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BUENO Y SANO IS ALMOST HERE!!

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God, words cannot adequately describe how much I love this burrito joint.
They have several locations in college towns (Northampton, Amherst, Burlington VT...), and they're coming to Acton (ACTON!) in just a couple of weeks.

For my money, these are the best burritos *anywhere*. Leaves Anna's, Chipotle, etc. in the dust thanks to enormous variety. I love the red curry, roasted garlic, and chickpea burrito; Mr. Swank enjoys the East-West with plum sauce (Asian stir-fry, basmati, grilled chicken or tofu, topped with plum sauce).

Also: Excellent red and green salsas (free), plus the choice of low-fat yoghurt as opposed to sour cream. Can order large or pequeno (pint-size) burritos; tacos (with *two* tortillas, free) and quesadillas are also on the menu. Great selection of juices, coolers, and sodas. And delicious, sturdy chips.

There's also a huge roster of options for vegetarians--seitan, tofu, grilled vegetables, and so forth. SO GOOD.

Route 2 is about to see a *lot* more traffic, I suspect.

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  1. Thanks Swank!
    You couldn't be more correct, Bueno's burritos are the best. Have had great examples in Amherst and Burlington.

    Received an email from Bob L the owner indicating that the new store in Acton is in the verge of opening. Hope all goes well with the particulars.
    We're in dire need of a place like Bueno Y Sano around here!

    DW

    1. Hopefully this location works out better than the last time Bueno tried to spread out east, on Comm Ave.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ponyboy

        Where were they on Comm Ave. ?

        1. re: CookieLee

          It was definitely awhile ago, but their Comm. Ave. location was going by the English translation of their name, I believe.

          1. re: CookieLee

            "Good and Healthy" was on Commonwealth, near BU, just west of Blandford St., where Noodle St. is now. At best, their burritos were thoroughly mediocre. Maybe it was too much emphasis on the "healthy," and not enough on the "good?" I hope Bueno y Sano is better.

        2. I have been following the progress on facebook. I just hope they make it and last longer than the Chinese restaurant that lasted less than a year in that space.

          1. I'm thinking that parking seems like it would be a problem there. The lot is tiny and no on street parking nearby. If it is take out only, hopefully that would keep cars moving out quickly. Really looking forward to the opening!

            5 Replies
            1. re: Kat

              I'd be surprised if it's take-out only. It's a pretty large building, and right near Acton-Boxborough High School. I'm guessing there will be lots of students hanging out during their free periods. It will probably give Sorrento's Pizzeria some competition.

              1. re: bear

                The parking in the actual lot stinks and pulling out of that lot can be tough too. There is also parking within very short walking distance. A lot across the street i think belongs to a verizon building or something, always empty. Also an abandoned mcdonalds and the kmart lot is huge. Nobody ever parks on the 1/2 towards the street.

                1. re: hargau

                  Hargau, are you an Actonian? :)
                  I'm also willing to bet that there will be plenty of foot traffic from shoppers at Roche Brother's plaza and the Merriam/MCT/ABRHS/RJG complex.

                  1. re: Swankalicious

                    Close! Im from Harvard.

                  2. re: hargau

                    It's not a super-friendly area for pedestrians, but it looks like there's more parking going in behind the Bowladrome, maybe?

              2. I drove by the place yesterday and it looks a lot bigger than I thought it would (for some reason, I was thinking it would be the size of a shoebox). It looked dark and empty, but it WAS a Sunday, so I doubt they'd be doing much work on it, especially with temps in the 50s and sunny.

                1. I grew up in Western MA, so I'm a long-time Bueno y Sano fan. My main complaint about them in the past has been that they sometimes under-cook their black beans. I haven't really eaten much Bueno y Sano in several years though, so I don't know if this still happens. Anyone else noticed this? I also tend to get refried beans these days, so that is another way to avoid the problem.

                  However, I agree that the burritos are great, so it's exciting for Acton that they are coming soon!

                  Dave MP

                  1. I'm an Amherst native who grew up on their burritos. I now work close by in Acton and have been getting incredibly impatient for them to open. This is the most excited I've been about a restaurant opening that I can remember.
                    The burrito construction and balance is consistently better than other similar eateries. As the name suggests, they usually taste both delicious and healthy. Their guac is always worth springing for.

                    1. Swank, I usually trust your opinions. I just can't get past the extreme-forced-fusiony variants you've described. I'm not sure I want an East/West burrito. It reminds me of the mexican-eggroll-whatnot complaint against Tavern on the Square currently circulating. As it's not a major commitment, I promise to make a pilgrimage if I'm ever out that way but I can't say I'm sold.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Parsnipity

                        That's what I was thinking...

                        1. re: Parsnipity

                          I had what amounted to a crab rangoon taco recently. One positive thing I can say about it - it had two corn tortillas, properly heated.

                          1. re: nsenada

                            Crab Rangoon Taco = BLECH

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Did you have the rangoon taco from the Staff Meal truck? :) I saw them touting it recently.
                              I know that the E-W burrito seems a bit silly and fusion-y, but it's one of their signature items held over from Cha Cha Cha, which was a burrito shop in Northampton that was bought by Bueno. It's absolutely delicious and so flavorful - the plum sauce has a bit of a Mexican kick.

                              1. re: Swankalicious

                                The very one...definitely not my thing, though the Chinese sausage one was quite good. I just want them to serve up that oxtail sandwich that I read about once.

                              2. re: StriperGuy

                                Too funny! That reminds me sorta of this place http://www.eggrollcafe.com/menu.html
                                Taco eggrolls, etc...

                                1. re: hargau

                                  I'll have a honey glazed terriyaki, chipotle, shrimp enchilada...

                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                    With a ponzu, coconut and balut salsa, on the side, please.

                                    1. re: nsenada

                                      nice...

                            2. re: Parsnipity

                              I can understand your wariness of the East/West gimmick. They've added things like this to their menu over the last five or so years. Because I'm usually only in Amherst for short periods of time I always want the same few burritos I grew up craving, so I've never tried it. Bottom line: it's an option but I wouldn't read too much into it - they haven't made their name/success with defunct food trends.

                            3. Bueno Y Sano is open as of today.

                              According to the Acton Patch, they have been granted a BYOB license from the Acton Board of Selectmen, so there are no worries that they will get in trouble for it.

                              http://acton.patch.com/articles/byob-...

                              20 Replies
                              1. re: bear

                                I was just there, and here's the brief report:
                                The interior looks great - feels Bueno-esque without being a creepy carbon copy. It was pretty full but not jammed at 4:30 on their opening day. I'd expect it to be pretty crowded later.
                                Service was clearly figuring things out, but friendly. The manager was helping people out and chatting with customers. The parking lot definitely seems like it could become a problem if they get really busy.
                                Most importantly, the burritos: I got a chipotle chicken with guac. The flavors and textures all seem right to me. One of the most impressive aspects of the Amherst Bueno burritos I grew up with was that the construction was unmatched. They pack a lot into a large flour tortilla that almost never falls apart or develops leaks. No leaks or major issues in today's burrito, but not the work of art that I'm used to. I'm willing to give it time. I'd say a promising start for them.

                                1. re: morecheesejer

                                  I went and got the same burrito as you. While it was a good size, there was very little actual chicken in it, much less than you would expect for a $9 burrito. Also the guac was nothing more than a thin green coating on about 3/4 of the wrapper. Less than you would put something like mayo or mustard on a sandwich. For an optional $1.25 i thought it would be more than a stain on the tortilla. The menu said the standard burrito includes cheese, it was totally non existent in the one we got. Staff seemed very confused but im sure it was hectic and their 1st day.

                                  1. re: hargau

                                    Passed by there around lunch with the intention of stopping but lot was full. Decided I wasn't all that hungry yet and returned mid-afternoon. Lot was still almost full even though not all that busy inside at the time - there is not nearly enough parking for this building, but we knew that already. Pleasant simple decor, certainly miles better than the previous place (not hard!)

                                    I had the Mixed Grill burrito, which is the regular with zuchini/portobello/pepper. Large. tasty and well made, though maybe a bit pricy for what it was. If it had cheese I sure didn't detect it, but not a big deal to me. I didn't think their "hot" sauce was very hot. But all in all nice to have a new and pretty good option in the area. I can see stopping here fairly often.

                                    As far as funky fusion burritos, if they bug you just don't order them. There's plenty of "normal." I'll probably try that Thai one sometime when I'm in the mood.

                                    1. re: snippet

                                      When I went, they were staffed with local kids who acted as if they'd received no training and had never worked in a restaurant before. That is: service was painful slow. Food OK, but not worth the frustration of watching someone learn while you wait.

                                      Perhaps in a couple of weeks, after they've had more on-the-job training, it'll be less teeth-grindingly-slow and the overall experience will be something to savor.

                                      1. re: hondodog

                                        Yeah, those kids are going to have to speed things up. I worry about the location - that lot is small and a disaster.

                                        I wish they offered the salvadoran burrito that the amherst and west springfield branches do.

                                      2. re: snippet

                                        I tried for "normal" by ordering the burrito (which is $6 BEFORE you select the distinguishing filling at extra cost -- wow) with chicken. Not very much of it and it was tasteless and cold -- chopped up "grilled chicken" from a salad is what it reminded me of. The no-choice-but black beans were a bit too firm, and the rice yellowed and overpowered by spice mix. The "wicked hot" sauce barely spicy.

                                        Overall it was pretty bland but then not totally bad. From memory a bit like eating at Boloco or Qdoba, but nowhere near the flavour of Anna's.

                                        Conversely I paid my first visit to Taqueria el Amigo in Waltham this weekend and it was so packed I opted for a burrito to take out rather than the tacos I went there for. Chorizo and potato -- very tasty.

                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                          Taqueria el Amigo is so tiny it must get packed on a regular basis. While I'm not fond of them putting lettuce on the burritos -- it just steams and wilts -- their carnitas burrito is plump, packed and delicious. And it sounds like their burrito and taco special (1 of each for $5.50) is cheaper than the burrito alone at this other place.

                                          1. re: chickendhansak

                                            now that you mention it I agree about the black beans - a bit too firm.

                                            I kind of wonder why anyone would choose this space for a restaurant, given the parking issue, when there's that empty McD's across the street with tons of parking. I assume cost, but the McD's building sure would be so much more convienient.

                                            1. re: snippet

                                              I asked if refried beans were an option and was told nope only the black beans. I agree they are firem. I also agree the sauce didn't have much heat to it.. but those are minor issues to me, what disappointed me the most was the lack of meat, the complete absence of cheese and the mere stain of guac. Got a 2nd one another day this time with steak and it was the same thing. Lots of beans/rice very little of anything else.

                                              1. re: hargau

                                                How much is the guac, or is it included in the price? I thought I saw on the menu online that guac and sour cream were included in the price.

                                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                  The guac is an extra $1.25 The chicken or steak is an extra $1.75
                                                  The acton menu is on facebook but not on their website yet.
                                                  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...

                                                  1. re: hargau

                                                    Thanks - I see that now - it's just the sour cream.
                                                    Personally, $1.25 for gauc had better be more than a smear. I would definitely grouse at that price.

                                    2. re: bear

                                      I was just there and I won't be making this report again...so pay attention.

                                      I am not making this report again as this place gets an absolute thumbs down from both my SO and me. SO ordered a pair of steak tacos specials. When the order was called I zoomed to the counter and grabbed what I thought was my burrito. I said, "Oh my burrito" and the guy gave a A Look and said, "No these are the tacos".

                                      Wow. Must be halloween and the tacos are dressing up as burritos cuz I ain't never seen tacos look like a burrito before (imagine a burrito cut in half along its narrow equator...that's what they served my SO as tacos).

                                      My burrito looked like it had been wrapped by a 10 year old just learning to wrap a burrito. The only less-well wrapped burrito I've ever had was at some podunk airport at a chain.

                                      But, who knows? Maybe food that looks weird tastes good? It's happened before...

                                      So, chowed down...but no. Pretty is as pretty looks. And the food looked pretty bad.

                                      SO's tacos were cold. My steak burrito left me with a slightly weird (and not good) feeling in my stomach. The steak in my burrito was AWOL (as least as far as my taste buds were concerned).

                                      I know of others who were excited about this place arriving...I can't fathom where the excitement comes from. Maybe the teething pains in Acton are acute.

                                      My guess is that traffic on 2 won't be getting any worse. That's my guess.

                                      1. re: hondodog

                                        The best i can figure is that people who went to college near one have fond college memories of going there with their friends (perhaps after drinking), etc.. So it holds a nostalgic value. I went to school near an old 24hr diner that was famous for clam chowder that you could easily stand a spoon up in it. Same sorta thing..

                                        1. re: hargau

                                          Finally checked out this place a couple weeks ago. Ordered the Thai Chicken burrito. The chicken was good, but the burrito was huge and 95% rice. Very little chicken. It was so big that two of us split it for lunch and were full. Made for a cheap lunch, but too much filler rice, not enough chicken.

                                        2. re: hondodog

                                          Anyone been here lately? I'd given up on it, but on a whim decided to give it another chance at lunch today. Got the special, which was a steak bomb burrito - actually had a pretty good amount of meat and veggies. Stayed together well, which I think was helped by it not being mostly rice as in the past. Ordered it with the wicked hot sauce which didn't used to be on the menu - not sure I would quite call it wicked, but did have a decent degree of heat. At $8.50, it was substantial and tasty enough that I didn't feel ripped off.

                                          Wondering if the special of the day was a fluke, or they have generally improved things?

                                          1. re: snippet

                                            I can olnly speak for Springfield location. They have a pulled pork quesadilla with sides of rice/beans/pico de gallo with added guacamole for $1.00 more. They run a $5.00 0f $25.00 purchase coupon and 3 of us fill up on a good meal for a net of about 22.00

                                            1. re: snippet

                                              Tuesdays they are supposed to make the burrito "Grande" instead of normal for no extra charge, that could have something to do with it. Were the rice/beans cooked thru to tender or randomly crunchy?

                                              1. re: hargau

                                                I assumed they only did the grande if you asked (and always figured they'd just add still more rice) so dunno. The rice and beans were pretty nicely cooked this time.

                                                (Talking about Acton.)

                                                1. re: snippet

                                                  yea good points... I dunno, i gave up on the place after my 2nd visit and have no intentions on trying it again. Very unimpressed. Was there any cheese in yours? My experiences have been you get only a few shavings.