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Boca Grande in Kenmore Square

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Has anyone been to the Boca Grande that just opened in Kenmore Square? The rumor from a couple of years ago was that an Anna's Taqueria was supposed to open. Whatever happened to that? At least something's opened, though.

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  1. I heard it was suppose to be an Anna's as well. I'm just glad there is another food option in Kenmore. Now all we need is a good brunch place and we'll be all set.

    1. Ugh, it turned into Boca Grande instead of Anna's? BG is hideously awful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Luther

        Are you crazy? Boca Garande is better than Anna's by a factor of about 10...at least the one in coolidge corner. Better meats, more freshly prepared, very tender pork...yum!

      2. fyi

        This is in the old Burrito Max spot.

        1. Over the past two days, just about everyone in my office has been at least once. It's ok. I definitely prefer Anna's, but Boca Grande's food is a little less greasy. Some of the choices seem a little strange (grilled lemon chicken?), but the menu is fairly extensive. It's great to have another (cheap!) option for lunch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pamalamb

            The grilled lemon chicken doesn't sound like it belongs at all, but it's pretty good--no discernable taste of lemon, but that's not a bad thing in this case :).

          2. Im from San Francisco, where the burritos are HUGE and more authentic. Anyone know the size and quality compared to California burritos? Thanks.

            1. My experience with east coast taquerias have been poor, with the exception of El Pelon. The reason for the question is for me to gain insight into the quality of the food, so I wont be disappointed if I go.

              1. Well, number one, San Francisco burritos are only "more authentic" when compared to other San Francisco burritos. Mission-style burritos are a regional anomaly.

                In other words, no, these aren't Mission-style burritos and if that's what you're expecting, you'll be disappointed, just as you would be disappointed with a burrito from my own home area, northern New Mexico, where you'd be wondering "Why are there giant chunks of potato in my burrito?" But then, this isn't the Mission and this isn't northern New Mexico, so it's best to appreciate things on taste rather than some vague concept of "authenticity."

                8 Replies
                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  Without even touching the authenticity issue, I have to say that I do not understand the fuss over Anna's. I can't remember having a burrito there that I thought was anything other than bland. BG is perhaps a baby step up, but pretty interchangeable. Their tacos are OK, at least. I do miss the ubiquitous burrito of SF Mission fame, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't live here. Maybe someone should invent a lobster taco, so that Boston could have it's own inauthentic delicacy!

                  1. re: chilibaby

                    I agree about Anna's. If there is anything noteworthy about Anna's burritos, it's that they're well put together. I think Boca is more than a baby step up. The different kinds of chicken burritos have way more flavor than those at Anna's. Chicken colorado is especially good. I like the grilled lemon chicken actually--the bright lemon and char flavors mix well with guacamole. The enchiladas at Boca are good, and the tamales are very good.

                    But yeah, El Pelon tops both places, and there's only one, in an inconvenient location :(.

                    1. re: chilibaby

                      I think Felipe's (Harvard Square) is much better than Ana's, maybe just for their fantastic carnitas.

                      1. re: Prav

                        I would agree that Felipe's is the better of the bunch. I haven't tried the carnitas there, but in general I've found that the basics (beans, rice) have flavor, the guac is fresh, and they have a small but tasty selection of fresh salsas. Mmmm, carnitas, I shall start another thread ...

                      2. re: chilibaby

                        I also agree about Anna's... I don't really get the hype, and find BG (though admittedly sometimes a little too greasy) to be, on average, a tiny notch up---though certainly not much to write home about. There seem to be some location/consistency issues, though-- the Anna's at MIT seems to be better than the Porter and Brookline (Beacon) locations. As already mentioned, you're just not gonna find mission-style burritos here. (Don't forget that it's also possible to get bad burritos in SF unless you know where to go--we just don't have the numbers and competition in Boston)

                        Anyway Boston does have its own ubiquitous inauthentic "delicacy": the broccoli burrito! I love broccoli, but honestly, it just doesn't belong in a burrito-- yet somehow all of these places put it in their veggie burritos. Bleh. I figure maybe it's because it's one of the few veggies (along with carrots) that is cheap and decent here year-round. (Rampant broccoli-ism seems to be pervasive in other Boston-adapted cuisines too, but that's a topic for another post)

                        Anyway, as a CA transplant, I chime in my rec for the fish tacos at El Pelon. Not exactly the same as a San Diego/Sonora-style fish taco, but they are usually crispy and hot, not overly drenched in sauce, and fresh tasting--a nice snack! (The surprising thing is that cabbage is pickled-- but I happen to like that)

                        1. re: another_adam

                          Has anyone been to the Cambridge BG (across from the Galleria)? Is this location not representative of BG in general? I've been to that location several times, and every time I swear it will be my last. The meat is completely unseasoned and either mushy or dry, the beans are undercooked and underflavored, and the pico de gallo is more like big chunks of raw onion and tomato.

                          In contrast, I think Anna's ranges from "enh" to super excellent, usually towards the latter (my favorite is Porter). Is there a good BG location I'm missing out on?

                          1. re: Luther

                            The BG near porter sq has always been somewhere between "meh" and "kinda OK" for me. (With Anna's porter being between "meh" and "kinda ok, i guess". Anna's MIT has ranged from "almost OK" to "relatively OK", but they also seem to be greasier (?) )

                            recently had the dry and raw oniony experience at BG in brookline, though, and haven't been to any of these places since.

                            incidentally, there's been a new taqueria on the verge of opening on beacon st near coolidge corner for a while now: "Taqueria Mexico #3", if memory serves right (which it might not)---a branch of the one in Waltham? Decor looks promisingly authentic, we'll have to see!

                      3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        exactly.

                      4. Can't you get lobster tacos at Bonfie?

                        1. Where is El Pelon?

                          Has anyone tried the CO chain that just opened its first store in Medford...Chipotole Grill?

                          Any thoughts on either Baja Fresh - which i like if for nothing else the fish tacos and the fresh cilantro on the bar.

                          Skip

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Skippy978

                            Chipotle is pretty similar to Anna's in composition and flavor, though they offer a larger variety of salsas.

                            1. re: Luther

                              In terms of flavor, I think Anna's and Chipotle are extremely different. In terms of rice, Anna's beats Chipotle by a landslide. The Chipotle rice is apparently cilantro-lime, but tends to be oily and flavorless. Anna's, in comparison, has slight chicken undertones (although they do offer a vegetarian rice also)

                              For me, the main reason to choose Anna's is the choice of size. I can never finish the super burritos at Anna's, which are comprable in size to the standard at Chipotle. The regular burritos are much more apt for the smallar appetite ( and are cheaper too!)

                            2. re: Skippy978

                              El Pelon is in the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood of Boston - 96 Peterborough St. A couple of blocks away from the Landmark Center on a side street. Nearest T stop is Fenway. I've never tried to park in that neighborhood, but I suspect it's pretty difficult to find a spot.

                            3. I can't see putting Chiptle and Anna's in the same class. That's like equating Papa Gino's and Santarpio's.

                              1. I like the Boca Grande in Brighton Center - cheap and satisfying for a quick meal on the go. I've eaten at the Boca Grande in Coolidge Corner and find the Brighton Center location to be much better. It just opened a few months ago - spotless kitchen, really nice dining room.

                                1. I went to the Kenmore Boca Grande on Thursday. It looked great in there, and the burrito was good, but not as good as I have had at other Boca locations. The cook really rushed through making the burrito, and I thought right then that he wasn't making the food with love. Alas, the burrito hit the spot.

                                  1. Burritos on Fire on Brighton Ave. They don't devliver, but they are the nicest guys ever and they make gret burritos. Plus you spend 30 bucks, you get a T-shirt.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Stagegal

                                      Burritos on Fire actually does deliver. I had the chicken verde burrito there delivered, and it was on par, imo, with Boca Grande.

                                      1. re: fenian

                                        Fish options?

                                        1. re: galleygirl

                                          no

                                    2. the thing about Anna's is the cheese. they put a big slab of cheese on the tortilla before they heat it up and add all the toppings. everywhere else, you get nasty shredded cheese that's still cold when you're eating it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: zvuv

                                        the cold cheese is my biggest gripe with el pelon. if you like the cheese at anna's, i think boca grande does it much better. i love the braised beef (beef birria) option at BG. super tender, huge chunks of beef. the tofu burrito there is also a great healthy option, that lacks in flavor, but is a great alternative for the vegan folk

                                      2. The food beats Anna's and retains the affordability index like mad. I ordered a Tomatillo Chicken Tamale with Mole Sauce and was offered sides of salsa and sour cream ; all for $5.50. Tamale's are seldom seen here on the East Coast. They were wrapped in corn husks and had been steaming all day - it was superb. In addition, I saw someone order the $5.50 Enchilada plate - which was generous amount of food fit for a hungry bike rider or tennis player. It was served from the oven to the table. The staff/owners are very friendly and the decor is wonderful for such an affordable lunch.