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Bean & Cheese Burrito, update

  • k

So finally I gave the bean and cheese burritos, the Special C, at El burrito Jr. in Redondo Beach the proverbial whirl. That's two burritos and a soda pop for about six bucks. It was good, cheesy (jack and cheddar mix) but it was missing that certain jenais a qua, which is known as "red sauce".

But I prepared for that by ordering a third bean and cheese burrito and specifying that it be served "wet" withe the red sauce and the shredded cheese melted over.

The wet bean and cheese burrito was quite good and hit the spot, the burritos sans sauce much less so. Also, I like my bean and cheese burritos with only a cheddar mix that coalesces with the refried beans.

So for now, it's Al and Bea's which I have had a few times now. Their been and cheese is loaded with shredded cheddar, the beans done to the proper refriedness (is that even a word, who cares ???) and the application on a red sauce, that packs a wallop, inside the burrito. The sauce is inside to it ain't served wet. But one day when I ordered extra red sauce the usually dainty burrito imploded and exploded all over my pants, which was not fun (especially since refried bean stains on one's pants despondently and depressingly looks like shit stains).

Anyhow, al and beas are pretty good it must be said.

Though the hunt continues for the paragon vision of the red sauce-inflected bean and cheese burrito of my nascent years a la Proust and his silly madelines.

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  1. Your hunt isn't complete until you've hit Lupes # 2. Their red sauce packs more than a wallop.

    9 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      any clue if I can walk between the two ????

      both of them are in boyle heights, right ?????

      but then again you haven't tried al and bea's yet, right ????

      And one day when I have more time, I'm going to have to sit down to a full-plate special at Ciro's.

      1. re: kevin

        No, Lupes is way further down at the far reaches of EastLos.

        I've had Al & Beas multiple times but, don't get the hype.

        Ciro's is bomb.

        1. re: JAB

          I see.

          Now what do I get at Ciro's ????

          I doubt I'd order a bean and cheese burrito there, right ??????

          Too bad they don't serve drinks.

          And I still have to hit up Colonia Taco Lounge for newfangled Mex.

          1. re: kevin

            My favorites at Ciro's are steak picado & milanesa.

            I'm hoping to make the trek from South OC for the chow meet.

            1. re: kevin

              No matter you order at Ciro's, make sure to gorge on some complimentary avocado salsa and chips!

                  1. re: happybaker

                    Chilaquiles con huevo
                    Chorizo and eggs
                    Carne asada quesadilla
                    Carnitas plate

                    I'll bring the Negra Modelo and Victoria!

        2. re: JAB

          I gotta try this. My go to is usually relleno bean but I love a hot red sauce

        3. btw, you gonna be at the chow meet ????

          1. "Je ne sais quoi", dude.

            Close, but no burrito. And Proust and his madeleines would frown disapprovingly. :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: annagranfors

              I love Kevin's style......more authentically West Coast. And thanks for the tip on the red sauce inside! Kevin you should do a food blog.

            2. I hit Lupe's today, and ruined my entire work day by ordering 1 green and cheese and 1 red hot burrito. Boy these are good. Frankly, I've never been a partisan in the burrito debates--I love the Mission burrito, but there's a beautiful simplicity in what they do at Lupe's. One of the best places I've been in East LA.

              13 Replies
              1. re: Haeldaur

                That red can be HOT! Also, Kevin has yet to hit Lupe's.

                1. re: JAB

                  Is the red a homemade sauce, or is it a packet? Honestly don't care because it's great, but curious.

                  1. re: Haeldaur

                    I assume home made but, I'm not positive.

                2. re: Haeldaur

                  Thanks for the rec. Went for the first time today. had a bean and red and a bean and green. So simple, so good. Nice people, too.

                  I remembered this old review is anyone wants to check it out. I like the way JG described the charm of an uncomplicated burrito.

                  Thanks again.

                  1. re: PaulF

                    in comparison to al and bea's, there's no contest, lupe's deux is just medicore. and that ain't no joke.

                  2. re: Haeldaur

                    Total nube question about Lucy's menu. They offer a bean and cheese burrito and also a Bean and Green and a Bean and Red.

                    What are the green and red? Salsas? Does that mean there's no cheese? Totally confused here.

                    1. re: granadafan

                      I'm not sure if you're talking about Lucy's or Lupe's, which is the spot Haeldaur was writing about.

                      At Lupe's #2, a bean and red is just beans and red salsa, a bean and green is bean and green salsa -- neither has cheese. A been and cheese could come with either red or green salsa. I'm a bean and red man, myself, though I usually order one bean and red and one bean and green because the red salsa is hot.

                      1. re: PaulF

                        More sauce than salsa which I see as more of a condiment.

                        1. re: PaulF

                          I may just try Sabrosos.

                          Where you at, Wild Swede ??????

                          1. re: kevin

                            If you mean where do I live... I live in Monrovia.
                            If you mean where have I been... I have been here at work! ;-)

                            1. re: WildSwede

                              sweet, oh, monrovia…


                              is Restaurant Devon still around serving pretty weird stuff and a blue cheese cheesecake with bleu cheese ice cream ????

                              peaches cafe still around ?????

                              and lastly, i think it was on myrtle not positive, but is that old-fashioned (i think it was old fashioned and non-corporate) ice cream parlor still there ???? it may have been on the street that's perpentiduclar to myrtle, sort of like main street of the town.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Hi Kevin,

                                1) It does look like Restaurant Devon is still in existence. Not sure if the bleu cheese thingy is still in residence.

                                2) Peach Cafe - definintely still around.

                                3) I have not seen an ice cream parlour, sorry. But I would love there to be one!

                    2. El Burrito Jr. (Redondo Beach & Torrance) has a very tasty and cheap bean and cheese burrito. 2 burritos and a large drink $6.

                      1. Hi Kevin. Welcome back from your hiatus! Have you tried my favorite? Sabroso's bean & cheese burrito. They are in Winnetka. I know that the menu states that they have red sauce inside, but 95% of the time they forget - even when I remind them when placing an order. So good!!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: WildSwede

                          Still on hiatus I'm afraid. This several months old thread was resurrected today.

                          1. re: WildSwede

                            Swede, I concur about the Sabrosa B&C burrito. It's really quite amazing, though like you, even when I remind them to put the red sauce on the inside, it doesn't usually happen.

                            As for Al & Bea's, we tried it a while back when we were nearby, and I just wasn't blown away. Yes, it was good, but I'll take the Sabrosa B&C burrito over Al & Bea's.

                          2. I finally made it to Al & Bea's this weekend and had the bean and cheese burrito in green sauce, and a combination burrito with red sauce. I really appreciated the bean and cheese burr, but do not understand what makes it so famous. The combo burrito was some mystery meat, and though I like spice, the read sauce they used was just hot without being flavorful.

                            Also, I really like rice in my burrito which neither one had.

                            I wanted so much to love it, but I was pretty underwhelmed.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: EarlyBird

                              Kevin and I were just there this past Friday for lunch. It's a favorite of Kevin's and I was giving it another try for probably the 4th time or so over something like 30 years. Well, I still don't get it. We ate there and it was still luke warm and the cheese was cold. That's it. Never again. I'm a Lupe's guy.

                              1. re: JAB

                                I had a craving on Saturday and went back to Lupe's, this time bringing my wife and older son. That bean and red is, to me, highly addictive. I ended up with 1.5 bean and reds and .5 bean and green and that was just right. The family really liked it, too.

                                Just tasty beans and flavorful red hot sauce. Wish they would open up a Lucy's #3 on the westside of town.

                              2. re: EarlyBird

                                i really like that red sauce inflected bean and cheese burrito. the only problem is each and every time that i have had it, the next 24 hours have been an unqualified nightmare. no joke.

                                even though i do really like the taste, i may have to skip it in the future.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  My biggest problem with the bean and cheese burrito is that there is no texture. I guess I should not expect much texture when it's just literally beans and cheese and sauce. The thing just sort of collapses as you eat it, and I don't like messy food at all.

                                  It does a very simple thing well. I guess it's just so simple that I don't "get" it. Clearly, many other people have gotten it for decades now, making it so famous. But I don't need to go back.

                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                    it's messy as hell.

                                    tasty too.

                                    but then again you really have to like bean and cheese burritos.

                                    nuff said.

                                      1. re: mc michael

                                        Maybe Ramona's should make that it's tag line: "Ramona's never collapses."

                                  2. re: EarlyBird

                                    I went there a few weeks ago for the first time, I didn't get it either. I'm relieved it's not just me.

                                  3. Carnitas Los Reyes

                                    Their refried beans are fucking amazing. Just beans, cheese and tortilla. Tapatio on the tables.

                                    1. Taco Bell green bean and cheese with extra green sauce. Watch them make it wearing gloves

                                      1. La Azteca Tortilleria has the best burrito I've ever had in my life; granted, it was the 'chile relleno burrito.' Regardless, it was life altering...

                                        16 Replies
                                          1. re: LeahBaila

                                            but is there beans and cheese in there too ???????

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Absolutely there are beans! You can order just a bean/cheese burro, too! Like JAB said, below, the tortillas are FANTASTIC!

                                            2. re: LeahBaila

                                              I must have had an off one. Their tortillas are fantastic however.

                                              1. re: JAB

                                                The tortillas ARE fantastic. What about the burrito was off?

                                                1. re: LeahBaila

                                                  It was dry and flavorless. I haven't actually cared for anything there with the exception of the tortillas.

                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                    That sucks, JAB. I had the opposite experience.
                                                    What are some of your favorite Mexican food spots? I'd love to find some.

                                                2. re: JAB

                                                  I must have had an off one. Their tortillas are fantastic however.

                                                  I have had the same problem, one day it was packed with flavor and the next time was bland. Very disappointing considering the bar was set high from the beginning.

                                                3. re: LeahBaila

                                                  That looks fantastic. Where are they located?

                                                    1. re: foodiejb

                                                      Thanks! I've only lived in Los Angeles for like, my entire life, but I've only just begun to seek out East Los neighborhoods' fare.

                                                    1. re: LeahBaila

                                                      I don't even know what's in that thing but it looks fucking amazing.

                                                      1. re: LeahBaila

                                                        yes!!! i had this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and i cannot stop thinking about how delicious it is. i need to eat this again soon, it was probably my favorite burrito ever.

                                                        1. re: Clyde

                                                          Cool!! I want to go again, too! Those tortillas...!!