For my review, I will not be including popular chains including:
- Taco Bell - Fast Food chains are not included despite my love for the cheesy bean and rice burrito. Don't even get me started on the bell taking it off their dollar menu and reducing the net weight that was once an entire half pound.
- Baja Fresh - Not good enough to compare.
- QDoba - Again, does not compare and many of the burritos are not "traditional" nor is there one that combines all great ingredients. I'd have to order three burritos to get the one I want.
- Salsaritas - Not good enough to compare. Terrible value.
Now, on to the review. The following burrito establishments will be graded on 1) Value; 2) Taste; 3) Atmosphere
- Chipotle -F Now, some of you may disagree with the failing grade of Chipotle. But quite frankly, the atmosphere sucks, chips cost extra and there is no salsa bar. The taste is okay. I get that some of you love the cilantro lime rice. But you know what, you can add cilantro and lime to any burrito at the other three chains.
- Baja Burrito - C Now, this is local to Nashville but I threw it in here because it is really popular. The atmosphere is great and includes a fun patio. The value is decent but again, chips are extra. The taste, well, it is okay but the effects of the food on your digestive system make the burrito a bad choice. Stick with the fish tacos or quesadilla.
- FreeBirds - B- Freebirds is primarily located in Texas with one of the original locations in College Station - aka - the location of Texas A&M. This location gets an A+. However, we are reviewing the chain as a whole. The other locations I have been to have a terrible atmosphere with the music playing entirely too loud. If I want to scream in order to have a conversation, I'll just go to a loud bar. I believe this became a problem AFTER one of the original owners sold out in 2007. The value is decent, you can get a ridiculously large burrito for not a lot of money. The flavor is decent but the atmosphere leaves a bad taste in my mouth cancelling whatever good burrito taste is millin' around en mi boca.
- Moe's - A Now, I know this may surprise some of you but Moe's has a little hidden weapon called CHIPOTLE RANCH. The atmosphere is okay, the value is great, especially considering chips are included and there is a salsa bar with some delicious tomatilla salsa. But the real closer is the ranch. It is delicious. So delicious, that the franchise located on North Shore in Knoxville, TN charges $0.50 to add it. If you order the kid's - sized burrito that comes with a miniature drink and cookie, they don't let you get rid of the cookie so you can have a normal size drink. Needless to say, that location gets a big fat F. That is the problem with franchises but whatever. Get the ranch and lots of it. I like to get that extra tortilla that has accumulated at the top and bottom of the burrito, tear it off, layer it on top of a chip and dip it in the tomatilla salsa. Heaven in my mouth. I don't even need the cheese, lettuce, pico, chix, black beans, etc. Just a softened tortilla with the ranch to put on top of a chip to dip in the salsa.
And there you have it people.