10 Great Burritos in Orange County
O, cylindrical god!
You can hate tacos, not favor hamburgers, even look down on pho, but I dare say anyone who doesn't eat burritos on at least a weekly basis might as well pack up and move to Los Angeles...where you'll find even more burritos. Orange County was burrito country long before those three food items took hold, and the variety of burritos available here is almost encyclopedic--not just in the meat offered, but in the regional traditions. Enjoy, and do yell at me for leaving out your choice!
10. 301 Cafe
301 Cafe is a Cal-Mex classic on the levels of Mexi-Casa and the Little Onion, one that stopped caring about changing restaurant tastes around 1975. Consider its wet burrito, a mass of beef con chile colorado, the ever-present melted yellow cheese, canned red salsa on top, and pureed guacamole, something out of a Sunset article from the Nixon administration. And yet...it all works. 301 W. Santa Fe Ave., Placentia, (714) 996-8001.
9. El Toro Bravo
Photo by Professor Salt
Per Shuji: "While two tacos make a very filling and delicious meal, the thing to get here are the burritos: giant things the size of a pro-wrestler's forearm filled with meat, refried beans, and "Spanish" rice. The rice and beans are just rich enough and perfectly seasoned on their own, but absorb their home-made salsas in a way that the tacos just can't manage." Straightforward Mass of mass. 745 W. 19th St., #G, Costa Mesa, (949) 646-4266.
8. Taco Adobe
Taco Adobe in Old Town Orange sells many great burritos, but the best is the off-menu beer-battered one: a properly crisped flour tortilla, crunchy repollo, crunchy fish, and some sort of creamy, garlicky burrito sauce that grounds everything in spicy reality. HINT: Eschew the house salsa, even the Tapatío, and ask for the habanero salsa owner Patricio Dillón keeps chilled in the refrigerator, ready for the next grateful victim. 121 N. Lemon St., Orange, (714) 628-0633.
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