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Mission style burritos...

I just saw an episode of Man vs. Food... even though the show usually ruins my appetite, there was a drool inducing segment on SF Mission burritos.

I know Chipotle based their burritos on this idea... and I've gotta say, as much as some people like to rag on them, I've always liked the place. It's tasty enough... nothing mind blowing, but nothing bad about it. Torchy's also makes a pretty good one. I haven't tried Freebird's yet, but I haven't heard too many glowing recommendations.

I'd love to hear where people's faves are.

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Chipotle
, Georgetown, TX 78626

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  1. we had free freebird's today at work, and chipotle is vastly superior, in my (chain) experience.

    here's why i like chipotle more:
    the quac is fresh. they have carnitas. the corn salsa is great. it's not too expensive.
    you can get specify how much of the different ingredients, as opposed to sit down places.

    other than that, i don't really get burritos often unless it's basically a tex-mex fast food run.

    hoping other people chime in with more suggestions...

    1. I live in San Francisco, and honestly, Mission Burritos are at a completely different level than Chipotle. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely love Chipotle.

      Mission Burritos (if you're ever here, go to El Farolito...get the Chorizo) are one of my absolute favorite eats in all of SF. A buddy of mine who visited me from Austin, who LOVES his Mexican food, said he's never had anything close.

      It's worth a trip out here just to try one. ;)

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      Chipotle
      900 N Austin Ave, Georgetown, TX 78626

      1 Reply
      1. re: deylamian

        Kevin? Haha, I just got back from SF, stayed in the Mission, and hit El Farolito and Papalote. I'm partial to Papalote myself. I love that SF has dedicated burrito sites, kind of like Taco Journalism: http://burritoeater.com/main.php

        Anyway...no, we don't have anything like that here. You will typically get a slightly larger enchilada in most of the Tex-Mex places I have been to in Austin!

      2. I've spent a lot of time in the Bay Area and frankly, I hated those things. All beans and rice, no meat. What little meat there is totally lost amongst all those other bland ingredients. There were a bunch of chains and mom and pops selling these things. I remember Una Mas was one of them.

        Freebirds is pretty similar.

        -sw

        5 Replies
        1. re: sqwertz

          I lived in the Bay Area for a few years in the 90's and my impression was similar - too many ingredients mushed together to actually taste anything. Also, the size was intimidating. I couldn't help but visualize the whole thing sitting in my stomach in its tightly wrapped, original shape in my stomach.

          1. re: sqwertz

            I couldn't disagree more. The reason I love Mission Burritos is that the balance of meat/other stuff, is perfect. Not saying ALL MB's are great, so maybe we've gone to different locations. I'm telling you, El Farolito is unbelievable.

            With that said, everyone likes their Burritos, Pizza, BBQ, etc, different, so a burrito I love could potentially not appeal to you.

            When all said and done, though, 99% of the MB spots I've been to have actually been loaded up on meat...

            1. re: deylamian

              I'm not sure about sqwertz, but my big complaint is still that all the stuff is mushed together to the point that it becomes an indistinguishable mess. If I'm eating beans, I like to know I'm eating beans. Same goes for the rest of the contents. If I get it all served up separately on a platter, I can mix things as I see fit. How I mix them is up to me.

              I didn't mention this before, but I do agree with sqwertz about the blandness. Even the spiciest of condiments I encountered in the burrito joints were timid at best. Every time I came home to Austin for a visit, I always stocked up on pickled jalapenos and spicy Ro-Tel to take back with me.

              I will add that this was 15 years ago and that things may have changed substantially since then, but based on my experience, I'll take the diversity of great Mexican food I can find in Texas over what I experienced in the Bay Area any day.

              1. re: deylamian

                I've eaten at El Farolito a few times and it is indeed good.

                (Did they ever take care of the fly problem, Deylamian?)

                1. re: tom in austin

                  Hahah I never knew of a fly problem....definitely haven't noticed anything in the past couple years, so I'm assuming they took care of it.

            2. Yeah I know Chipotle doesn't come close to the real deal... I just know that the guy(s) who started the company used MBs as inspiration.

              My general preference is indeed, contrary to what some of you have said, a burrito with a whole bunch of stuff in it. Rice, beans (not refried, preferably), meat, cheese, sour cream, guac and some kind of great salsa. Wish I could go to SF to try some of these spots, but I'm not quite in the market for that now... I guess I'll have to keep fishing for some good places here.

              1 Reply
              1. re: popvulture

                Yup, based on your description, you'll flip out (in a good way), when you try one. Also, if you like Avocado, imo, it's the best part of a good MB..getting a few nice sized slices of avocado make the burrito what it is.

                I can see the chipotle/mission burrito connection.

              2. If you long for 3 year plus raging debates on Chowhound-I know I do-this thread on Cal-Mex vs Tex-Mex is pretty great, and closing in on 200 posts.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505569

                1. Out of all the burrito shops in Austin, Cabo Bobs is my favorite. It's at Ben white and 35 behind the Chick Fil A.

                  All the meat is cooked over oak lump charcoal in big green eggs, and they make your tortilla only when you order it. Also, the entire place is HFCS free.

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                  Cabo Bob's
                  500 E Ben White Blvd Ste D100, Austin, TX 78704

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LakeLBJ

                    I was wondering if they use the BGE's for smoking or just for grilling. It just seems a waste to use them just for grilling. Noting really tasted like it was slow smoked.

                    FWIW, I considered Cabo Bob's a step up from the burritos currently under discussion. I especially liked their soda fountain - and I'm not a soda guy.

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                    Cabo Bob's
                    500 E Ben White Blvd Ste D100, Austin, TX 78704