Saturday, December 17, 2011

Burrito Box

(UPDATE 10/25/12: Just learned today that Burrito Box has indeed closed, although I'm unsure of how long it's been that way. A new Indian fry bread cart -- Red Skinz -- has opened in the same cart.)

The Burrito Box is a food cart located near the corner of SW 3rd and Washington in Portland, Oregon. Cameron, the owner and chef of this cart, opened this cart in April 2011.

Menu (mid-November 2011)
At the time of this post, there are only four regular items on the menu, although Cameron will throw in specials on occasion. I got the Chicken Run ($6.50): grilled chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, red quinoa, and beans. Apparently he did not have red quinoa, as white rice went into my burrito instead. I got my burrito topped with some chipotle sauce and lettuce.

And apparently, I went on a day where the Burrito Box was giving out free drinks with any order. So I got myself a water for the drive home.

About to roll my burrito up!

"Chicken Run" burrito (Burrito Box)
Cross-section of one side...
...and cross-section of the other side
Before putting any of my chicken and other condiments in my burrito, Cameron threw the giant flour tortilla on the grill (his own personal heater for the winter, really). I loved the grill marks on the outside. It's something that can transform a regular burrito into a completely new experience. I appreciated the lettuce and the sauteed peppers and onions; all those veggies proved refreshing and satisfying.

Unfortunately, the main event -- the chicken -- was very dry. In fact, the chicken pieces got grilled to the point where I could really only taste carbon. I know one never wants to serve raw chicken to a customer, but this chicken was beyond dead by this point. The beans and rice were fine, but overall, when I cut into the burrito, everything inside just collapsed and wanted to fall out. In my opinion, the burrito needs some "glue," whether it's a thick sauce, stickier rice, or both, so that everything at least tries to stay together. I think adding a bit more chipotle sauce (for my burrito anyway) could have helped.

The service was great and, according to Food Carts Portland, you can even customize a burrito for 50 cents extra. You can also choose from a buffalo burrito or a tofu burrito (all burritos are $6.50), as well as a quesadilla ($4). Sauces include honey balsamic, soy ginger, and the smoky chipotle sauce.

I'm not calling this a complete miss, but unfortunately, I've had better burritos. Perhaps my experience was an anomaly. Regardless, head on down to the Burrito Box and try it out for yourself! 3/10

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