Boca Grande Brighton
So, last night I went to the newish Boca Grande on Washington in Brighton Center. I'd never eaten in any Boca Grandes and was vaguely aware that it was a chain. I wasn't expecting very much from it, but hoped to satisfy the burrito urge.
I was quite pleasantly surprised by the food! It was way better than what I expected and very flavorful!
Let me establish my credentials as a burrito-eater by stating that I've lived in the SF Bay area, lived in a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago with probably hundreds of taquerias in a 3 mile radius, and have traveled throughout Mexico. I've eaten many, many burritos and many tacos.
I was impressed first off by the fact that they offer cochinita pibil as one of the meat options. This is a dish from the Yucatan area, where I believe traditionally the pork is slow roasted in a pit in the ground! I was addicted to the cochinita pibil tacos at the loncheria in Valladolid... Anyway, it's not something you even see very often on the menu at mexican restaurants in los EU.
The cochinita pibil at Boca Grande was extremely tender, juicy, and, most importantly, had TONS OF YUMMY FLAVOR. The rest of the burrito - the tortilla, rice, beans, salsa, and guac were all pleasant. Not particularly exceptional, but supported the delicious meat enough to make for a thoroughly enjoyable burrito experience.
I was also pleased to see that they had horchata and agua de jamaica. I tried the jamaica and it was pretty good - not quite as potent as I like it, but nice on a hot evening.
In true Chowhound fashion, I decided to go back to BG for dinner again tonight! I wanted to see if it was just a fluke, or if they actually had food that was on par with stuff I've had in San Francisco or Chicago.
This time I decided to order the tacos al pastor, which is such a standard item that I thought it would make for a good comparison. I was a bit disappointed that they were tiny taquito sized tortillas, and only a single tortilla per taco. But, once again, the meat was totally delicious. It had just a little bit of cooked-on-a-spit crunch and was spicy and very well seasoned. It had the right amount of chopped onion on it to complement the meat, and, with a little squeeze of lime, took me right back to countless late-night tacos consumed on the street in Mexico City. All in all, quite tasty if a bit overpriced at $4 for 3. Next time I'll probably go for the Plate, which is only $4.50 and includes rice and beans.
So, I think I would rate this the best Mexican food experience I've had in Boston so far. I'd say on a par with food I've had in SF or Chicago - not as good as the best places there, but comparable to solid, dependable taquerias in those cities.
Boca Grande isn't really a chain so much as a local place with multiple locations.
What I love about BG (I frequented the Coolidge Corner location) is that when you go in the huge racks of meat are slow cooking right there on a big grill. Compare that to the reheated crap you get at Qdoba.
Great post mofuzz! I like Boca Grande also, although I've never been to the Brighton location. I would be interested to hear what you think of other Boston area Mexican taquerias, particularly El Pelon (as well as Anna's and Tacos Lupita).
Also, on a related note, has anyone tried Trini's Mexican Grill in the food court of the Arsenal Mall? I know, I know, mall food court . . . but last time I was in the Arsenal Mall I noticed that they served horchata. They happened not to have any right then, and I had literally just eaten before I went into the mall and so didn't get to try anything and haven't been back since, but the menu looked decent and I've been meaning to stop by next time I'm in the neighborhood.