Everyone loves a good burrito, whether it’s carne asada or covered in sauce and cheese — there’s no denying the thrall a tortilla-wrapped bean and cheese has on us all. But when one is a vegetarian, the options can become rather limited. Therefore, the vegetarian contingent at The Daily Clog have decided to embark on a journey that may very well lead us into the dark depths of a vegetarian inferno.
On that positive note, we’ve started our search for the best vegetarian burrito near UC Berkeley at the Best Mexican Food winner from our Best of Berkeley 2015, La Burrita.
Upon entering the La Burrita on Northside, we were welcomed by a friendly neon cactus displaying an “OPEN” sign. Would La Burrita’s vegetarian options truly be “fine, Mexican food” as the sign above the door purported? As we walked up to the counter, we were surprised to see so many vegetarian burrito options. We now faced a very important decision: which burrito to choose. The options are the bean and cheese, veggie burrito, veggie special, very veggie burrito, veggie supreme and wet veggie. Each burrito has slightly different ingredients depending on your veggie mood. We chose the Veggie Special, which has rice, beans, lettuce, salsa fresca, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. We opted out of the Veggie Supreme, which included grilled veggies, although we will probably go back at some point to try it.
We’ve devised a rating system with different categories for presentation, taste, chips and salsa, distribution of ingredients and distinction of flavors.
Upon receiving our Veggie Special, we were excited to see how carefully the burrito was wrapped and displayed. The single orange corn chip upon a bed of regular corn chips juxtaposed nicely with the bright red and green salsas.
Distribution of ingredients
First looks can be deceiving, so we cut the burrito in half to get a better look at what it’s made of. Excitingly, each ingredient is pretty much separate from the others. A common burrito mistake occurs when all the ingredients become mushed together during the wrapping process and you end up with a Mexican food-flavored mush.
Distinction of flavors, a.k.a.“does it taste good?”
Probably in part to the excellent distribution of ingredients, all of the ingredients in the burrito offered unique but complementary flavors. The beans were perfectly cooked (not too mushy or crunchy), and the guacamole was fresh and delicious. Sour cream, however, seemed to be in too much abundance. Every bite had just a little too much sour cream, and toward the end the burrito it was starting to become overwhelming. Also, it would have been nice to have just a little more salsa fresca in the burrito, but this wasn’t a major issue because of the generous helping of salsas on the side
Chips and salsa
The only negative aspect of our visit to La Burrita were the chips. They were pretty thin and oily and lacked a robust flavor. We had to add a little salt to bring out the natural corn flavors. The salsas, however, were amazing. The red salsa is mild, and the green is hot, even too hot for some people. We found that putting some of the red salsa on the burrito made up for the lack of salsa fresca.
All in all, it was a pretty good vegetarian burrito experience. We will return again eventually to try some of the other vegetarian options. The price is also great. The burrito we ordered was the small but was large enough to split between two people comfortably. La Burrita is pretty generous with their portion sizes. Our vegetarian inferno turned out to be a pleasant vegetarian meadow, which we want to return to soon.
Price: small $5.29; large $6.29