The Squids Are (Just) All Right at Mañana’s

The Burrito Blotter makes its first trip to Mañana’s in unincorporated El Cajon.

Whenever I make my first visit to a new location for , it's always fun because I seemingly have a whole world of options in front of me. I always look forward to scanning the menu and finding out what surprises may await.

So I was both elated and saddened when I pulled up to in unincorporated El Cajon, and realized that I wouldn't even need to see the menu. A sign on the door told me immediately what I was getting: Try Our Calamari Burrito ($5.09).

Message sent. Message received.

I had never had a calamari burrito, so naturally, I was  intrigued. As always, we'll break it down by the ingredients:

The tortilla was pretty soft, but it had a few very dark burnt spots, which can sometimes ruin a burrito. However, there weren't enough to make it unenjoyable.

One thing I didn't know was how the calamari was going to be prepared. I hoped for relatively small, breaded pieces, and much to my delight, that's exactly what it was – cut into strips and fried. However, I was a little disappointed in the flavor of the squid – in that there was none. Contrary to popular belief, calamari does actually have flavor, but Mañana’s sadly cooked it all out.

Mixed Cabbage
Much like a a fish taco, or fish burrito, the calamari burrito came with two different varieties of shredded cabbage. It was a really nice touch, and added a crunchy, crisp texture.

The salsa provided the most actual "flavor" in the burrito, and that's never a good thing. That said, the tomatoes, cilantro and onions tasted very fresh.

Chipotle Sauce
This ingredient was entirely misrepresented. It had no discernible spice at all, both in seasoning and in heat. It tasted more like a sour cream than a spicy sauce, and was definitely something you're more likely to find in a standard fish taco. A little disappointing.

It was good, but not great. I think I had higher expectations given that it was my first calamari burrito, and though I was disappointed, I wouldn't call it a total failure. With a bit more seasoning and a touch more spiciness, it could have been top class.

Rating: 3.2 (out of 5)


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