Susie Church | Food Fight
Burritos from Anna’s and Chipotle
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 09:09
It’s the age-old (and surely necessary) face-off between burritos in Davis Square: Anna’s or Chipotle. I often overhear Tufts students fiercely debating which is most special to their Dewick-overloaded stomachs. Growing up in New York City with a Chipotle right next to my high school, I have always been a loyal Chipotle customer. However, last week I decided to put aside all of what I thought I knew and test which one was, in fact, the best burrito in Davis. And I can safely say, I have reached a verdict.
I deliberately kept the ingredients in each burrito the same: a chicken burrito with mild salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, rice, black beans, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. The first stop on my excursion was Chipotle. As I ordered my burrito, I cringed slightly at the extra $1.95 charge for guacamole. The total came out to $8.99 for a pretty hefty burrito. After taking the first bite, I noticed a few things immediately. First, the guacamole was great. It tasted like fresh avocados had just been mashed up right then and there.
Second, the tortilla was extremely soft and fresh. However, my friend quickly commented on how salty and dry the chicken tasted, and after hearing that I could not get it out of my head. It was strangely salty.
Also, I’m a big cheese lover (ask me about the running list of exotic cheeses I’ve been trying) and was thus thoroughly disappointed that I couldn’t taste any of the cheese in my burrito. Those issues aside, I think the biggest problem for me was that the flavors didn’t mesh in a way that created the kind of taste explosion I hope to get when I take that first bite. I noticed a lot of spice and a few really nice ingredients, but not the whole package.
With that thought in mind, I headed down the block to Anna’s. Anna’s Taqueria is a local Boston gem with six locations, seemingly tiny compared to the 1,500 Chipotles scattered worldwide. However, this smaller establishment holds its own against its global competitor. Just waiting in line and watching the burrito-making process at Anna’s was a mouth-watering experience. The melted cheese on the tortilla when it was first warmed up, the rich Mexican rice, the variety of salsas — each individual ingredient seemed perfect on its own. It didn’t help to watch them grill a quesadilla for the man in front of me in line, and by the time I got my burrito I felt newly starving.
Anna’s burrito was a little smaller than Chipotle’s, but the reasonable, $6.10 total (only .85 cents extra for guac!) more than compensated for that. As soon as I took my first bite I knew I had my answer. It had exactly what Chipotle’s was missing — all the wonderful ingredients blending together in perfect proportions to create a heavenly harmony of flavors. Everything was equally as fresh, and the salsa, chicken and rice were noticeably more flavorful. I was stunned: I couldn’t imagine myself ever going back to Chipotle for a burrito. The portion, price and flavor of Anna’s were all perfect. Plus, only Anna’s carries horchatas and jarritos. How could anyone resist a meal like that? I left Davis feeling surprised, excited and ready to head back again very soon. To all you strong believers, I encourage you to experience the dark side and try out Anna’s.
Susie Church is a sophomore who has not yet declared a major. She can be reached at Susannah.Church@tufts.edu.