Separated by a mere two, short, city blocks these two stop-and-stuff-your-face mexican food restaurants are throwing down the burrito on the East Village Podcasts blog to lay claim – once and for all – to the best takeout chicken burrito in the East Village of New York City.
On the left and located at 47 1st Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets, the chicken burrito from Puebla Mexican Food & Coffee Shop! And on the right, weighing nearly double the weight of its competitor, from 69 First Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets, the chicken burrito from Downtown Bakery Mexican Food!
Editor’s Note: Man, it’s cold outside.
In comparison to previous food competitions, this one proved the most convenient in that both restaurants were very near to the East Village Podcasts blog offices in addition to being close to each other. Therefore, even though it may have been colder than a witch’s mammary in a brass witch’s mammary holder, each competitor was still warm to the gullet by the time taste testing began.
Breaking Down the Burritos
Puebla Mexican Food and Downtown Bakery’s burritos were similarly priced at $6.50 and $7.00 respectively. I ordered sour cream and hot sauce for each. Neither restaurant knew that they were about to be reviewed by this blogger but it appeared that Downtown was trying to gain the early edge by delivering a sizable burrito that would have made John Holmes proud.
I dug in.
Downtown Bakery’s entrant was first. I used a knife to slice into the burrito and passed easily through orange-colored rice and chicken slathered in a green (mole?) sauce. The sauce was mild and likely offset by an abundant helping of sour cream. The salty chicken was juicy and flaky with black beans filling out the remainder of the soft tortilla shell. After a couple of bites, I thought, “I’m never going to finish this burrito.” It’s way big – and tasty.
Next burrito, please
I slid over to the competing burrito from Puebla Mexican Food & Coffee Shop, stabbed the innocent burrito with gusto and made quick work of two or three bites.
At first, this one seemed to be all chicken which was a bit drier and reminded me of a few “misfires” of cooked turkey from Thanksgivings of my past. Eventually I found the orange rice (It just tastes like rice… nothing orange about it other than color.) and the black beans. The green sauce was definitely hot and spicy. But, if you’re a hot ‘freak,’ make sure you order plenty of sauce because they don’t put a ton on in either place.
About 5 or 6 years ago these two restaurants were owned by the same people according to the burrito magician at Downtown Bakery. It’s not clear what happened – he was tight-lipped, hush hush, etc. – but now, they’re separately run restaurants. And, let’s face it. They’re not really restaurants with a waitress, etc. But, they’re nicer than a plain old takeout shack because they have tables and chairs and the people behind the counter will bring the food TO you if you’re seated.
I replaced my fork on the burrito dish and contemplated what I had just engulfed.
Numero Uno Burrito
This competition was close… each burrito was very similar in taste. The sour cream overwhelmed any subtle spice and flavors for both competitors. Still, the hotter sauce of Puebla Mexican Food & Coffee Shop persevered while the juicy chicken was a difference maker for the Downtown Bakery entrant. It didn’t hurt that the Bakery’s burrito was the size of a small child either – best value by far.
My choice.. the chicken burrito from Downtown Bakery Mexican Food! This burrito beast can challenge the most ferocious of appetites in the East Village of New York City.
February 3rd, 2008
Entry Filed under: Food - Competitive