By Tess McIntyre,
BlueDevilHUB.com Multimedia and Social Media Editor-in-Chief–
Recently I began to wonder: am I getting the most bang for my buck when it comes to burritos? This question lead me on a mission to buy every bean burrito in Davis and test which basic burritos are worth buying, and which should be passed on.
My standards for bean and cheese burritos are simple. For a burrito to be truly tasty it needs to have an unforgettable flavor, the components should be consistent throughout the burrito and everything should be homologous. Meanwhile, the tortilla should hold everything in without being too thick.
After weeks of thorough investigation, this article is my final analysis.
Note: this ranking will exclude fast food options like Taco Bell and Del Taco.
Dos Coyotes – $5.36
To be frank, Dos is gross. If I have learned anything from the Food Network, it is that presentation is key when it comes to food, and the presentation on this burrito was certainly lacking. The tortilla was soft, thin, a little flaky, and beans could be sen through the tortilla.
The first bite was perplexing. I thought I had ordered a bean and cheese burrito, but I only had a mouthful of cheese. Needless to say, the beans and cheese were not mixed very well. The overwhelming flavor was that of the cheese, while the beans were flavorless.
Speaking of the beans, there was a lot of bean liquid in the burrito. I felt like I was eating watery bean soup.
Taqueria el Burrito – $5.36
After the disaster that was Dos Coyotes, I was delighted to receive a burrito with an opaque tortilla, flavorful first bite, and thoroughly mixed beans and cheese.
The cheese was just a little sharp, but not too strong. Perhaps there was a pinch of pepper in the beans, as they packed the tiniest punch, like if you blinked you would miss it. Maybe it was just because I had had Dos previously, but this burrito was truly memorable.
Chipotle – $7.25
When one types “Chipotle burritos are” into Google, the second suggested phrase that comes up is “Chipotle burritos are huge,” only second to being cold. Sure, the burrito I received lived up to the cold standard, but its size better matched the third autocomplete option: “Chipotle burritos are smaller.”
I got rice on this burrito, and that is because I was anticipating the Chipotle employees giving me meager amounts of beans, expecting that I was going to load more ingredients into the huge tortilla. But I did not ask for anything else. I just payed for what they gave me, which was a miserable, overpriced log.
The tortilla itself was gummy, and a little hard to chew. Meanwhile, I could not even taste the beans and cheese because 50 percent of the burrito was rice. When I finally got to the components I was waiting for, they were pretty much flavorless. I will give the beans credit though, they had a pleasant texture.
Davis Pinata (née La Pinata) -$4.90
The worst bean and cheese burrito I ever had was at a taco bar near the beach in Santa Cruz. Though their tacos are phenomenal, but the texture of their bean and cheese filling was similar to that of vomit, and strangely watery for refried beans.
Davis Pinata served up a similarly textured burrito. Though the cheese is comparable to that of Taqueria el Burrito, the beans lack flavor and have that weirdly watery quality. The burrito was reminiscent of a toned down Taqueria el Burrito burrito.
Nevertheless, everything was mixed well, the cheese was pleasant and despite the watery beans, the tortilla kept everything in.
Taqueria Guadalajara – $4.32
Taqueria Guadalajara can be considered to some as a Davis classic. Their burritos are simple, but they constantly get it right. The components taste good, the flavor is consistent, and every bite has an enjoyable ratio of beans to cheese. Guad’s burrito is not the most incredible option, but both their locations are perfect for getting a standard, well priced burrito.
Cilantros – $5.84
The Cilantros burrito had a slightly crunchy exterior, which added something a little different to the taste. The beans also had a different quality to them, almost like they were a paste. While the beans and tortilla stood out in the first few bites, the cheese was nonexistent.
Though this burrito was different from the others, I cannot say it is a favorite of mine. The beans quickly become monotonous, and halfway through, eating it became boring.
El Toro Bravo – $6.75
El Toro Bravo’s burrito was smaller than most of the others available in Davis, but it was tasty. The tortilla was light and crispy, the shredded jack cheese did not overpower the beans and the beans themselves had an agreeable texture.
Overall, it was a typical burrito. Nothing really stood out over the others, but it was an enjoyable eat.
Taqueria Davis -$6.22
Taqueria Davis was in the running to usurp Taqueria el Burrito and take the prize, but it fell short due to what could only be called oily beans. While the majority of the burrito was superb, the last quarter suddenly began to secrete mysterious oil all over the tortilla.
The oil did not take away from the flavor of the burrito, but it cast a shadow on the experience of eating.
Tres Hermanas – $9.99
Tres Hermanas delivers a perfectly standard burrito. There is nothing incredibly noteworthy about this burrito, and there was nothing bad about it either.
The price is only steep because the burrito is served with a side of beans, rice and cheese, and it is likely that if one were to ask for the burrito without the sides, the price would go down.
Chuys Tacos -$4.33
I was worried that the tortilla would unfold at the bottom, unveiling a cascade of beans and cheese all over my plate, but it somehow passed the durability test.
The taste of the cheese was distinct, but did not overpower the beans, which were of a thin consistency, but not watery.