Seemingly inexplicably, the corner spot in an otherwise-busy shopping center at the PCH/Bellflower/Seventh St. intersection has a high turnover rate. In less than two years, the space at 5726 E. Seventh St. has been a chicken-wings place and an organic tacos and tortas eatery (the latter claims that not enough foot traffic caused its closure). Given the college-adjacent location and always-bustling neighboring spaces such as Afters Ice Cream, Cha for Tea and Target, it’s with cautious optimism that we hope newcomer Blue Burro will stick.
The interior setup remains the same as the previous few concepts: order at the counter, then choose a table in the small dining area off to the side. Blue Burro stays ultra-dedicated to its theme with the same shade of bright, cheerful blue throughout, dotted with whimsical portraits of donkeys and large-scale quirky sayings such as “Burritos Are Life” and “You’re My Boy Blue.”
Blue Burro offers healthy-ish Mexican comfort food, advertising that its “burritos, shakes and fries” are made from “only the freshest ingredients.” The salsas and agua frescas are from scratch, though it’s worth noting the signature beverage, the blue horchata (which comes as either paleta, milkshake or agua fresca), is colored a bright robin’s-egg shade of blue. It’s a smooth, sweet horchata, with a strong wave of cinnamon coming through after the first sip of vanilla rice flavor. The staff will happily allow you to sample the other rainbow-hued beverages; the employee I ordered from suggested the bright-pink strawberry agua fresca, which was his favorite (and now maybe mine, too), which tasted like a grown-up version of that childhood delicacy strawberry Quik.
Besides the very photographable neon-blue dessert the owners seemed to base their concept around (though it must be noted that neighbor Afters already has a well-known ice cream flavor in the same shade), what’s going to make Blue Burro stand out? For starters, it serves breakfast burritos all day. And in a town that goes nuts for breakfast burritos, with dedicated rankings of the city’s best, Blue Burro enters the game swinging with California-style offerings: a massive, papery soft tortilla barely holds an assortment of fluffy eggs, sharp cheese, salty proteins and French fries. Add a drizzle of one of those house-made salsas, and yeah, it’s worth driving across town for—especially when you consider the just-more-than-$5 price tag.
There are lighter menu items such as salads (the Surf-N-Turf salad is composed of grilled shrimp, angus steak, romaine lettuce, salsa fresca, special sauce and cotija) and rolled tacos. Served in quantities of either three or five, Blue Burro’s rolled tacos are crispy fried taquitos filled with shredded beef that are then buried beneath a pile of shredded romaine, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa and a sprinkle of cotija. It’s a beautifully layered mess that begs to be eaten with a fork.
With craveable burritos, social media-worthy neon-hued drinks and a menu with items costing well less than $10, we’re betting Blue Burro manages to stay awhile.
Blue Burro, 5726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, (562) 498-0287; www.eatblueburro.com.