My fiancee has never had a burrito...
Note: this is 100% serious, and I am just as shocked as you are.
Well, we live in the west suburbs, but location isn't really important. Our friends have given us so many opinions, and a lot of people are split on whether her first burrito should be a late-night taco joint style burrito, or a really good Mexican restaurant-style burrito, or something like Chipotle where it can be entirely customized...
So many choices! I'm just curious what the Chowhounders would vote for if they had to pick one burrito to be their first.
For steak, I'd HIGHLY suggest Zacatacos in Berwyn. There is one on Harlem Avenue, and also one on 22nd (Cermak.)
Also, for steak, Las Asadas in Brookfield.
The above recommendations are for one reason: Char grilled skirt steak that you would be proud to serve to your family/friends off your backyard grill. This stuff will have your mouth watering for more no matter how full you are. This is not the pre-chopped griddle sauteed garbage chuck steak that most chicagoland taquerias slop out to drunks (Yeah, I'm talking about you El Famous, El Farol, and probably about 98% of all taquerias in the Chicagoland area.) The Steak at these two places, when you get their "a-game" is stellar eats for the price. Just Stellar. Caution: eating real char grilled skirt steak will probably ruin you for going back to eating the garbage steak that most other places slop out. Just be warned. It can be a curse. These places don't stay open late - they don't have to cater to the drunks after the bars close - they make their bread and butter on sober ppl who line up for lunch during the week for great steak at a great price.
My rec would be Ino's Tacos in Berwyn also. However, it's a mix of white and dark meat. I find that for some reason, Americans tend to view dark chicken meat as "bad" which I'll never understand. Ino's is a mix of white meat and juicy dark meat. It's not boiled in some nasty red sauce, it's just cooked with a little oil, salt/pepper. I LOVE it.
If you only want chicken breast meat, I'd say my # choice would be Zacatacos again.
If you are not familiar with char grilled steak taquerias, the absilute bets time to go is during peak dining times. This will usually ensure that you will get fresh skirt steak right off the grill while the cooks are trying to keep up with the orders. I'd suggest trying any place more than once to get an idea of how they operate. Different grill cooks will do things differently, and consistency can suffer because of it.
If you go to Chipotle, well, um, this post would be erased if I wrote what I want to. I can't imagine living in an area so full of great Mexican food that Chipotle would even be an option. Most of the garbage taquerias will have a few things at LEAST that are far superior than the overly salted chewy meat that Chipotle slings out. Good Luck! Please report back on your adventure!
Thanks so much for the detailed reply. Even if she doesn't go for any of those places, I definitely will! The char-grilled skirt steak is something I can get behind, and I haven't tried either of those taquerias. Like you, I've never been a fan of the late-night style "El Famous"-style places. (Although I have to admit, I still find Chipotle quite tasty on occasion...but you're right, it is salty.)
I'm also a white meat chicken devotee...I'm not sure if I would say dark meat is "bad," but I always found it to have an odd, more greasy texture than white meat. Just personal preference on that one.
Favorite meat, veggies and other specifics will help all of us give suggestions. Likes guac, sour cream, cheese, etc.
The best burrito I have ever had is from Garcia's on Western Ave and Lincoln Ave. My perfect burrito from there is ordered as:
What west suburb? I am in that area often(A.H., M.P., Palatine) and eat burritos on occasion there. I don't eat meat, but I eat burritos with those who do.
LOL..Did you get engaged to Bigfoot?
Never had a burrito..what's up with that?
Maybe a Chipotle burrito to start with...customize to their liking.
Wishing your life filled with many burritos and other shocking food finds!