Friday, November 19, 2010

Burrito Week Reviews: Tres Hermanas, Rubio's, Ernesto's

The rest of the Burrito Week reviews are a little condensed.

Next up was Tres Hermanas. I have never been to Tres Hermanas but my knowledge of the Spanish language acquired from Arrested Development allowed me to know the translaton. The recent Sacramento News & Review "Best of" edition had listed Tres Hermanas as the best Mexican restaurant in the city. As a stauch lover of Mexican food, it was an outrage that I had not sampled their wares.

I was surprised that the prices on the menu didn't quite match the humble interior of the place. The decor is actually perfect for what I like in a Mexican restaurant. It seemed hole-in-wallish enough to serve up excellent grub. But it is plenty nice inside.

Starting with warm, fresh chips and a cold, strong margarita, the lunch got off to an impressive start. Mrs. Sexy got an enchilada that looked like it should be in a magazine or hanging in a museum. My burrito choice for today was their Chile Colorado burrito with pork. The burrito plate was delivered with a modest sized burrito and excellent rice and beans. Perhaps the best mexican rice I have ever had. What the burrito lacked in size it made up for in flavor. The meat was very flavorful. The only ingredients in the burrito were ample amounts of pork with a spicy pico de gallo.

High marks for Tres Hermanas. 4 chilies out of 5 for the burrito. Very flavorful but its lack of complexity keeps it from taking a perfect score. If the prices were lower, I could see making the trek down there on the regular.

Rubio's was a surprise entrant in Burrito Week. I fondly remember getting the Beer Battered Fish Burrito when moms brought me one when I was convalesing after surgery. It was tasty enough to chase another soon after. I'm typically a Pescado Especial guy from Rubio's. Yummy and consistent. I was thinking of mixing a variety of meats during this week, so it was a good opportunity to stick in the fish. The capper was when Rubio's sent me an e-mail offering to buy me lunch. That's more than can be said for any of my friends. It's kinda sad to think that Rubio's might be my best friend. (It's not too late to offer, btw.)

The Fish Burrito is a generous enough portion of fried fish with cabbage, guacamole and a pretty tasty white sauce. It is tasty and gets the job done, but it isn't mind altering. I read during my entire lunch and never had to put my bookmark in and same a few thankful words to the burrito gods for providing the feast and allowing it's bounty to travel the Big Sexy digestive highway. It was good. I'm giving it 2 pescados out of 5.

My actual birthday coincided with the birthday of one of my favorite restaurants, Ernesto's. The wait staff had a big celebration planned for Ernesto's and me, complete with balloons and a giant cake lit with tall sparklers. Very nice touch! I love that Ernesto's complements their tasty chips, not only with a very good chunky salsa, but with a bean dip. That always sets my mood high.

I went for the Carnitas Burrito, expecting a sopping wet burrito filled with generous portions of Ernesto's delicious carnitas. Unfortunately, the cook has been watching too much Top Chef and wanted to get all cute. The enchilada sauce was artistically splashed on the ends of the burrito, keeping the creation rather dry. The first third of the burrito was very heavy on the rice. I excavated enough of the rice out to get to the carnitas and guacamole that was hiding inside. Once my burrito archaelogy was complete, I was able to savor the tasty burrito. It had a chance to be the winner of the week. The carnita meat was succulent, the guacamole was fresh and flavorful. However, the whole creation was not put together as well as I had hoped. It may be the unfulfilled potential that make me give this burrito 3 birthday sparklers out of 5.

There are plenty more burritos to be explored but not many days to do it. Will I sneak in a breakfast burrito? Will I go to my favorite chain restaurant of all time, Chipotle, and give them a chance to hit it big? Will I go to my current work hot spot for a huge super burrito? Will chicken ever make an appearance? Will I sneak in a dinner burrito? Stay tuned for the answers to all of those pressing burrito questions and more.

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