I was in a mood for pork. That's really the only explanation I can offer as to why my eyes immediately locked on to the Carnitas Burrito ($5.20) when I scanned the menu at upon my visit last week.
Here's the thing about being in the mood for pork, too. You really don't want to be disappointed. Let's see how Santana stood up to the challenge in this weeks' As always, we break down the ingredients.
Soft and chewy, with those lovely little light brown grill spots, this tortilla was everything you are looking for. A perfect vessel with the requisite amount of firmness and texture, despite its softness.
The star of the show in a BIG way! Firstly, there was plenty of carnitas in the burrito, so bonus points for not skimping. Secondly, the flavor was fantastic. Salty and a little smoky, but not overly so. Lastly, and most importantly, after being slow cooked for several hours (I assume), the carnitas was finished on the hot flat top, giving it a tangy, crispy, almost crust-like texture. It was packed full of savory goodness, and the meat was still remarkably tender. The only drawback, was that some bites of pork were a little dry, a result of the searing.
Guacamole & Pico de Gallo
The guacamole provided a creamy texture that went very well with the tender, crispy carnitas. There was also the right amount of it, not too much or too little. The fresh pico provided a vibrancy to the dish, with the acid cutting a bit of the fat in the guacamole and the salt of the carnitas. Very well balanced.
I've got no qualms with this burrito. It was a bit on the small side, but I didn't find it unsatisfying in the least bit. And, as a bonus, like many burritos containing slow cooked meat, the juices naturally run to the bottom of the burrito, making the last few bites "smack-you-in-the-face" delicious with concentrated flavor. A very impressive offering.
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)