Trekking deep into the jungles of…Dame Street
I received a comment on one of my posts earlier in the week, which recommended a burrito restaurant that I’d never heard of before, that appeared to be only a stones throw from Trinity. This restaurant was Café Azteca, which is on Lord Edward Street – close enough to Christ Church Cathedral.
When I was recommended to try this place, the first thing I did (as anybody would) is do a quick Google search. As soon as I saw the menu on their website, I was sold on going here! Café Azteca is the only place that I’ve seen that offers burritos that contain bacon – which myself and a certain Mick Jagger lookalike were discussing earlier in that day.
So yesterday evening, myself and @Radiiqur went in search of Azteca, to have their effort at the bundle of joy that is a burrito. A ten minute walk from college was all it took, and we got to experience the wilderness that is Dame Street at rush hour…
Café Azteca surprised me. This is the only place I’ve gone for a burrito that is an actual sit-down restaurant, rather than a burrito bar. We were seated, the menus were handed to us, and a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa was placed in front of us – this is a complimentary starter that is given to every table.
Within minutes of looking at the menu, I’d made my decision about what to have, and I know that there are a few people out there who would have made the same choice as me. I went for the Delicioso, despite the fact that, with a name like that, it would have a lot to live up to.
I learned a couple of things about Mexican food culture while dining at Azteca. The first of these snippets of information is that the salad that I’ve been referring to as a tomato and onion salad (sometimes with chilli and/or garlic in it) is called pico de gallo. I’ll explain the second moment of education that I received later on…
So my burrito, the Delicioso, consisted of refried beans, bacon, chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole and cheddar cheese. The second thing that I learned about real Mexican cuisine is that they add the salsa (to their own taste) as they eat their burrito. Hence, the large bowl of salsa that was supplied with our tortilla chips.
I’m pretty sure you all know why I went for this burrito now; two meats! The only thing that’s better than meat is more meat (and now let the sniggering begin at the innuendo that I didn’t mean to make, but am happy to allow).
Since there are two meats in this burrito, I’ve decided that I have to come up with a fair way of rating them. It wouldn’t be fair to rate each meat out of ten, and to add those scores up, because then Azteca would have a score out of sixty, rather than fifty, and couldn’t be compared to any other burritos that I’ve had. So, I’ve decided to rate each meat individually (out of ten) and then to give the meat an overall rating that is the average of the scores of both meats. That seems fair to me, anyway.
I want to mention now, that part of the reason that I wanted to go to Azteca is because guacamole comes as a standard ingredient in many of their burritos. Being a big fan of guacamole, I was very keen on trying their homemade guac, just to see how good it is! I usually don’t go for it in other burrito bars, because it costs extra, but (in the interest of fairness) I’ll try some guacamole in a few other places from now on.
Since I’ve never tried Azteca before, I think that I should rate the presentation of my burrito; the second I saw it, I knew that this was the winner in terms of presentation. Unlike burritos that I’d normally get, this was on a plate, smothered in sauce, with sour cream drizzled over it (I had to eat it with a fork and knife, I felt so sophisticated!). The cook had even written the word ‘Enjoy’ in sour cream on the plate – a nice touch. If any burrito has earned a top score for presentation, it’s an Azteca burrito (5/5)
And now I’ll get down to business, and let you know how my burrito tasted:
- The first thing that I noticed about my burrito was that it was moist, but not soggy at all, despite the sauce that covered the top of it. The sauce, combined with the well toasted tortilla meant that the burrito was warm, but not dry on the outside. It held together well (at least until about two thirds of the way through, when it completely fell apart), without being chewy, but was also easy to cut through. Up until now, I’ve not had a burrito with the perfect distribution of ingredients, but Azteca have given me good distribution. Every bite had a bit of every ingredient in it. The only complaint that I’d have would be about how it fell apart in the last third of the burrito, and how that portion of it was quite messy to eat. (9/10)
- This was a good sized burrito, it has to be said. It was fat and long, and stuffed full of ingredients. I was very full after it, making this the perfect size for dinner. All of that said, this is the most expensive burrito meal that I’ve had – €7.50 for my burrito (and all of the burritos are either €7 or €7.50) and another €1.50 for a drink. This was quite a bit more expensive than my usual burrito excursion… (8/10)
- I’ll rate the bacon first. This was crispy, but not dry (as crispy bacon sometimes is), and came in proper sized rashers (smoked bacon, unless I’m very much mistaken). It was certainly tasty, and had little or no fat or rind on the meat. Certainly very enjoyable (10/10). The chicken was not quite as good as the bacon – it was a bit dry and tough. That said, it was some good quality chicken breast, that had probably just been overcooked. (8/10). So that means that the meat in the Delicioso fared very well, managing an overall score of (9/10).
- As I mentioned, the salsa does not come in the burrito (although the pico de gallo contains a small amount of chilli). At first, I only tried a small bit of the salsa on my burrito, and it seemed quite mild, but had a very herbal flavour to it. I became braver after a few mouthfuls, and had some more, and it certainly has a kick of heat to it! Not enough to bring a tear to the eye (for me, at least), but strong enough that somebody who enjoys their spicy food will not be disappointed. It was quite tasty, although the flavour was a bit lacking – there was some sort of background flavour that neither myself nor Sad could figure out. Perhaps if this flavour had been stronger, we’d have known what the flavour was. (9/10)
- The first thing that I noticed about my Delicioso was the guacamole. It was nothing short of beautiful – fresh avocado, just enough lime juice, and some garlic (which I thought was a very nice touch!). The cheese was also delicious; good quality, mature cheddar – it really worked well with the bacon and the chicken. It had a strong flavour, but wasn’t overpowering. The rice was tasty, as was the pico de gallo (which had a great herbal flavour to it), but there wasn’t enough of either, in my opinion. The refried beans were some of the best that I’ve had – I’m almost certain that they’re homemade (none of this canned stuff!). (8/10)
You might be using your fingers and toes to count (and the fingers and toes of the people around you) and be looking at it in disbelief…but your counting skills are fine, it’s OK: we have a new contender in the top spot, beating Little Ass Burritos and Boojum by a single point – Café Azteca stand with a more-than-respectable 43/50
I’ve been asked by some readers to do a quick summary of the grading at the end of each post, so that’s what I’m going to do:
- Consistency and Texture: 9/10
- Size: 8/10
- Meat: 9/10
- Salsa: 9/10
- Rice and Other Ingredients: 8/10
- Total score: 43/50