habana Outpost.

Back in New York, I hit up Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. This restaurant offers traditional Mexican and Cuban cuisines and I ordered the Guacamole and Queso Burrito, a tortilla filled with guacamole, white cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, rice and beans, and a side of jalapenos.

I must admit, I found myself disappointed by this meal. I had high expectations going in due to Habana Outpost’s festive atmosphere, with colorful picnic tables and decorations creating an inviting setting in their crowded outdoor patio. However, I waited an exorbitant amount of time for my burrito to be ready (nearly an hour). By the time it made its way into my stomach, it tasted lackluster. The amount of lettuce and tomato made my meal feel more like a wrap than a burrito. Plus, I asked to add chicken to the burrito, but Habana’s refuses to add on; the menu items come as listed, no exceptions.

Thankfully I had better luck when I made my way upstate to Beacon, NY. When I went to Homespun Foods, I couldn’t wait to order their breakfast burrito, as my friends sang it praises. However, in a very unfortunate turn of events, I did not get to enjoy my own breakfast burrito. As my party of six all ordered before me, by the time I made my way to the counter, the staff informed me that they could not make anymore burritos for the day. Did they know who they were turning away? Apparently not.

I settled for a sandwich, but I didn’t let the mishap deter me from returning the next week. My lovely friends made sure that I ordered first so that I wouldn’t be burrito-less again. This time, I was successful and enjoyed a burrito with scrambled eggs, chorizo, black beans, potatoes, cheddar cheese, salsa, avocado, and sour cream. After all that, all I care to share is that this dish was worth the wait.

As expected, I also returned to the usual places: Tito Santana Taqueria, Bubba’s Burrito Bar, Tres Carnes, KoFoo, Beacon Bread Company, and Chipotle.

Hopefully in next month’s Guac is Extra, I’ll be celebrating the big 100. Until then, happy eating.

Burrito Count: 90

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