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Once and for all -- rice in a burrito -- Yay or nay?

This topic gets touched on quite a bit here and elsewhere on the site. The topic comes up in "best burrito threads" and "what is a mission burrito" threads and in a few other places.

But -- unless I'm not searching long and hard enough -- I've never seen a definitive thread on just this topic. If there has been, maybe it's old so it's time for a new one.

Here's my take:

I do eat rice in burritos. In fact, I used to always think that rice always was an ingredient in a burrito. Then I read in a review of a restaurant (I think it was Jonathan Gold in LA Weekly, though maybe not) that rice is not really a traditional burrito ingredient. Burritos were more a smear of beans and maybe whatever beef, pork or chicken was leftover from the night before. I'm not a traditionalist at all, "authentic" is one of the least meaningful qualities for me, but I am an improviser and the realization that a great burrito is a tortilla, beans and some leftovers hit home. I don't even know if it is true. (I'm also a sandwich improviser -- odd combinations of whatever meats, condiments and breads I have around make for the best sandwiches of all.)

So, I started ordering my burritos that way. Shrimp burrito, no rice. Chicken burrito, no rice. Sometimes just chicken, or just chili colorado.

And I'm finding that I really do prefer the simpler burritos. No rice (and also no lettuce, no sour cream, no pico de gallo inside). Just some beans, some great meat and some salsa that I add with each bite.

Which is not to say that I won't eat a burrito with rice. I might eat a bean and rice burrito if the mood strikes. But what I've found is that the rice adds more as a consistency ingredient than a flavor ingredient. The rice acts as a stabilizer, sort of like gravel in cement (the beans) and also helps to soak up some of the juice from the meat. A meat and bean burrito can be a little limp and a little drippy. Also, rice-less burritos are smaller.

Rice in a burrito is very common, almost ubiquitous. I suspect that most burritos have rice and that most prefer then that way. Still, I'm curious:

Rice in a burrito: Yay or nay?

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  1. Nay; I don't need the filler.

    (edit: yes--in response to EatNopal's comment below--I've had burritos w/ and w/o rice.)

    1. I've always preferred my burritos without rice. There are some places that seem to use rice as a filler so they can sell their huge burritos. I feel ripped off sometimes. I prefer lettuce as my burrito "filler".

      9 Replies
      1. re: amopdx

        Rather have rice than warm "cooked" lettuce in a burrito. Could never understand why they'd put lettuce in a burrito. Cabbage OK- its crunchy and adds texture.

        1. re: monku

          I am with you on that. Hot, slippery lettuce coated with oil and beans...terrible.

          1. re: Snackish

            my fav burrito is a jamaican jerk chicken caesar burrito (without the rice) the lettuce is always nice and crisp because it is added right before being served. I mostly enjoy the crunchy fresh texture it adds to the burrito.

            1. re: amopdx

              That's not a burrito... that's a 'wrap'...:P


              1. re: Dommy

                what the hey...it's always a WRAP unless it's a REAL HOMEMADE tortilla!

                1. re: Countryclassic 49

                  What the hay back at you.
                  How would you define real and homemade? I guess restaurants can't turn out burritos?

                  1. re: Scargod

                    and if you're a mexican what do you call a wrap?

                    oh yeah, a burrito

          2. yay,

            I like the different texture rice provides, that, and I am not a huge fan of refried beans..(although I dont ask them to be left off a burrito either...)

            4 Replies
            1. re: swsidejim

              Definite yay here too... I think my distaste for refried beans stems from my first experience with Mexican -- a glob of refried beans from a can w/ mystery superprocessed melty cheese on top; it tasted like urine. I steered clear of refried beans after that.

              1. re: S U

                ". . .stems from my first experience with Mexican. . ."

                I am guessing that this experience happened in a town far, far removed from any authentic Mexican restaurant. Midwest? Northern California? Canada? East Coast? I give up.

                1. re: ginael

                  you're likely right, ginael......there is nothing like REAL refritos....starting with soaking your own beans; better yet GROWING them, as I do.
                  I soak them overnight; empty the H2O in the a.m. Cover a few inches with fresh water, a dash or two of salt; cook for a few hours until tender. Drain. Mash. put in a frying pan with a little bacon grease...YES, I said that!.... stir them around until they are good'nhot again...grate a little good cheese on them and hallelujah!

                  1. re: Countryclassic 49

                    Were back to real again. Last night I had some awful real refritos. They burn't the beans at some point. They were a very dark brown and had been run through a blender at some point. Very strange smooth texture and not very good tasting.
                    They were purdy on the plate though!

            2. Wet burrito? Then yay.

              Dry? Then nay.

                1. Nay....rice in burritos makes me think of Chipotle's burritos, which I think are subpar at best.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sunshinedrop

                    Chipotle is not the best representation of all that rice in a burrito can be.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      I've had others...they just all seem about the same as Chipotle....pretty tasteless. But I'm a meat eater by nature...maybe vegetarians or non-meatlovers would feel different.

                      1. re: sunshinedrop

                        what this Chipolte....sounds like a chain...and that usually means "not the best", sorry.

                  2. No rice. It does not belong. I think the places that add the rice are trying to get away with using less meat and the rice is just a cheap filler.

                    1. Nay.... absolutely Nay. Rice detracts from the best qualities in a burrito.

                        1. Wow, so far more nays than yays ... and I'm a nay.

                          I would have thought it would be the other way ... let's see if anyone else responds ...

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: PaulF

                            It would be interesting if each person that responds would indicated whether they have actually had a burrito with & without rice (and not just prefering the only style they've had).

                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                              Copious amounts of both...and again I say: depends on yer tastebuds at a particular time; as well as the leftover supply!

                            2. re: PaulF

                              One more thing... I am a definite Nay... because all my preffered Burrito eats are non-rice. But, everyonce in a while I can appreciate the comforty nature of Rice, Bean, Guacamole, Salsa & Sour Cream & Lettuce burrito (no meat... there is no reason to destroy the meat with all fluff).

                              BTW, in Mexico there is a very common saying... hecharle crema a tus tacos, which translates to putting cream on your tacos.

                              It means someone who is embellishing, hiding, or distorting something. So if somebody is b.s. you... then you might say something like... would you like some more cream on your tacos?

                              Maybe we should have a U.S. saying relating to rice on a burrito =)

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                Have to admit...las palabras de los tacos en crema, yo recibo con mucho gusto. Muy divertido!
                                I know, my espanol es horrible (w/ the accent on the e) but it comes from being long in the country of the polar bear!
                                Cheers, Eat Nopal...have a great day and may your reward be a gastronome's paradise!

                            3. Yes, yes, yes! My feeling is, if you don't want the rice, order a taco or torta. Some folks complain about the double-starch (tortilla plus rice) but I don't get that at all (I also love french fries on my sandwich). IMO, the perfect burrito has rice, beans, cheese, guac, sour cream, salsa, and meat.

                              Keep in mind, however, that people have radically different conceptions of what a "burrito" should be. The burrito I described is what we call "mission style" and is found mostly in Northern California. In So Cal, folks seem to prefer burritos minus most of the ingredients I mentioned.

                              ETA: I've had many burritos with and without rice.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: a_and_w

                                Order a taco or a torta ...

                                I'd say that a taco is not a rice-less burrito. A taco is just a corn tortilla with a little meat and perhaps some onion or garnish. It's also open faced.

                                A burrito is wrapped in a flour tortilla (that's a key difference - taco-corn/burrito-flour), does contain beans (though I've had all meat) and is wrapped. Tortas, of course, are on a roll.

                                As for the double-starch ... it's not my habit. There is one variety of cajun po boy that has potato salad on it -- and I like it -- but that's the extent of my double-starch. Actually, I would consider potatoes in a breakfast burrito, but rarely.

                                1. re: PaulF

                                  Yes, I guess I just don't get the flour tortilla unless you're eating a burrito with lots of ingredients. When I want to taste the meat, I get a taco because the corn tortilla tastes better to me. I have a major pet peeve about flour tortillas for tacos...

                                2. re: a_and_w

                                  Yay. That's what I was going to say.

                                  If you don't want rice, get a taco the more traditional food. My logic is that they're similar enough, like different pastas, and almost always served next to each other that the question is a little less weighty...unless you're ordering from John Smith's All-Earth Food Burrito Shack.

                                  BTW, yes I've had with and without.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    a_ and _w....
                                    Many years ago in Southern Cal, somewhere inland from The Canals and Venice Beach, was the most awesome Mexican restaurante called Tacos Especiales. They had the most wonderful of everything! Tacos carnitas, chili colorado;
                                    Their burritos had rice, refritos, cheese, meat, salsa.....sour cream and guaca on the side.....it was heaven! The tortillas were real....not like the elasticized "wraps" you see much of today.
                                    A sweet little old woman, wrinkled as a prune and looking to be 90 or so, sat at a table just inside the door and made the flour and corn tortillas by hand...faster than most can roll them (flour) or do them in a press (corn)
                                    Does anybody know if this place is still alive and well?
                                    Cheers! Kate

                                  2. nay

                                    I much prefer to get to the meat of the matter with little, or no intermediary

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: aelph

                                      I just don't follow this logic. Do you refuse to put condiments on your sandwich for the same reason?

                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                        what do you mean you don't follow?

                                        I don't think I'm being opaque. I consider rice filler in a burrito. Rice isn't a condiment. A sandwich is not a burrito.

                                        rice in a burrito also strikes me as hippy-dippy, "healthfood," frou-frou...or worse...a way for college students to stretch a buck(this does not lend itself to great cuisine, but pabulum)

                                        if you didn't catch it the first time..."the meat of the matter" is doing double duty...lengua in cheek, as it were

                                        1. re: aelph

                                          I got the pun, and I didn't mean to suggest you were being opaque. My point was more that I find your argument against rice arbitrary. Many of my friends share your view that rice distracts from the meat. Yet those same people don't think twice about loading up their subs or burgers with cheese, special sauce, onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, oil, vinegar, etc.

                                          I also reject your characterization of rice on a burrito as "hippy-dippy" or "health food." My favorite Mission burrito joints are emphatically none of those things.

                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                            I prefer the textural/flavor contrasts of lettuce, tomato, etc to insipid, bland, rice "filling." Which is not to say any of the aforementioned necessarily make it onto my burrito. There are, of course, divers sandwiches whose components are minimal: my favorite roast beef sandwich consists of thinly-sliced rare roast beef, a strong mustard, good swiss(also thinly-sliced), and of course excellent bread.

                                            as a former resident of The Mission, I am intimately familiar with the...ugh...mission burrito: along with the rice, I don't care for this style of burrito's steamed tortilla(s) or ridiculous size. There was one place though(and this was in the early-90's) that had a plethora of wonderful salsas with which to ameliorate burritio purgatory. Anyway, so that was good.

                                            speaking of size...I'm also referring to the seemingly neverending redundancy of joints offering "burritos as big as your head" *because they're stuffed with rice* often found near college campuses...

                                            and, yes, it is not your experience, apparently, but, in mine, these campus purveyors often as not were wreathed in the urp of hippy, healthfood stylings: (lotsa)brown rice, black beans, soy cheese, with chipotle-glazed tempeh...yadda yadda yadda, pass the patchouli

                                            1. re: aelph

                                              I'm familiar with the college and health food phenomena you describe. One particularly awful burrito place in NYC (Burritoville) actually uses brown rice -- blech! But I just don't get why those define your perception given that you lived in the Mission. Where were some of the places you would frequent?

                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                Ugh. Burritoville. i think the first time I ever had rice on a Burrito was at Burritoville about 10 years ago, and you're right brown rice is a BAD fit. It seems like since then, almost every burrito I've had, has had rice (in L.A. now) - though when I find them without I'm very happy! Too much starch and not enough flavor when the rice is inside. I think back in the day, if I got a burrito combo, there was rice on the side, but never inside if I just got the burrito minus the combo. Oh - Tacos Villa Corona - in Atwater village - no rice in the burrito and very yummy.

                                                1. re: foodhypnosis

                                                  As the self proclaimed Emperador de los Esnobs Gastronomicos du Mexique... I have to admit scrapping together the ocassional Brown Rice, Mole Poblano, Scrambled Egg burrito at home.

                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                    Say, Eat Nopal....aren't you mixing your espanol con su frances? Both linguas and comidas are wunderbar, eh?

                                                  2. re: foodhypnosis

                                                    I'm so sorry I missed your post because I know a ton of places in LA that do burritos with no rice. Try a California burrito as Taco Plus just south of SM Blvd on Bundy.

                                            2. re: aelph

                                              Hmmmm....I don't think rice is "hippy-dippy"; since most places serve white rice, which is the antithesis of "hippie" food. Trust me; long, long ago and far far away, I too was once a "hippie".

                                              By the way, I am enjoying this blog, thanks to all of you who are writing.....gets my mind off fighting water meters, which are also supposed to be "hip" and "green" but are merely control levers for those who would like to control the world's water...serious I am, for I want to be able to water my garden, grow my beans and make any kind of burrito that suits my fancy at the time! Rice or no!


                                        2. Nay. I view rice as a cheap and tasteless filler and don't care to eat starch within a starch anyway.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Ellen

                                            "I view rice as a cheap and tasteless filler and don't care to eat starch within a starch anyway."

                                            Ever tried fries on your shawarma sandwich? Delish...

                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                              No, I don't like fries on any sandwich, or gravy or cheese on fries for that matter. I'm not big on fries anyway. The only exception to my starch within a starch rule is potato chips on a sandwich. Mmmm. Crunchy. Another starch on starch idea I always thought was totally unappealing was spagetti on pizza. It was a big hit at a local pizzeria.

                                              1. re: Ellen

                                                Yeah, I confess I don't get the whole "pasta on pizza" thing, either. And I'm with you 100% on the crunchy chips on sandwiches.

                                                1. re: Ellen

                                                  Speaking of pasta on pizza, here's another odd one: I saw a table of young guys order personal pizzas in Livorno, Italy. Each was delivered topped with an order of greasy fries. The guys folded their pizzas in half and ate them like giant tacos. We wondered whether this was a case of the stoned munchies or a local food trend.

                                                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                    When I was in Italy, Naples took the cake for stuff like that. There were some truly bizarre toppings, such as sliced hot dogs & french fries.

                                                    1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                      Thanks, 1sweetpea, that did make me chuckle.....I've actually seen a few Canucks do the same...I thought they were just being goofy, since many really DO like gravy on their french fries!

                                              2. I've been eating burritos and chimis for a long long time, 30+ years. The first time I ever saw rice in one was in a Q'Doba (sp?) a couple of years ago and was quite surprised. The next time was last summer in a Chipotle Grill. It is just a cheap way to stretch the filling.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Candy

                                                  Obviously not in the SF Bay Area, where rice was a part of burritos long before Chipotle and Q'Doba.

                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                    No, not SF but in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico

                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      Yes, I just wanted to clarify that rice on burritos is not an invention of chains. Sorry if I sound defensive -- Mission-style burritos may be my favorite foodstuff of all time. I have no problem with people sharing their preference. I'm just sensitive to claims that there's some logic or justification behind taste.

                                                  2. re: Candy

                                                    I'm with you on this one. I too have been eating burritos for decades, all over the country, and it was only a couple of years ago that a local chain in ATL started serving rice in their burritos. They definitely do it for the filler, not the flavor. I am in the NAY category for rice-filled burritos.

                                                  3. Count me as another Nay. Right now I could go for a carnitas burrito with beans, cilantro, onions, and salsa. And CH has contributed to another craving, and one I can't have in the near future - a chile relleno burrito from H&H Carwash in El Paso. Sigh.

                                                    1. I have had them both ways andi would say a resounding nay. If i want rice, ill get it on the side. This interferes with my burrito enjoyment. I have never understood the calorie bomb that is the mission burrito. Meat or eggs and some beans are all that i want. topped off with some good salsa.... cant be beat.

                                                      1. If you don't prefer rice in your burrito, then of course you'll say it's a cheap way to fill. Some people actually like rice in there - I do. And I see it as a delicious ingredient to the burrito. I've had both styles, too, and can appreciate both but still prefer those with rice.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: foogly

                                                          I agree. It's just a matter of preference. The place I go to they ask you what you want in your burrito. It's not like they are forcing you to eat it with or without rice. It's the same price with or without.

                                                        2. New Yorker and I've had both ways including the Village favorite Harry's Burrito's - Mission style with the rice and I never understood the appeal. Absolutely, definitely, hands down for me... Nay, nay, nay to the rice.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: laylag

                                                            Please don't judge Mission burritos by anything you find in NYC. This is partly why I get so defensive...burritos are awful here.

                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                              Hehehe. I agree. NYC and burritos? Reminds me of those old Pace Picante commercials where they criticize the guy for bringing sauce made in NYC.

                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                Well Harry's and Benny's are purported to be authentic Mission style burritos, perhaps not but when I am on the West Coast I don't do the burrito thing - just too many other foods to indulge in when there. Still, a_and_w, I really dislike the rice inside the burrito.

                                                                I see from your posts above that you adore mission burritos and so perhaps are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the majority of "nays" here. Still, I am strongly in the nay camp here. I don't like "mission burritos", don't like rice wrapped in a tortilla.

                                                                And, just to address your comment earlier, a burrito is a completely different food from a taco or torta. When I want a burrito, I want a burrito and not a taco or torta (although both of those if properly done are great) but I don't want rice in it. I think it would be fairer for you say "if you don't want rice, don't order a "mission style" burrito." The two, burritos and rice, don't go hand-in-hand. When the burrito made it's way up to the U.S. from Mexico, it arrived without the rice and that's the way I prefer it.

                                                                1. re: laylag

                                                                  Nevermind, I thought yours was a response to my comment.

                                                                  1. re: laylag

                                                                    Laylag, yes, there's an admitted element of defensiveness to my replies. But I stand by what I said about not judging "mission style" burritos by what you eat at Harry's and Benny's. It's a bit like saying you don't like New York style pizza because the stuff they serve at Dominos and Pizza Hut stinks...

                                                              2. I've had both - rice in and rice out - but I do like the rice in the burritos - with the caveat that the rice has to be done right (not mushy or crunchy) and has to have some flavor to it. I find that the rice provides a nice backdrop to the meat. I find non-rice burritos to be too overwhelmingly meaty.

                                                                1. nah. filler. when I get from the local place, I always get without or very little. When I make it at home, none.

                                                                  1. I never realized burritos could come w/o rice till I moved to SoCal, but now that I've experienced both, here's my opinion:

                                                                    -It should *not* have rice when it's made with really well flavored meat that is accompanied by select fresh ingredients, like a good salsa, chopped onions and cilantro because you don't want to mask those flavors with rice.

                                                                    -It *should* have rice when the meat is only so-so, but you have a lot of extras, like cheesed, guac, sour cream and grilled veggies. Makes the meal more substantial and ties all the different flavors together.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Newkie

                                                                      Just my opinion, but I don't think rice masks any flavors unless it is extremely spicy "spanish rice", since rice itself is rather bland...but of course, who on earth would put plain rice in a burrito anyway?
                                                                      My meat is never so-so as I raise my own beef. It's a shame most people never get to taste the truly delicious flavor of grass fed beef. No, I'm not gloating, I really wish everyone could!
                                                                      Then, again, I've had blueberry-filled bear meat (as opposed to a scavenger bear) that was absolutely awesome canned, then fried, and put in my burritos.

                                                                    2. In a really "full" burrito, with sour cream, guac, cheese, etc., i see the rice as a sort of necessary binding agent. It soaks up flavors and pulls everything together.

                                                                      1. Never heard of rice in a burrito..but am not an expert...beef n' bean burritos are what we love...I'd have to vote "nay" on the rice for whatever it is worth.

                                                                        1. Might as well use packing foam.....nay.

                                                                          As for soaking up juices....that's what slotted spoons are for. m

                                                                          1. I'm a nay, BUT in defense of the rice people, some burrito places, especially in the Mission, have really flavorful rice. Someone above called rice "bland." The places that use bland rice are the places that use rice as filler, in my opinion. Many of these places claim to be "Mission Style" and are usually located about 3000 miles east of the Mission (Burrito Brothers in DC springs to mind.) A Mission burrito doesn't pack the tortilla with rice, it's used, as someone else described, as a tasty binder. I love Mission burritos, but I'd rather have a burrito sans rice.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: writergirl

                                                                              OK, writegirl, I called rice bland, but you wrote this in 2007 and I'm posting in 2009...guess we got a little jet lag.
                                                                              I'm finally "getting" that this Mission is in NY......that explains things...

                                                                            2. I've tried both, and I definitely prefer w/o rice. The double-starch kills me and it's just too much volume. I'd rather have a tortilla with beans, veggies and salsa - though I know the meatless isn't "authentic".

                                                                              1. Chicago style:

                                                                                meat, beans, rice, sour cream, cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce for three or four bucks, make it five if you need a beer.

                                                                                That's it for me.

                                                                                Since moving to LA I've switched to tacos.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                  Chicago Style ?

                                                                                  I grew up in Chicago and never had rice in a buritto except for at Taco Bell ?
                                                                                  I moved to Northern California and am very disappointed in the burittos here. I have only found one place that makes them without and they get all my business now.

                                                                                  1. re: Bartneder180

                                                                                    Have you ever gone to a place and just asked for no rice? 100% of the places will do it.

                                                                                  1. re: DrTomG

                                                                                    Sin Arroz! Bilingual double entendre?

                                                                                  2. I once had a really good burrito in Michigan, of all places. No rice.

                                                                                    1. As a San Diegan, I generally vote no, EXCEPT...

                                                                                      Chile Relleno burrito with rice!
                                                                                      Bean, cheese and rice burrito!!!

                                                                                      Otherwise, carne asada should have guac and salsa fresca only. Fish should have cabbage, crema and salsa fresca. Potato, egg and cheese; no rice. Machaca con huevos, no rice.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Peter G

                                                                                        Ahhh the San Diego BRC's (bean, rice, cheese) a staple that I and every native San Diegan I know adores. Other then that please no rice.

                                                                                        1. re: Peter G

                                                                                          Back in the early '80s El Tecalote, a small restaurant off Friar's Road near Mission Bay, had excellent carne asada burritos with guac and...rice.

                                                                                          It's all in the execution.

                                                                                        2. No one so far has talked about the startling nutritional info on most rice filled gargantuan burritos- the calorie count can be astronomical. I generally am not a calorie-counting health nut, but considering that burritos should be a somewhat healthy meal (unless you load up on the cheese and sour cream), who would really want to conume upwards of 800 calories in what technically is just a sandwich? Keep this in mind: for the large burritos, the soft taco "shell" probably has around 200 calories, at least (normal tortialls have 80-100). Add beans: another 100-200. Protein: around 200. Cheese: 200. and this is BEFORE the rice.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                            I think your calorie counts are pretty conservative. A burrito-size tortilla is probably more like 300-400 cals. A fully loaded mission style burrito probably easily exceeds 1200 cals. I don't think burritos were ever meant to be a healthy meal, if by healthy you mean something that can be eaten every day by an average person. They were originally meant as nourishment for hard working field workers.

                                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman


                                                                                              In my litle local taqueria, I'd order a burrito 'sin refritos' till the guys behind the counter told me 'no, no...it's the rice that has all the calories....' the rice is coated in heated fat first before the broth is added.... never knew this before.

                                                                                              but I still prefer beans over rice as carbs in my burritos. Can't eat it all anyway...always looking for "the beef" and dissapointed with mouthfuls of rice and tortilla. Rather it be beans and tortilla.

                                                                                            2. Sure, why not? I like a nice blend of 70% Beans to 30% Rice.

                                                                                              In almost all of the fabled "SF Mission Burritos" you'll find it.

                                                                                              If you don't like rice - get it without....doesn't seem there needs to be a hard and fast rule...

                                                                                              For the definitive SF burrito experience...check out Taqueria Cancun on 19th and Mission...ahhh...

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                Indeed -- skeptics should try the veggie burrito at Taqueria Cancun. Underscores for me just how amazing rice in a burrito can be...

                                                                                              2. Rice in a Burritos? No way! Perhaps in an Antiburrito.

                                                                                                  1. I'm a definite NAY! Have had them both ways and am in the no double starch camp, even though I've had fries on a burger (only after one too many drinky-poos). The Chinese use rice as a kind of negative counter-balance to the actual flavorful dishes with which it is eaten. It's refered to as "kong" = emptiness. If you have a flour tortilla AND rice, it's just too much "kong." Also, we Americans always like big ole honkin' things - this often leads to too much "kong" (in the case of rice-filled burritos) or too little (in the case of too much meat in sandwiches.

                                                                                                    1. Sometimes if I'm making burritos and I have some leftover rice I put it in. The little taqueria up in Storm Lake where I buy such things to eat doesn't put rice in theirs, or beans, either, for that matter. THey're just stuffed fat with meat and onions and a little cheese.

                                                                                                      Depends on my mood and what else is in there.

                                                                                                      1. Come on, rice has no business in a good, traditional burrito. Just as beans are not permitted in chile cook-offs. This should not even be debated. Is velveta proper for chile con queso?? Chowhounds should know better.

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: primebeefisgood

                                                                                                          I think you might want to define "traditional" because if I recall, Mexican labors back in the day put rice in the burritos they brought to work.

                                                                                                          1. re: ML8000

                                                                                                            I don't think that is necessarily accurate. I am doing some deep research on it... will right a post on the whole rice thing in a few weeks.

                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                              My non-informed understanding is that anything from the table the night before was fair game for the burrito the next day. Any way, look forward to your findings.

                                                                                                              1. re: ML8000

                                                                                                                The problem with your analysis is that you assume the Mexican labors were cooking rice.... that is inconclusive. From everything I have read... rice was more of a creole dish... mainstream Mexicans only cooked it when other foods like corn or potatoes weren't available.

                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                  Inconclusive, sure. All I was saying was that left overs from the night before went into the burrito. As for what was cooked, I can't say. I know one of my closest friends as a kid in SoCal, his family didn't cook much rice. OTOH, a grad student friend always cooked rice and she was from the Delta/SJ Valley.

                                                                                                          2. re: primebeefisgood

                                                                                                            You have confused tradition with what tastes good.

                                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                              i SO prefer the latter to the former ;)

                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                I agree with the premise, but rice is an almost tasteless, usually starchy, high carbohydrate filler, so how does it enhance a burrito?

                                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                  The rice in a mission-style burrito is usually a Spanish/Mexican style rice, cooked with vegetables and broth, I believe.

                                                                                                            1. I don't know what is more or less "traditional" and have had burritos with and without rice, but my vote:


                                                                                                              I'm just not a fan of rice. I've heard people argue that a burrito without rice is just a "wrap." I don't agree with this either. If I'm ordering at a restaurant, I always ask if it has rice in it and if it does to leave it off. It's just my preference.

                                                                                                              1. I'm in San Diego, about 30 minutes north of the Mexican border. 30 minutes south of the border is a place called Puerto Nuevo, a cluster of restaurants all specializing in lobster. At every restaurant, your lobster is accompanied by rice, beans, hand made flour tortillas, and melted butter. For many of us, the best part of the meal after the lobster is the burritos we make with just the rice. Load up your chewy, hand made tortilla with rice, drizzle with the melted butter and some salsa if available, roll up and enjoy. Yum! I'm drooling just writing this. Those rice burritos are even better when eaten on a restaurant's rooftop with an ocean view and a mango margarita.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: SDgirl

                                                                                                                  I've been to Porto Nuevo, you are sooooooooooo right.

                                                                                                                2. Yay, extra carbs! However, the rice has to be fresh, it's gross if too crunchy, mushy or tastes "off". I also prefer black beans, didn't realize that makes me a hippie. ;)

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: hungrydyke

                                                                                                                    of course enjoying black beans in and of themselves doesn't make you a hippie(thank JHVH1)


                                                                                                                    I was referring more to a lexicon of alternative and whole foods that heartily embraces what is, in my mind, filler.

                                                                                                                  2. NAY!!!

                                                                                                                    If I want rice it will be on the side. I'm so tired of all the fillers these places come up with just to reduce the amount of real stuff inside the burrito.


                                                                                                                    Breakfast Burrito;

                                                                                                                    Eggs, Cheese, Bacon, Sausage or Chorizo, Salsa. PERIOD!

                                                                                                                    No Beans, Rice, Fries, whatever. . . .

                                                                                                                    Thanks for letting me vent.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Jake Blues

                                                                                                                      I already voiced my ambivalent opinion about rice. HOwever, let me just put in an emphatic NAY for tater tots and the like inside burritos. Maybe another one, just for good measure: NAY, NAY, NAY.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jake Blues

                                                                                                                        My top brekfast burrito place in SD uses refried beans in their burritos. They are excellent.

                                                                                                                      2. Come on Los Angelenos - I remember rice in burritos (in my dreams now that I live in New York). Red, green, wet, dry, refried beans, rice, chicken or beef - depends on the kind of burrito you want. There's no such thing as a purists' burrito - it can be what you want, depending on where your maker is from! As long as it's good, who cares?!

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: deepo

                                                                                                                          I think the U.S. version of the burrito has similar transformative qualities that many foods coming into the U.S. experience.

                                                                                                                          Example: pizza in the U.S. is different from Italy and Chinese food in the U.S. has taken on different forms from the original.

                                                                                                                          I think this explains the variations and certainly explains how Taco Bell is Mexican.

                                                                                                                          1. re: deepo

                                                                                                                            Yes, you will find rice in the burritos here, but that doesn't mean people WANT them that way!

                                                                                                                            Me Angleno. No arroz.

                                                                                                                            1. re: deepo

                                                                                                                              Deepo, try a carne asada burrito at Downtown Bakery. It's not So Cal, but it will scratch the itch.

                                                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                Downtown Bakery - where, where? I'm looking for that burrito fix from my days at Burrito King - fifty cents for the biggest damn burrioto (green was my fav).

                                                                                                                            2. I like a little rice on my burrito. So, I vote "YEA." Doesn't anyone on this board know how to spell "yea" in this context? "Yay" is synonomous with "hurray" or is a street term for cocaine.

                                                                                                                              1. For those who keep bringing up the.... you have to try a burrito with rice at Acme Burriteria in the Mission District let me tell you... you have nothing to compare to until you've had a Machaca Burrito in Culiacan, Sinaloa or a Burrita in Aguascalientes.

                                                                                                                                The former is dried shredded beef that is marinated in an intense, Chile Piquin paste with lots of herbs & garlic etc., Then stir fried and rolled into an 8 inch hand made flour tortilla that has a pleasant lardy taste.

                                                                                                                                The latter is a mesmerizing thin sirloin sautee (basically a philly cheesteak with asadero cheese, jalapenos & carmelized onions) stuffed into a huge, extra thin flour tortilla and is usually split by several people.

                                                                                                                                No rice, no beans, no lettuce, sour cream, guacamole etc but they are absolutely essential burrito eats (and I rarely eat burritos).

                                                                                                                                Once you have those as a reference then we can start discussing Mission or anyother burrito you are excited about.

                                                                                                                                23 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                  Well, I suppose I should hold my tongue then about any preferences I may have.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                    And...what Mission burrito places have you tried?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                      Eat Nopal, I just had some of the most amazing burritos ever this past weekend in Hermosillo, one of machaca and even better Sonoran carne con chile. Had these at a cenaduria, the carne con chile blew me away. Since the burrito did originate in Mexico as a simple guisado to showcase the home made fillings, I would agree that one should start with that reference. As Dommy said, it depends on the type of guisado and of course if it's an excellent representation.

                                                                                                                                      The place I found in LA doesn't touch the Sonoran version I had with the crepe thin wheat flour tortillas of Sonora, called tortillas de agua.

                                                                                                                                      Rice isn't part of a burrito and makes about as much sense as putting rice in crepes, dosas,banh xeo,blintzes, and injeera.Those speaking of complete proteins should try a nice ratatouille crepe with some rice pilaf.

                                                                                                                                      So, yeah.....Nay.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                        "Rice isn't part of a burrito and makes about as much sense as putting rice in crepes, dosas,banh xeo,blintzes, and injeera."

                                                                                                                                        Disagree with this. IMO, it's more akin to putting french fries on shawarma sandwiches, which is a time-honored tradition. Sometimes you need that interior starch to balance the meat.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                          Sandwiches? I was comparing similar foods with similar places in a few cultures. Sandwiches are another thing.Tortas, shawarma, banh mi, etc.

                                                                                                                                          Do you really believe that the original Mission burrito inventors were looking a that giant tortilla and thinking, "hmmmmm, we should balance out this 14 inch thick flour tortilla out with some starch!"

                                                                                                                                          It's more like, how could they make a giant burrito come in at a reasonable price. The Mission is a meal, as is the Hollenbeck.The burritos we're speaking of are snacks, street eats, late night cravings, etc.The giant burrito wasn't crafted by any dietician,a_and_w, come on.Really? Look, I know this thing is a passion and I get that.

                                                                                                                                          Since you are such a burrito fiend, I really wish you could have tasted these burritos in Hermosillo this weekend.Next time I'll have you grab one when I land at LAX.A burrito relay.The tortilla was delicious on its own, but thin, almost a seasoning for the machaca or carne con chile.

                                                                                                                                          The burrito I had was cuisine.The giant stuffed burrito has a place in Americana alongside the BIg Gulp, super sized meals, super nachos, Double Six Dollar Burger,etc.

                                                                                                                                          a_and_w, monster burritos and french fries in shawarma sandwiches?Go to your room..........

                                                                                                                                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                            I just want to re-emphasize how eye opening it is to have a really great burrito in Northern Mexico. It is like having Sizzler your entire life then trying a Kobe steak.... yes I am not kidding... and it shouldn't be surprising when you think about the fact that every ingredient in Mexican burrito is vastly superior to the ingredients used in American burritos. I mean come on... can anybody provide a link to a Mission Burrito made with a hand made (lard flavored instead of vegetable shortening) tortilla.. and it goes on & on.

                                                                                                                                            The Mission Burrito is the textbook definition of Slop & Gop. You take a bunch of mediocre, Sysco level ingredients... put them together in such a way that they tend to hide each others mediocrity... and all of a sudden you have something tasty. Yeah you can take a Sizzler steak, put on a packaged roll that has been lathered with shelf stable Mayo, pale tomatoes, ice berg etc., and its going to be tasty.... but it ain't no Kobe steak.

                                                                                                                                            And if you are going to measure things using a Flavor per Calorie metric... its an absolute blowout... the Mexican style burritos pack way more flavor for the bite & for the calorie.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                              Eat and Street, I'm really glad we're able to continue this discussion on the general board because limiting my burrito references to LA is hard. No disrespect, because you both have led me right with your recs before, but you guys remind me of people I know from Italy who insist that nothing American can compare with authentic Neapolitan pizza. I'm sorry, but I've eaten a plenty of Neapolitan pizza in Naples and the US, and while I appreciate the style, I still say pizza has reached its zenith at places in the US like DiFara, Patsy's East Harlem, or the Coney Island Totonno's.

                                                                                                                                              Admittedly, as we've established, I don't have similar experience with authentic Mexican burritos of the sort you mention. But I have to wonder from your stereotypical descriptions of Mission-style burritos which places you've actually tried. The taquerias I have in mind do not make monstrous burritos with processed, prefab ingredients. The meat is usually well marinated and of decent quality (generally far better than the meat in LA taquerias) particularly if it's chicken. The burrito itself is sturdy and bursting with different types of flavors in every bite. Here are just a few of the burritos I have in mind:

                                                                                                                                              Super burrito al pastor or pollo asada with black beans at Taqueria San Jose;

                                                                                                                                              Super grilled chicken burrito with that crazy orange salsa that's like crack at Papalote;

                                                                                                                                              Veggie burrito at Taqueria Cancun.

                                                                                                                                              That last one in particular -- the veggie burrito at Cancun -- highlights for me just how flavorful and satisfying a humble rice-and-bean burrito can be in the Mission. Have either of you tried any of the foregoing burritos? I just can't imagine someone who has making the kind of comments you do about Mission-style burritos.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                I lived in Oakland and Berkeley in my early '20s and had many mission burritos, although I wasn't much of a hound back then. I was curious, but not keeping track of anything. As a broke ass musician sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag, a mission burrito wasn't a bad thing, but then I grew up.

                                                                                                                                                Decent quality marinated meat? If the al pastor is really that good why aren't we letting it sing unemcumbered? I understand they are making the beans and rice, not saying it's coming from a package. Truly delicious rice should be enjoyed as a course, or as an accompaniment a stewed dish. Were going to make a delicious rice and then have a dog pile of stuff?

                                                                                                                                                America has incredible food. I just find jumbo sized junk foods unappetizing,a_and _w.Sounds like you love 'em though.It must be frustrating for a guy like you living here in LA without them.

                                                                                                                                                I just got back from a club here in Tijuana after drinking quite a many beers.In your honor I had a thin burrito of (stewed)chicharrones with a light smear of refritos. When you're ready for TJ, I'll send you some spots for these.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                  When you eat a fully loaded sub, do you eat the meat, cheese, veggies, spreads, and bread separately to savor each ingredient? Of course not. It's about complex flavor combinations, not jumbo-sized junk food. You seem to have very rigid conceptions about what things go together. I have no problem with that preference, but you've got to stop talking in stereotypes just because you don't like something.

                                                                                                                                                  Here's the thing -- I actually agree that sometimes I want just the meat. In that case, I order a taco, which I believe is the optimal way to focus on a single filling. In fact, I order mostly tacos in LA precisely because so many burritos here are jumbo knife-and-fork affairs that I find utterly unappetizing.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                    Then let's agree on tacos. I will always enjoy burritos as a wonderful snack, something to keep me going at 3AM. Could a stuffed burrito be tasty?Sure, so could a bowl of cereal, but I'm not having that for lunch or dinner.When my bonehead 19 year old cousin comes to town I will drop him off at Chipotle and tell him I already ate. Because he will have his Ipod on and won't hear a word I'm saying and has no manners, he will be content to eat away without me.(Disclaimer:not all 19 year olds are boneheads)

                                                                                                                                                    I've got something that you might like a_and w.One word....tostilocos!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                      Your citation of Chipotle just underscores your lack of knowledge concerning the Mission burrito.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                  I have had the burritos at San Jose & La Taqueria... okay but not in the same league as we are talking about. As with my thread on Tacos in L.A.... if you aren't starting with a handmade, or near handmade tortilla (preferably kneaded with Lard... but I am open to Olive Oil, Peanut Oil or anything purposeful but not vegetable shortening or other industrial fats)... then you are off to really bad start. Similarly the fillings have to all be pretty good on their to really sing in combination. I mean you can't just take a bunch of below average musicians, give them a great piece of music and expect the end product to be great, right?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                    Eat, a few responses to your thoughtful reply. First, you are right that quality ingredients are important, but they aren't the only consideration. Sometimes, amazing food can be made with ingredients that, taken individually, wouldn't amount to much. Take the subs at Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica. Critics love to point out that the meats are Boar's Head and the bread is made with a machine. Yet the overall result is still one of my favorite sandwiches -- the taste combinations work.

                                                                                                                                                    Additionally, I challenge your assumption that Mission taquerias invariably use subpar ingredients. I will admit that I don't know how the tortillas at Taqueria San Jose are made. But the al pastor is spit-roasted and (according to some Hounds) as good as what's available in Mexico. The pico is made with fresh veggies and studded with tasty bits of pickled jalapeno -- something I rarely see in LA. I challenge your characterization of the ingredients as inferior.

                                                                                                                                                    Finally, I'm confused by your mention of La Taqueria, which is probably the only Mission taqueria that doesn't put rice on the burritos -- very atypical and not at all what I have in mind.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                Shawarma sandwiches are more like burritos, than tortas or banh mi in that they are wrapped in a flat bread (which is usually less substantial than sliced bread or a roll).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                                  Well then, let's split the difference, because a real flour tortilla from Sonora is more like a crepe, which flatbread is not. My list included very similar comparisons. Those who haven't experienced these true northern burritos, but only know the double industrial flour tortilla, or the rather thick tortillas used for giant burritos would not understand what I'm talking about.

                                                                                                                                                  I grew up with homemade flour totillas from my grandmother from Aguascalientes, which were always very thin.

                                                                                                                                                  The American version bought in packages at Ralph's would be closer to flatbread, although still thinner.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                    My grandmother from Aguascalientes made flour tortillas thick enough to stop mortar shells. Different villages, perhaps.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: condiment

                                                                                                                                                      She rolled them thin.The tortillas you speak of are the machine style, thick and dusty with flour? Those are good too.Immigrants from Aguascalientes where I came from in Northern California did this, but by machine.

                                                                                                                                                      Different village?Funny.Ags is a very small state and the majority of the people live in the city of Aguascalientes.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                  Street, go to Olympic Pita in NYC and order a shawarma (or falafel) on laffa. What you will get is the Israeli version of a Mission-style burrito. In fact, looking at the assembly-line prep area and Latinos carving meat from spits and wrapping the sandwiches in foil, you might actually think you were in a Mission taqueria! And yes, the best part is that (like most good falafel and shawarma places) they will put fries on your sandwich if you ask. It's both delicious and very authentic.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                    Now dammit.Can't I just have the SHAWARMA on laffa!? :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                      LOL! They'll only put them on if you ask, but it's not just the fries. They also have at least ten different salads and condiments, including four types of cole slaw, grilled egglpant, shredded carrots, hummus, and Israeli salad. Or check out Azuri Cafe, where the owner has even more numerous and delicious salads that he dabs on your pita like an artist's pallet. You can always get things plain, but I just love the different complex taste combinations that result from the medley.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                        Talk about taste treats and different complex taste combos! If you are ever in Vancouver, BC, do go to one of the (2, I believe) Banana Leaf Malaysian restaurants.
                                                                                                                                                        Your taste buds will have the most incredible experience!

                                                                                                                                                        Cheers, Kate

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                    good writing! and although I agree that these "Mission" folk were probably only "balancing" their cheque (check) book, rice is sometimes great in a burrito.
                                                                                                                                                    When I was a sheep rancher's kid in the Dakotas in the early '50's, we had a family of Mexican who came every spring to shear our sheep (thousands of woolies!) That was before the Southern California Mexican's made the "burrito" popular...they served beans and flavourful, spicy-tomatoey rice at their campfire, served with a tortillas that was used like bread. However, if one of the sheep-shearing brothers (there were 8 of them) was in a hurry, they would scoop the beans, rice and whatever into the tortilla, and run!
                                                                                                                                                    And here I didn't pay atten to the dates on these posts and I dallied through from the beginning answering left and right..tra-la!....posts that were from 2007!!! Well, I am not as computer savvy as you young folks!
                                                                                                                                                    Cheers anyway and happy eating, con mucho gusto!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Countryclassic 49

                                                                                                                                                      Countryclassic49, thanks for the laughs. Glad to have you on this thread. I'm enjoying your responses.

                                                                                                                                                      Not a purist but a damn good cook, well you're ok by me.

                                                                                                                                              1. Nay I say... although most of the Mexican Taquerias do include it and you have to say not to. So in NorCal, it is common to be served a burrito that includes rice. Gotta tell them to hold the rice please.

                                                                                                                                                1. I say nay...with little flavor, rice merely becomes a distracting texture in a burrito.

                                                                                                                                                  1. By my count the vote is:

                                                                                                                                                    Yea: 17
                                                                                                                                                    Nay: 34

                                                                                                                                                    That count is rough ... some people voted both ways and I counted them as a Y and an N. Some people were sort of ambivalent and I tried to suss out their preference. Some people just commented and I didn't count them at all. So, it's a very unscientific 17-34, but even at that it indicates a strong preference for no rice in a burrito.

                                                                                                                                                    There was also a definite regional bias in favor as far as I could tell. The Northern Cali contingent definitely likes rice in the mission-style burrito. I'm a "nay" but I'm open minded -- next time I'm in SF I'll try a mission burrito. FWIW - and my original post was a while back -- I don't hate rice in burritos, I've eaten rice in burritos, I just prefer no rice in my burrito.

                                                                                                                                                    Truth is, I'm surprised: Since most places in my 'hood default to rice in the burrito (and I live on the Culver City Mar Vista border -- sort of a ground zero for small, family run and very good Mexican restaurants) I would have thought Yea on Proposition Rice would win. But, so far, the nays have it.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                      Try eating at more taco trucks... they usually DON'T add rice... I eat most of my burritos exclusively from them because of that...


                                                                                                                                                    2. It depends. Sometimes I want a heavy carb-loaded stomach bomb, other times I'm happy without rice or beans. In any case, I don't want lettuce near my burrito.

                                                                                                                                                      But here's one possible explanation I haven't seen mentioned yet: Traditionally, burritos were (and often still are) served on a plate with rice and beans on the side, and other accompaniments like sour cream and salsa on top. Eventually someone decided to make the whole thing more transportable and the rice, beans, and other stuff moved inside. Voila, the Mission style was born. It's the same amount of food as a full dinner, just all wrapped up in a more convenient package.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure about that.

                                                                                                                                                        I thought that traditionally, field workers made a burrito for lunch and packed it in the morning before they left their house as a convenient, transportable meal. I don't know if they were packing a plateful of rice and beans and sour cream and salsa.

                                                                                                                                                        I think they were just packing the burrito.

                                                                                                                                                        But I could be wrong about that ... it's just what I recall reading in the article that inspired this thread to begin with.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                                                                                                                                          Agreed with PaulF.... Tacos & Burritos are almost never traditionally served on a plate with sides etc., The reason Tacos & Burritos exist are as a convenience, on the go food... no utensils food.

                                                                                                                                                          The Burrito plates with sides are more of an East LA thing. Maybe an "innovation" or "degradation" by El Cholo Cafe or Los Burritos in the Hollywood area.

                                                                                                                                                          Traditional field workers had women bring them little clay pots of food & tortillas. They eat them traditionally... rolled tortilla in one hand, spoon in another.

                                                                                                                                                          Later on when the teenage orphans with no wives were out working on commercial farms in Northern Mexico & the U.S. is when employers were forced to come up with convenient ways to feed a small army.

                                                                                                                                                          They would make a thick stew-like Guiso, drain it & pack it in a Flour Tortilla for ease of transportation. Its possible rice was added to keep the tortilla from becoming soaked... but there is no evidence of that.

                                                                                                                                                          Again Burritos... in the few place were they have a long tradition in Mexico... such as Sonora, Coahuila & Nuevo Leon... have not put Rice in the Burrito. Beans only find their way in as part of a main dish like Frijoles Puercos (Beans with Bacon, Chorizo, Onions, Chiles & Spices)... in which they are the "Meat"

                                                                                                                                                          1. BOOOOOOo!!!!!!


                                                                                                                                                            As noted, I get most of my Burritos now from Taco Trucks, they usually skip the rice (because they don't have any!)

                                                                                                                                                            That beind said, I don't mind a light hand at the rice for saucey burritos... my favrite actually had a light layer of rice to help it not fall apart (Since it used stewey chicken)



                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                              Hey Dommy, where's the pic from? Also, did you ever get to try a mission burrito with steamed tortilla?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                                Both Pics are from L.A. Burritos. The top is from a recent trip to a greasy spoon Mexican Fast Food place (needless to say when I got home and opened my burrito, I got HORRIBLY dispointed)


                                                                                                                                                                The bottom one is the legendary East L.A. Burrito, The Hollenbeck w. Chicken from El Tepayac.


                                                                                                                                                                LOL!! I managed to make it out of SF last time without getting a Mission Burrito (I did however hit El Tonayenses' truck from some awesome lengua and cabeza tacos). P. was disapointed tho'... LOL! We're heading back in Feb... And now my Mission Burrito Lovin' Best Friend lives there too, so odds are they'll plot a way to force me to some place... LOL!!

                                                                                                                                                                And also, did you see my post where we had a Fresh-O-Matic for a brief period and I made Mission Burritos at home? I didn't like them there either... LOL! :) Ah well... vive la difference!!...



                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                Is that a Tacomiendo?

                                                                                                                                                                Tacomiendo makes great burritos, but I tell them no rice.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                  No, it was a place on Near East L.A., Tacos El Gavilan on Central and Washington (The link posted above goes to the full review). Tacomiendo does add rice, but they do have more balance that what is shown above... that burrito was pretty much RICE with a few scraps of carnitas thrown in... :P


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                    Not to change the subject, but Tacomiendo is simply great.

                                                                                                                                                                    I've recently moved off of the tacos and the burritos (where I was stuck forever) and moved into the plates and dinners.

                                                                                                                                                                    But that's for the LA board ...

                                                                                                                                                                1. To the OP it sounds like you live in LA, if so then go to Yuca for one of my favorite all time burritos, she has never used rice. I miss Yuca!!!

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                      in Los Feliz it's a mini hut if you would next to a parking lot to a liquor store. Order the best burrito and carne asada, get a beer next door and sit at the tables outside, heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Eating out, I order tacos or something if the burrito has rice. But making burritos at home, if there is leftover rice, I throw it in. No big deal.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. OK, back to the original question; rice in a burrito is a cheap, flavorless filler. It makes a large, blander burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Personally, I don't like rice in a burrito. It's starchy, filling and unnecessarily.

                                                                                                                                                                        That said, as someone who makes a living on preparing lunch, I take inspriation from anywhere. Seeing the success of Chipotle in the face of Atkins/So. Beach diet fads, I adopted the rice/burrito concept into a tuna panini using both orzo and cannellini beans mixed with tuna in oil/chokes/spices on olive bread.

                                                                                                                                                                        It's a pretty hot seller.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                                                                                                                          Do you use the canned artichokes, marinated artichokes or freshly cooked? In any case, sounds like a good idea for a salad as well!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: morebubbles

                                                                                                                                                                            The canned quartered artichokes. Much as I would like to offer fresh, since I'm the one doing all the work, that ain't happening.

                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, and that panini gets asiago and arugula as well.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Generally speaking, I don't like rice in my burritos. I prefer it on the side. But there's a world of different qualities of "rice" out there. Everything from that gloppy Rice a Roni stuff to very dry and spicy Mexican rice, which is how I think it should be. My husband orders extra rice and tortillas so he can assemble a burrito made with nothing but rice (plus hot sauce). It kind of grosses me out.

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know if my distaste of rice in the burrito is a result of that "starch on starch" observation, the cheap filler argument, or that I just don't want to obliterate the taste of the other ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Wow. I can't envision a burrito *without* rice. But I'm a vegetarian and a former resident of the Mission (SF) so what do I know? So what takes the place of rice in the burrito? More beans? More meat? I guess I'm thinking of fat Mission-style burritos. Maybe other burritos are more svelte/ flaccid? I actually judge a burrito on the fatness of its beans and the loveliness of its rice (with extra points going for fresh salsa and whole avocado vs guac). I also look at quality of the rolling (I hate burritos with a glob of tortilla lump- do you know what I'm talking about?).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Absolutely NO! Rice doesn't belong in any kind of wrap! I think this whole thing got started by cheap restaurants trying to save money. I lived in southern Mexico for a few years, and saw rice used mainly as a side dish, and often in soup, but never in a taco. (Burritos are a tex-mex creation I think--unless they are northern Mexico, but not seen (by me, at least in the south) anyway, that's just my opinion! buen provecho!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. A wrap? What the F is a wrap? I don't care if you lived in Mexico - I dare you to ask for a "wrap" in a Mexican restaurant. I asked Los Angelenos to respond - to me it's a SoCal Mex thing and with the right combo of other ingredients by the right cook - excellent. Starch on Starch complaints? You think rice is a "filler" ingredient? Come on, give me a break. Thanks MollyGee - it's about flavor and fresh ingredients including rice if that's your taste(doesn't matter if its veggie or meat).

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: deepo

                                                                                                                                                                                  If the replies in this thread have any sort of merit, rice in a burrito is definitely more of a Northern California thing than a Southern California thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I take it you're a yay ... errr ... yea?

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Definitely a nay. Of the two Mexican restaurants within five blocks of my apartment, one does rice and one doesn't. My wife likes the rice, I hate it, and we end up splitting the choice. BTW, most of the mexican mexican restaurants around here don't put rice in their burritos. I always thought it was just an extension of Tex-Mex. Like "smothered with Jack Cheese," Yuck!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gumnaam

                                                                                                                                                                                    "I always thought it was just an extension of Tex-Mex. Like "smothered with Jack Cheese," Yuck!"


                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yay rice! Nay lettuce!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Disclaimer: I have no delusions of an idea of authenticity. I just know what tastes good! (Oh, and I have some sort of genetic pedisposition to liking rice and hating warm soggy lettuce)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Definately NAY!! While a burrito with rice is edible, a person who has had the best burritos filled with carnitas, chile rellenos, carne asada, carne adovada, barbecoa, carne al pastor, or New Mexican green chile con carne, etc. would not even think of using rice in it. Only people who have never had a fantastic authentic Mexican or New Mexican burrito think rice filled burritos are good. One may find them ok, I guess, when the real thing is not readily at hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fieldmarshall

                                                                                                                                                                                        I disagree. I personally don't like rice in burritos, but I know plenty of people who do, and they've tried "the real thing." Just because something is authentic doesn't mean it tastes better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fieldmarshall

                                                                                                                                                                                          Like Piccola said, you are confusing authenticity with taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fieldmarshall

                                                                                                                                                                                            This is one of the reasons I'm happy Boca Grande replaced Burrito Max in Kenmore. Burrito Max used to put lettuce on their burritos, with the resulting holt, wilty lettuce in every bite! blech

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. NOOOOOOOO!

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pinto beans, jack and cheddar, (chicken), salsa and sour cream on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                            My ex-stepfather's dad made amazing sweet potato burritos with the perfect amount of spice... I wish I knew what else went into them... alas, that relationship is long gone, and the chow just a memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, see, I'm not a rice guy, but I would eat a burrito with rice once in a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I never eat burritos with cheese or sour cream, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                I hear you on the cheese/sour cream thing. There's a fine line between a burrito and a belly bomb, and that's it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. rice on the side please,preferably Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I am on the fence as it hinges on the filling of the burrito for me. I am a huge fan of rice when it is a chile relleno burrito because I feel it cuts the richness of the cheese and I always like an eggy flavor along with rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                There are times however when the rice filling serves no other purpose than a blunt filler. Blasphamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. yay to rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                  always yay to rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. There are burittos which have meat and or beans and or cheese and there are Mission Burritos which ave meat and beans and rice and salsa and other things. They are different. A mission Burrito without rice is like a cheese burger without cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here in Athens Georgia we have Mexican restaurants owned by Mexican imigrants and we have chain restaurants. The chains serve giant mission buritos with rice and salads and the like and the non chains serve the more traditional buritos. Both are good but they are differnent .

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Maybe it's in my blood, but I always ask for EXTRA rice in my burrito. Love rice in the burrito!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I think an appropriate question to ask is regarding your procedure when ordering a 'plate' ie carnitas plate at a taqueria:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are often served a plate with spanish rice, refried beans, little shredded lettuce & tomato radish garnish, guacamole, and your choice of main course. Along side this is your choice of flour or corn tortillas, warm in the little warmer (at my taqueria at least). Now do you make little burritos with just the meat and beans or with all three -rice, beans and meat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had a costillas de Puerco plate at my favorite local taqueria for lunch today. As this was a guisado-stew - I made little burritos with the rice to soak up the delicous juciness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It can be good, but the burritos I grew up eating (at the myriad authentic places in the chicago area) just had meat, beans, white cheese, lettuce, and the salsa added by me with each bite. That's all you need (and the lettuce is far from essential), the rice is filler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frankly, I'm kind of surprised at the prevalence of burritos that add rice but don't have cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: joeyz

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No thank you, not a big fan of rice other than Aborio in a Rissotto...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Absolutely! I can't eat the refried beans most places offer because I can't be sure they don't contain lard/ animal fat. So it's nice to have something in the burrito besides tomato, lettuce, onion and avocado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've tried rice-free burritos filled with various grilled veggies, but most places that offer those seem to drown them in whatever salsa, etc, the veggies have been marinated in, and I really dislike soggy burritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Depends on my mood I guess, but I usually prefer burritos without rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I find that I can enjoy them either way. For me, it just depends on how well the rice compliments the flavors/textures of the other ingredients. I often wonder why brown rice isn't used. I think it would work great in certain instances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Actually, for the ones complaining about starch on starch, the beans have slightly more carbs per cup than the rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Refried Beans: 1 cup = 15.8 grams of protein and 47 grams of starch (carbohydrates)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Original Converted Rice (Uncle Ben's)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Serving Size: 1/4 (dry) cup / 49 (dry) g / 1 (cooked) cup; Calories: 170, Total Fat: 0g, Carbs: 38g, Protein: 4g

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flour Tortilla (approx. 12” diameter) 63.38g.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the two plant protein foods rice and beans in combination have the complete set of 9 amino acids which make a complete protein.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a diabetic, and rice raises my blood sugar level so I tend to not eat it ~~ but I think it is strictly personal preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live in SoCal and have never found it to be a problem. Usually the burrito lists what the contents are, and if I don't want rice, I don't order that burrito. I like the dry and fluffy Mexican rice, but not the "hot and spicy" too tomato-ey rice. (in my childhood aka "Spanish Rice" (ugh ugh ugh)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rice has its place in some burritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also prefer black refried beans to pintos, so I make them myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "the two plant protein foods rice and beans in combination have the complete set of 9 amino acids which make a complete protein"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sure but the wheat tortilla already complements the beans' amino acids so the rice is still redundant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. One big vote for NYET!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Commercial establishments tend to use it as inexpensive filler, so much so that one might say 'WTF, I didn't order a RICE burrito'!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At home I occasionally use a little for texture, but mostly I stick with a schmear (good Spanish word) of frijoles to stick everything together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm completely pro-choice on this one. I like rice a lot and often like it in my burritos. But not always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Depends on the type of burrito and the mood. If it's a Taqueria type burrito and I'm hungry and want something really hearty and satisfyingly tasty, I definitely want hot, steaming, fluffy rice. Mexican rice is damn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If it's a homestyle dish where the burrito is not so heavily wrapped (not a portable food), served on a hot plate with a smaller tortilla and big chunks of saucy meat... well it pretty much never has rice, and it shouldn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They are 2 different animals. A good example of this is Juan's Place in Berkeley, CA. They offer the "Super Burrito", which is like the former, and the 2 burritos plate, which is the latter. About as different as an enchilada and a taco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The real sin to me is putting LETTUCE in a burrito. It has absolutely no business being in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cardinal rule #2 is that a burrito must be fresh and HOT, before the innards end up steaming the tortilla and themselves into a moist, drippy mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another, less offensive gripe is the steamed tortilla. It's not a deal-breaker, but grilled is much preferred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, be conservative with the crema and guac! I usually don't get those anymore, but a little bit is good every now and then. I just HATE when you bite into a burrito and get pure sour cream/guacamole and tortilla -- gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh how I love burritos! I grew up in Southern California (OC) and have lived in the Bay Area for almost 10 years now. (BTW the S. Cal Mexican food is superior. "Mission style"... oh puh-LEEZE!). I never understood the Chipotle fanfare until I realized that these kinds of burritos are not common East of here. I lived in Ohio for a year and was craving the Taquerias, but it's friggin Ohio; I wasn't expecting good ethnic food (Lebanese was a surprise). Too bad! We'll keep our Mexican and Japanese while you have your pizza, blue crabcakes and cheesesteaks, thank you very much!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW a question for you East-Coasters: do you have street tacos out there? Small corn tortillas -- maybe 4 inches or so in diameter and often doubled up, soft (not fried), meat, salsa, cilantro, onions and nothing more, served with a lemon or lime wedge and pickled jalapenos + carrots + onions on the side, gone in 3 bites? If not, it's definitely something you need to have when you're out here. Much tastier than burritos in terms of flavor IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kimchee411

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Easter-Coaster reply. Basically, no taco trucks!!!!!! I hear rumor of one on Manchester, NH and a couple in the outer boroughs (Brooklyn & Queens) of New York. Forced to make 'em ourselves. When we visit our daughter in Austin, I binge. Rositas Taco al Pastor wagon is 1/2 mi from her apt. I am not even a recovering tacoholic; full blown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rice in burritios will earn one a special place in Dantes' seventh level of Hell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              >>do you have street tacos out there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sadly, no. Not in the suburbs, at least. There are no street nothing goodies in the suburbs. Not sure on NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the question:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay, if the rice doesn't displace any of the other good stuff in the burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Given the human propensity for greed and since the rice probably would take up the space otherwise ascribed to more expensive ingredients, nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think cost and size would be more relevant. So, as long as there is "good stuff" still in there, you could make it bigger, and add rice, as long as the price didn't get inflated (like the burrito)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I say NAY. Never. Under no circumstances. Put it in grape leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Potatoes seem acceptable, and is very Mexican, but often I feel swindled when there is unexpected potato and/or a feeling I paid too much for the ratio imbalance of inexpensive ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are Taco Trucks in Williamsberg, Brooklyn, Sunsut Park, Queens (we found another in July in Woodside) and Hoboken, NJ, but they are very uncommon, unfortunately. You have to really want them to find them. I'm even thinking of starting here in Maine, as retirement. Fusion: Acadia Park Tacos or Passadumkeg's "Authentic" Mexican Tacos. I'd probably go broke and freeze my butt in the winter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Damn, I lost the other 2 articles on Queens and Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The funny thing is that I have yet to meet anyone who isn't enthralled by an authentic street style taco (or for those pursuing Advanced Chowstudies in Mexican Gastronomy... Tacos de Guisado, Botanas etc.)... there is an almost immediate, vast preference over the Bastardized Tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Even in Hawaii... land of the Lettuce, Sour Cream & Yellow Cheese tacos... within seconds of tasting their first Cochinita Pibil taco... I had co-workers ready to book their flights to Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kimchee411

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love burritos, too, but I grew up in SF and live now in LA. The latter has better authentic Mexican, but the former is the real burrito town (like SD and Chicago). LA burritos are generally an afterthought, even in places that purport to specialize in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Where can you get a Cochinita Pibil taco in Hawaii? I'm assuming you made them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm one of those YEA + NAY people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                YEA, when going meatless. Though the quality of the rice is important. It should be flavored or seasoned in some way, even if only subtly. Personally, if going meatless, I find the tortilla a bit superfluous. I'd keep the rice, omit the tortilla, and throw it all in a bowl. I guess one could make the case that this is in fact a NAY as the tortilla(essential?) has been dispensed with... and I can see that. I like the marriage of flavors of all the other distrctions on their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NAY, when you have any delicious pork (my preference) being wrapped in a tortilla. Why muddy up the star attraction?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: silverbright

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah I made them.... there are places owned by Tijuanenses or Sinaloenses who have no business serving Cochinita... that offer very lame versions sans Banana Leaf, Habanero Salsa or Marinaded Red Onions.. really what the fk are they thinking?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I agree, I don't like rice in my burritos. Unnecessary calories, doesn't add much flavor, redundant carbs. Either give me the burrito fillings wrapped in a tortilla, or with a side of rice, but not both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Plus, when you go to a place like Qdoba or Chipotle, the rice tends to be cold, greasy, and hard. If it were soft, fresh, and fragrant, then maybe I'd consider it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. If I go out and end up eating a burrito, I end up getting a "bowl" - rice, greens, occasionally cheese, corn and tomato salsa and chicken - definitely not a burrito. But I always get a tortilla on the side, to make little bites for myself. It becomes at least two meals, none of them in my mind Mexican. If I want Mexican, I go to a local taco stand - sign says "Broken English Spoken Perfectly." I haven't been able to find a burrito outside of chains in years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. yes on rice but not if it is so overwhelming that you can't taste anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I say no. Refried beans, meat, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce. No lettuce, no rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. No rice, no beans, no spuds, maybe homefried style in a breakfast burrito but that's it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the biz, this stuff is called "profit", makes it look like you are really getting a bargain, all it is is gut busting filler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Yea, but only if I'm making Mexican at home, and then it's just a little bit. I've found that in restaurants it's usually cold or the texture is off(and they put too much in there)-I'm really funny about my rice. And no lettuce!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Yay to rice! I would even be happy to omit tortilla in order to get more rice (i.e. Chipotle's burrito bowl).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. No rice. No sour cream. No guacamole. Stew and refritos, period, with allowances for cheese and salsa in a meatless bean burrito, folded into a package small enough and sturdy enough to slide into a jacket pocket or tuck into a lunchbox. The Mission burrito is an abomination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: condiment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds like the blandest most boring burrito ever. Tell me, do you prefer baloney on white, as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now... now... It depends on the Stew... something like a Chile Colorado or a Cueritos en Salsa Verde would be MORE than enough flavor. Even a simple Vegetarian Calabacitas burrito to me would be way better than anything slathered in sour cream. :P


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are right Dommy! I really need to stop responding to posts about burritos until I've had my coffee LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was recently telling Street about a type of sandwich you get in Aguascalientes corner stores.... good bolillos sliced in half, bread compacted to create two pita like pockets... then jam picked with home pickled Jalapenos, awesome thick cultured crema & maybe some cotija.... fantastic... now put that in a homemade flour tortilla.... and it wouldn't make a half bad burrito... with maybe some slightly mashed Frijoles Chinitos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Damnit! I was on my way to Aguas for La Feria and they suspended it for the first time in 180 years. Well, when it's back on I'm looking for this sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: a_and_w

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How, pray tell, do essentially flavorless fillers like rice, industrial sour cream and prefab guacamole add flavor to a burrito made with a spicy stew and well-made beans?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although I will admit, the one time every few years that I do eat a bologna sandwich on white (unless you're counting the mortadella panini from Tamburini in Bologna itself), it is usually at Primorski's in Pittsburgh, where it is plumped out with cole slaw and fried potato nuggets tucked into the sandwich itself. We all have different things to be purists about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: condiment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Like how I call my Baloney, mortadella... ;D


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: condiment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "How, pray tell, do essentially flavorless fillers like rice, industrial sour cream and prefab guacamole add flavor to a burrito made with a spicy stew and well-made beans"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL! That's a bit of a loaded question, wouldn't you say? Mexican rice is hardly flavorless, and the good places use fresh avocado slices, not prefab guac. If you haven't already, I urge you to go to Taqueria Cancun in the SF Mission and try a veggie burrito, which comes with just rice, beans, pico de gallo, and crema. I love that burrito because, for me, it belies the stereotype that Mission burritos must be bland monstrosities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. OK, I'll admit that I didn't read all of the prior posts....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rice -- yes. Not too much, but I much prefer a saucy rice over beans. As long as it is a filler rather than the dominant texture, which should definitely be the meat and sauce and veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know that some purists may be absolutely offended to their cores by the presence of some of those industrial peas and carrots with the rice. I'm Anglo enough not to know whether that is an abomination or authentic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Count me among those who are offended by veggie niblets LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Definitely no rice! I'm not saying burritos with rice aren't tasty too, of course they are, but they are so so much more delicious without the blanding/thickening effect of the rice. I grew up eating burritos from La Taqueria on Mission St. at 25th in SF and they don't even have rice as an option there. I often hold the beans too, so all i'm getting is the meat & pico de gallo and maybe cheese & avocado depending on the day. In my opinion, theirs are the perfect burritos. And, they are big enough for a meal, but not huge, and there's something to be said for that where burritos are concerned, as i invariably end up feeling too full after eating one of the entire huge rice burrito logs that most places serve, even though I always start out feeling excited about how much food i'm getting for $5 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I HATE RICE ON MY BURRITO!!!!! RICE IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE THERE, IT NEEDS TO STAY WITH NICE STIR-FRYS AND ASIAN DISHES NOT MEXICAN DISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Reyrey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. No need to yell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Rice is not unique to Asian dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I never prepare burritos with rice. I prefer them with beans, meat, and vegetables. I don't have a problem with using them in burritos, but it's just not very appealing. I think they are used as a filling in vegetarian burritos because it helps refried beans be less unwieldy as a filling if rice is in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I don't really give a damn about authenticity, but I know what I like and rice is good in a burrito. Makes the whole thing more filling and satisfying and tastes really nice, especially if it's spicy Mexican-style rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I grew up in Arizona, and have had completely authentic burritos as well as fast food or restaurant 'Mexican'. There's a lot of variety and very little agreement on what is truly authentic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, yea from me on rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Nope. The rice dilutes the flavors of the other ingredients that I would prefer to taste. Besides, my capacity no longer being what it was when I was younger, I can't comfortably finish a huge burrito augmented with rice. That said, if I had a really wet burrito, a bit of rice on the side would be nice to sop up the drippings if I so choose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Jonathan Gold deals a fatal blow to the rice in a burrito, specifically Mission burrito.Even better than my "bag of slop" description, J. Gold calls the Mission burrito a "soggy steamed pup-tent".Awesome!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Viva Jonathan Gold!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Awesome? Try pathetic. Gold obviously knows nothing about Mission-style burritos -- most places grill their tortillas. This became even clearer on Good Food, when he lied about "orange cheese" and tried to make the argument into one of SF vs. LA. It was just sad how he resorted to misinformation and outrageous hyperbole to make his case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know it's not a Mission burrito if it's made in LA, it's an LA burrito with rice. There is a difference. The burritos is LA are okay but beans and meat in a sloppy steamed flour tortilla is just that....a sloppy burrito. My guess is Mr. Gold has never eaten a Mission burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I like cheesy rice in burritos. I don't always prepare them this way, but I do like it. The kids prefer them with rice too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Well, PaulF, I think your'e right about the rice being a stabilizer...and like you, sometimes I find it yummy, and sometimes I just want refritos, carne ....maybe some avocado; then maybe I might feel like some shredded lettuce and queso, too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The beauty of a burrito, like a sandwich, is that they are rarely the same (when you make them at home) because all hinges on your tastebuds at the time and the leftovers in the fridge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A "purist" I am not, but the many hungry diamond drillers I have cooked for in the Yukon always went for second or thirds no matter what the content....perhaps my homemade tortillas had something to do w/ it?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The upshot is: Yay AND Nay!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Nope, no rice. If you need filler that badly, something's not right.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's just my opinion, and it doesn't count for squat, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Nay. Rice in burritos is terrible. I never encountered it until I moved from Chicago to LA and started seeing it at the various taco/burrito chains. I don't think serious Mexican outlets use it in their standard burrito offering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: michaelJK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well sure they do. It is just one style.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rice, beans, meat & sauce with a bit of lettuce and cheese if you want.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A meal in your hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Nay for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know this topic is very old but came across it while looking for answers as to why there is rice in most burritos here in Northern California.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will not order them without here because they become too juicy and messy to eat without the rice to absorb the juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I suppose that if you have tender, flavorful meat you do not need to enhance the meat with extra sauce and the rice would become unnecessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Favorite combination ? Carnitas, Cheese(not necessary), Onions, Cilantro, Avocado (sliced not guac), and Lettuce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bartneder180

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lettuce in my view is just as weird as rice, if not weirder. But everyone has their preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. A huge NAY for me. I have had both. Every now and then, I forget to say "no rice, please", and am stuck with it. That keeps me vigilant for a few years until I space out again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with others that rice is a cheap filler that adds calories and bulk where there is no need for either. Also, I love carbs, but only want one at a time. The tortilla is the only carb needed. I like mine with black beans, guac, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa. I love to squeeze fresh lime juice on each bite at the table ... a good hot sauce is also a plus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The definition of 'filler' is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      IMO having all the sour cream and cheese in a burrito obscures the taste of the main attraction (meat). An appropriate homemade salsa that complements the meat and a smear of frijoles is all that's needed. Add minced onion and cilantro to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lettuce - just silly. Definitely filler :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rice - only a sprinkling for texture - rarely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You nailed it. People talk about rice being weird and yet many of these people get sour cream, cheese, lettuce and even french fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry, meant to elaborate on 'silly' lettuce:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lettuce wilts upon contact with a large, confined mass of hot meat :-), so texture disappears. Not much taste against a salsa picante either. Tacos can be another story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Potato in burrito isn't bad, just don't overdo it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chorizo and papas is classic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My fave breakfast burritos have a small amount of diced potato, green onion, cheese - musn't overwhelm the ham, egg, and salsa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's all about balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Amen on the breakfast burrito. The junior class sells home made breakfast burritos in the school cafeteria every morning. Good bye diet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just don't care for rice w/ Mexican food, period. Junk white rice. Gimme beans, good refried beans w/ flavor.....on the side. The burrito is a carrier for meat and chile, unless one is a vegetarian, then beans. Keep the rice w/ Asian cuisine where it belongs. Keep the burrito the all American food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good Mexican rice is a thing of beauty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Brown plain white rice in a bit of bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Add powdered chile, diced bell pepper, sliced onion, chicken stock, tomato sauce, cumin, oregano and black pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Cover and cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Serve ALONGSIDE, not inside, burritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just have a love affair w/ pinto beans.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As a poor student at UNM, I'd eat a green chile bean burrito every day for lunch at The Frontier.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In Maine, I'd eat so many bean burritos, that my students would call me Mr. Burrito!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, here in Texas we get the best o' both worlds: refritos and rice come standard with all platos. I'm not big on refried beans, though, so I always order double rice and no beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How funny we all are. I eat the beans and my wife eats the rice or it goes uneaten.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Damn, I just finished and other school green chile breakfast burrito!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. After extensive polling of the Native American, Hispanic and Anglo populations of Western New Mexico, it is nearly unanamous (1 Californian transplant): rice goes on the side, on the plate, not in a burrito. Most popular? The breakfast burrito and the carne adovado burrito.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great big huge fat Nay. I want my burritoes to contain carnitas or lengua, beans, salsa, and cheese. To my taste, the rice is just filler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. caveat: i rarely eat burritos, preferring a taco by far. but, when i do have a burrito, i have them with rice, NO BEANS, and meat of choice. Mexican rice shouldn't be bland as most here are describing, and if it is, it's a bad place. Rice, mexican and otherwise, is wonderful when it soaks up copious amounts of carne asada and salsa juices. Making my mouth water just thinking about it! As for other enhancements, i don't mind crisp iceberg lettuce if you're going to eat it right away, and i don't mind cheese, guac and sour cream, but not necessary. Really, all you need is meat, rice and really hot salsa inside, and then add hot sauce to each bite. Beans for me are the filler in a burrito, and tho i love beans on their own (having some tonight!), i don't want them in my tortilla/wrap/sandwich OR CHILI. ok, let the rotten tomatoes be flung....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              eta: i've had them both ways, with and without everything. every permutation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm good either way but as a rice lover, I put it in my burritos when I make 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I always make wet burritos and as someone above said, when wet, yay, when not, nay. I can live with that guideline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As for liking lettuce as a filler instead of rice.....I simply don't get that but it's their burrito, not mine.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I will eat a burrito with the rice. However, I never eat the oversized carbo-laden doughy exterior. Since I generally eat healthy I do not religiously count calories. However, I have never felt the need to eat a 1000 calorie+ bomb that is a typical burrito, shell, rice and all. A burrito bowl is more than enough. Rice, beans, chicken, guac and salsa- that's more than enough calories, but quite healthy and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How can it be a burrito without the burrito part?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's just a bowl of mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbqboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heh heh. Yep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And if you're into health food, you probably should just leave New-Mex and Tex-Mex alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lots of sugar in corn and lots of starch (which ends up as sugar) in pintos. Not exactly healthy. Far from bad though.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carbs, but not animal fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meat Head

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I will have to go with "it depends on where i am" i like to eat foods as they are locally prepared

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In the US:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rice is traditionally served in burritos west of New Mexico.... so pretty much Arizona and California.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In New Mexico and Texas there is rarely any rice in a burrito and if you are at an authentic restaurant and are not white you will probably have it served on a corn tortilla unless you specify flower. Non hispanics for the most part have never taken to the corn tortilla except for in enchiladas, and even then some people make them with soggy flour tortillas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Once you start getting east of Louisiana you get french and cuban influences on Mexican cooking so you often will find rice, and a whole bunch of other unique things added to Mexican cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In mexico the norteno for the most part has never put rice in a burrito, though they often eat it as a side dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Mayan and atlantic peoples of Mexico have harvested planted rice since the 1600's and before that they would collect wild rice in the inland swamps and it was a staple rolled in their rolled tortilla like flat bread.