On the way back to campus one Sunday morning, my party and I found ourselves pretty much blocked from getting back due to a biking marathon taking place. Hungry and pretty much stuck on the wrong side, we decided to have lunch at a burrito place. This place was El Chilito.
El Chilito is kind of like trailer food that became a restaurant. It is a popular burrito place on the East side that is quick and tasty. It has a chalkboard for daily specials and a menu of “usuals.” The menu consists of breakfast tacos and burritos, regular tacos and burritos, a variety of drinks, and then a tantalizing list of Latin American popsicles or “paletas”.
Paletas are very interesting and, if I may, can be equated to bubble teas. Both have the “milk” or creamy variety as well as the fruity or “no milk” variety. A lot of unique flavors are available with the paletas, but one may want to come earlier or after a shipment because by the time we got there, a lot of the flavors were gone. My friends who got them seemed to enjoy them very much and I would imagine they would be a refreshing treat for the dog days of summer.
I am not really a breakfast taco fan, but I am sure that if you like those, this would be a great place to go. El Chilito is quite famous for its breakfast burritos and tacos. I got the Cochinita Pibil, which is braised pork, organge, achiote, onions, lettuce, rice, and beans. The tacos are relatively small, about half the size of a burrito and tend to look like a burrito too. They are also, conveniently, about half the price. For the size of the burrito, think about 2/3 the size of a Chipotle burrito or about 6″x2″.
The burrito was just average for me, I will admit. There was an element of spice that desperately needed water to quench it and it was rather messy. Or it may have been the fact that I had opened the burrito to take a picture. However, there was no mistaking the inevitable of the sauce and juice of the meat dripping out that resulted in my hand looking like it had been cut. The greatest taste came from the meat and onions and they were a definite plus. The onions were sweet and slightly spicy and there was just the right amount. I also thought that the braised pork was well marinated and quite tasty. I also liked the balanced amount of lettuce put in. However, the rice did not add much except extra carbs and the beans overwhelmed where the lettuce was not. The flavors were not very well mixed. Perhaps a tweak in the ingredients ratio would make the burrito taste even better, but for this particular burrito I just find it OK.
The salsa is definitely interesting. It is a thick brown paste that has an underlying heat that adds not too much or too little taste to the burrito. One serving is definitely not enough. One of my friends used more than three for hers! The salsa is certainly a unique part of El Chilito and tasty to boot.
Overall, El Chilito definitely seems like a good place to go on a hot day to enjoy a paleta or even a cold day with the spice of the burrito and a warm drink. Though I found my burrito just OK, I can imagine that the breakfast burritos are stellar as they are a good size and filled with tasty ingredients.
Rating: 😛 😛 😛 ½ for good meat, poor ratio of ingredients, and paletas!