DOWNEY - When an urgent craving for a scrumptious bite of burrito heaven crept upon me, I flipped through the phone book to see what my burrito source options were. To my non-surprise, I couldn't even finish counting the restaurants that sell burritos within the Downey city limits, posing a dilemma that I figured the other burrito-lovers of Downey were also faced with.So, fellow burrito fanatics, I, along with a posse of food lovers, ventured to five of the top-known burrito services in Downey, picked by word of mouth, as each burrito battled against one another to have the honor of sitting at the top of my burrito hierarchy 'Top-Picks' list. Contenders of the battle were Tacos El Gavilan, Pete's Patio, Pepe's, El Taco, and Albert's Mexican Food, commonly called 'Alberto's.' The battle began on a lone Monday night, when Deanna Kim and I, after a long day at Warren, heard our stomachs protesting in hunger. Seeing that it was already 11 p.m., we scanned through the list and picked a few spots that we were sure would still be open at this time of night, and Tacos El Gavilan and Pete's Patio were the winners. We divided and conquered: she got a burrito from Pete's Patio, and I got one from Tacos El Gavilan, as we switched halves to ensure no bias reviews followed. All in all, both burritos fulfilled our appetites. My burrito from Tacos El Gavilan was much spicier than the Pete's Patio burrito, which was a plus, but I have to admit the carne asada in the Pete's Patio burrito tasted amazing and authentic. Unfortunately, neither of the burritos wowed either of us. Both were decent, but nothing we would rave about. To back up Pete's Patio, however, although their burritos might not have made the top cut, their chili-cheese fries with ranch are definitely worth the visit! I was a lone soldier on my next mission, speeding through the drive-through of Pepe's on Telegraph Road, ordering one of their most popular burritos, the green chili pork burrito with beans. After spending only $4.40 on a large-sized burrito, I drove off, running late to a meeting, as usual. Word to the wise, don't try to eat a burrito in the car, especially one from Pepe's, for it turns into a giant mess. But despite the beans and salsa flying all over myself and the car interior, this burrito definitely became one of my favorites! El Taco was the next on my list, and although I love El Taco, especially their taquitos with guacamole, I was slightly disappointed with their carne asada burrito. Perhaps it was just a fluke burrito, but I unfortunately had to say pass. The final burrito stop, as well as the ultimate winner, was the Albert's Burrito from, well, Alberto's. And what was so special about this burrito that has boosted it up as the top guru of all burritos in Downey? If you take a bite, you'll notice that there are bits and pieces of fries wrapped in the burrito. Fries in a burrito? Now that's just genius! Especially because I am a fry fan, and instead of me having to take a bite of burrito, pause, then a bite of my fries, Albert's has conveniently gone through the trouble of combining both these actions for me! But Albert's burrito is not complete without my favorite, the green sauce. So don't forget to ask for extra sauces, it'll make or break the burrito! So at the end of the journey, Albert's was crowned as my favorite burrito place in town, although Pepe's came close and landed the runner-up spot. But before saying adieu to this burrito chapter, I must include a disclaimer that I am in no way a burrito expert, and probably do not have the sharpest taste buds in Downey, but the opinions revealed are merely my opinions and should not stop anyone from going to their favorite burrito stop. If anyone wants to try out these burritos themselves, please feel free!
********** Published: September 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 22