Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Great Burrito Debate: Freebirds vs. Chipolte vs. Mission Burrito

Now I will allow that there are a lot of places where you can get some good burritos.  I recently reviewed BerryHill Baja Grill, and raved about their Seafood and their Ultimo Burritos. However today a colleague and I had a debate over Freebird's and Chipolte.  I emailed another food blogger who then mentioned Mission Burrito and it got me thinking that it's time to have a Battle of the Burritos!!!

All three of these restaurants are "build it yourself" burrito places where you can choose meats, veggies, cheese, beans, etc. and have them all wrapped up in a tortilla or mixed in a bowl.  Freebird's and Mission Burrito give you a choice of regular flour tortilla, spinach tortilla or cayenne spicy tortilla.  Chipolte just has plain flour tortillas.  My friend felt that Chipolte had better fillings, but based upon my personal experience, I felt Freebird's were better.  Plus after having a couple of bad experiences with dry meats, unfresh veggies and a lack of spice/flavour  in their ingredients, I found out that at that time McDonald's owned Chipolte, I wrote them off as "Never going back." because I figured the McD's angle must be why their Tex-mex was so God awful.  Mission is one I've been to a few times, but since its a local chain rather than national, the locations are spread out and not entirely local to my neighborhood.

Now I realize that many of us have a couple of bad experiences but  that's not a reason to totally write off a chain as franchise owner-operators vary in consistency and one bad experience doesn't ruin the whole company usually.  I also found out here that McD's spun off Chipolte and they are now fully independent.  As I am working this evening, I am trying to reopen my mind about Chipolte and have decided that in a few weeks I am going to compare the three of them side by side in equivalent types of burritos I like.

I am going to order a fajita steak burrito with cheese, rice, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo sauce on whatever kind tortilla I want.  I am going to taste them objectively, drinking Iced Tea (or Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb if they don't have Splenda or Equal available to sweeten my tea) with each burrito.  I will judge each burrito based on the following criteria:  spice/juciness/freshness of the beef, freshness of the veggies/salsa/cheese, how well wrapped the burrito is (i.e. does it hold together well or does it fall apart), quality/flavour of the rice and beans, and overall satisfaction received from eating said burrito.  I will post pictures and decide which one is the champ of the build it yourself burrito.

As always I welcome all comments!!!

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