Back in May I did a series I called Battle of the Burritos that was a 3-way MMA match between 3 big sellers of design your own burrito places. Round 1, Round 2 and Round 3 can be found in the archives, but I've linked them by each round number in this sentence for your convenience. As many of you readers remembered, Freebird's World Burrito came out on top in that 3 way battle.
On a recent Saturday, I was cruising for lunch and being in the mood for some Tex-Mex, I wanted to try a new place and managed to stop by a Bullritos. When I stepped in, I almost stepped out again because my first thought was "Another Design it yourself Burrtio place. However, my hunger pangs outweighed my skepticism and so off of Eldridge Parkway and Briar Forest I decided to grab a Bull Bag and began doing some choosing.
They also have choice of red salsa, cilantro ranch, fresh pico de gallo or very spicy habañero-tomatillo salsa. In addition to the usual Coca-cola branded soda pops, they have Gold Peak Tea--unsweetned or sweetened black, or my fave, sweetened green tea. And of note, they have limes as well as lemons on their beverage condiment bar. Also there is frozen lemonade available with other flavours added for $1.00 extra, and speaking of bars, they have frozen margaritas, also with other flavours added for $1.00 extra. Furthermore, similar to some locations of Berryhill Baja Grill and Sushipop, they have free soft-serve vanilla ice cream (limit 2 per customer per meal order). Also like Freebird's and Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, they have a Loyalty Card Program which includes a free meal on your birthday and occasional contests. Last but not least, every Friday and Saturday, you can get a Frozen Margarita for $0.99 plus tax, or $1.99 plus tax if you want another flavour added to it. Whew!!!
I decided to order a bowl, nacho style, and got my mix of fixings together. So without further delay here is my....
Bullritos Nachos Bowl Blueprint:
Refried beans on the side
Cheddar and Jack cheese
Guacamole on the side
Peppers, Onions & jalepeños
on a bed of crispy corn tortilla Chips
I had an iced green tea with lime with my meal, and a Lime 99 cent margarita afterwards.
The steak is well seasoned, hot, juicy and full of flavour, much like fajitas. The cheeses were shredded and cool--my mistake on that, no blame to the kitchen. Next time I'll get the melted chile con queso. The habañero-tomatillo salsa is spicy, fresh and blends well with the other ingredients. Sour cream was well distributed over all the chips and ingredients. The grilled peppers and onions were hot, fresh and had a fajita-garnish quality to them. The chips are crispy and taste fresh--nothing stale here. The guacamole was a deep green--nothing turning brown or purple, tasted VERY FRESH and blended well with the rest of the items in my Nachos. Overall a great plate of nachos that had Bullritos' fine ingredients that I got to choose and combine myself. Magnificent, in my opinion.
I ate the refried beans with the straggling chips. I like refried beans as a side dish with chips or spread on soft tortillas, but not mixed in a burrito or on a taco. I think some of it came from eating at the homes of friends of mine who were Mexican immigrants growing up. They ate their refried beans in that fashion and I just picked it up like that. Just a personal preference is all. The refried beans are said to be fat-free. I know a lot of refried beans are cooked with lard, which gives it a pork/bacon quality. These beans had that quality, but the guy behind the counter insisted no lard or meat is used in them. I guess they either smoke them or use seasonings with a smokey quality, but these were good refried beans to say the least.
The Bullritos on Eldridge had very fast and friendly service. The staff behind the counter had no problem doing the beans on the side and made sure that everything was as I'd ordered it. The food was ready within a few minutes. All the hot items were hot and all the cold items were cold. Nothing off temperature. Nothing stale or out of order. The location was clean--no table was left un-bussed as customers left and arrived. The floors were clean as well. The atmosphere is decidedly red, silver, white and black in colour (see pic above), but overall a pleasant cross between a Fast Food place and a Casual Dining restaurant.
And FYI for those of you that are big on supporting local businesses: Bullritos was founded and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Several of the Founders and Executive Staff are alumni of The University of Houston! They are franchising, and have locations in Georgia and Louisiana. However, the bulk of their locations are in the Houston, Texas area.
While I wouldn't crown Bullrito's a Champion to beat Freebird's yet, they are STRONG COMPETITION, and already blow away a C-grade burrito place that I don't want to mention here.
The Foodie Professor's Report Card for Bullritos on Eldridge in Houston:
Nachos in a Bowl: A-
Overall Grade: A
Bullritos Briar Forest
1635 Eldridge Parkway near Briar Forest
Houston, TX 77077
Zao an, Y'all!!!