Yet, plenty of chains offer bowls as viable alternatives to the tacos and burritos I've come to love. So be it. With similar (or, on occasion, exact) ingredients as what's found in my burrito, I can swing a bowl. Heck, I usually opt for the ice cream cup over the cone, so there! Now, down to business. Which Mexican chain makes the best bowls?
'baja fresh' on Serious Eats
Let's look past the bean & cheese. Obama may not have mentioned this in his DNC speech, but as a nation it is imperative that we move past the bean & cheese as the only available option for vegetarians at our taco chains. The B&C has its place, of course, but we were looking for more than just sloppy pinto beans and greasy cheese in this tasting. Taco Bell, Del Taco, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Rubios and Wahoos battle it out for the title of best vegetarian burrito.
Over the past month, we've covered many different chain tacos (see: carnitas, steak, ground beef, and fish). After weeks of staring at the same menus in the same national chains, one thing became abundantly clear: all of them serve chicken. So this round of the chain taco tasting was epic. Winners and losers revealed!
Carnitas is never easy to master, especially in a fast food setting. Yet, several chains offer the porky delight. Which makes the best version of carnitas tacos? We tried Chipotle, Qdoba, Wahoo's, Baja Fresh and Del Taco, and managed to emerge with a few tasty choices.
Who cooks the best carne tacos? Or, really, who even bothers to try making their tacos taste like carne asada? We tried 16 different steak taco options from some of the most well-known taco chains. Taco Bell, Del Taco, Baja Fresh, Rubio's, Chipotle, Qdoba, and Wahoo's. Some, of course, were better than others.
If you don't happen to live near the salty Pacific, where can you go to find a serviceable fish taco in your area? Well, that depends on what sort of Mexican-inspired chains exist around you. If it's nothing but Taco Bells and El Pollo Locos, you might be in trouble. But if you've got a Baja Fresh—or better yet, a Rubio's—you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Print out a coupon from Baja Fresh's Facebook page, and get a free burrito today, between 2pm and 5:30pm, when you purchase a large drink. [via ML] 465 Lexington Avenue (map); 212-599-2252...
Mesoamerican figure from the Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany: Photograph from mitko_denev on Flickr While at Baja Fresh last week, I noticed a basket of saran-wrapped cookies near the register. Each label said "Aztec Chocolate Chunk Cookie" and the lady who just rang up my steak tostada looked at me and swore, "They are really, really good." The ingredients didn't look too 13th century Aztec: enriched bleached wheat flour, dextrose, palm oil, high fructose corn syrup. There was one mention of "spices" near the bottom, but nothing specific about chili peppers or aromatic flowers, an integral part of the original Aztec recipe. Cinnamony and buttery, the cookie was good—the lady was right—but not necessarily Aztec-y. According to folklore, the Aztec...