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|November 20-26, 2008
• Little touches dress up birds
Help for Thanksgiving on a budget
by Susan Selasky
The biggest bite in town
Big City Burrito reigns supreme in Boulder
by Clay Fong
You’ve had a long day at work, and on the way home you’re figuring out what kind of dinner you can scare up out of your fridge’s meager contents. Realizing a jar of peanut butter and a bottle of Tabasco are the sole inhabitants of your icebox, your prospects for an enjoyable meal at home quickly fade. Plan B, consisting of stopping at one of the many fast-casual burrito joints dotting the local landscape, seems a safer bet.
But this choice still elicits some dread. Last time you did this, you took a burrito to a one-notch-above-McDonalds table, and with bated breath and low expectations, took your first bite. A few nibbles later, you realized you had absolutely no recollection of what you ordered. Was it chicken or steak? Did you ask for mild pico de gallo or fiery chile verde? Does any of this really matter? By the time you exited the restaurant a few minutes later, the only memorable thing about your meal is how utterly forgettable it was.
Just as you’re about to scratch the burrito option off your dance card, you remember how your colleague Jean-Pierre recommended Big City Burrito off Arapahoe. He told you how he’d make a special trip from Louisville to Boulder just to pick up one of their tortilla wraps. Although the place looks like any other burrito joint, its options are much more numerous and distinctive than its competitors.
The first time you went, Jean-Pierre went through the line first, as the plethora of choices was daunting. An approximately $10 Gut Buster Burrito, wrapped in two twelve inch tortillas was a little too much. A $5.59 Carnitas Super Burrito accompanied by cheese, Spanish rice, beans and salsa, however, was just the ticket. Jean-Pierre, echoing The Magnificent Seven, went for the Carne Asada version for 20 cents more. You could have also ordered green chile, or one of two chicken options (mole or bay leaf, claimed to taste like chicken soup), or vegetarian options including straight-up veggie, bean and cheese, and potato.
Next up was selecting the tortilla. Aside from the flour version found everywhere, there were more exotic selections such as pesto, spinach and jalapeno-cheddar. Jean-Pierre made a beeline for the pepper and cheese mix, while you made an equally adventurous choice of selecting the tomato-chile. For a 69-cent upcharge, you both added the fried-to-order potatoes to your wraps, as well as the $1.29 helping of vegetables.
Seated at the table with Jean-Pierre, and with a bottle of Mexican coke to wash it down, you were ready to see how Big City measures up. Jean-Pierre raved about the flavor of his marinated sirloin and how it complemented the tangy qualities of the green tomatillo salsa. You took the first bite of carnitas, and appreciated how the sizable chunks of pork were both tender and savory, but not overrun with fat. While it was hard for the flavor of the tortilla to register, you were amazed at the hot and crunchy crust of the potatoes, as well as these spuds’ fluffy interior. It was the perfect home fry, and was one of many intriguing elements that make this
burrito stand out. You won’t forget what you had ordered here.
A wise choice, you think, as you return to the present, and pull up in front of Big City.
Clay’s obscurity corner
The Magnificent Seven
Akira Kurosawa’s classic film, The Seven Samurai, relates the story of masterless warriors protecting a small Japanese village. In one memorable scene, a conscientious samurai admonishes his peers for devouring premium white rice while the villagers make do with less desirable millet. There’s a similar scene in The Magnificent Seven, the American remake. In this version, the action occurs in the Wild West, where gunslingers contract to protect a small Mexican village. But this time Charles Bronson, one of the hired guns, criticizes his colleagues for enjoying carne asada and chicken enchiladas while the locals have only tortillas and beans.
Big City Burrito
2426 Arapahoe Ave.,
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