Zaragoza

Some time in early January, my friend Allison and I were strolling down from 53rd street, trying to figure out what we wanted to eat after we’d conquered the MoMa. After walking across half of Manhattan, I suggested we find some place fun and Mexican (surprise, surprise). Since I am a child by standard U.S. law, Allison suggested a small BYOB Mexican place so we could have a beer with dinner. She led me to a cozy little place south of Union Square.

Mexican eateries are the easiest place to take me. Taking me to an ethnic restaurant with a full menu is a big mistake, unless you want to sit around for an hour waiting for me to decide what fun new thing to try. But hey, there’s an idea if you want to get to know me. It took me a couple of minutes and a translator to decide what meat I wanted in my burrito, but I decided on chorizo pork with potatoes.

Before I go into detail, I want to acknowledge the unique presentation of this burrito.

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I was taken aback. My burrito came with a dual hot sauce and cheese Mexican flag and…a fork?? “Madness,” I thought. I admit, I was skeptical. I thought it’d take away from the burrito experience. But I should have trusted the nice Mexican man who treated us like his amigos.

The chorizo pork was hearty and filling. I don’t normally like pork, but it was ground up to an excellent consistency, perfect for burritos. The potatoes were unique, as potatoes are not generally a thing you put in burritos. Not too hard or soft, they appeared sporadically throughout the burrito experience, adding to the heartiness and neutralizing the meaty taste.

The rice was the perfect filler for this burrito because it fluffed up the roll of goodness while everything else added the flavor. The pork-potato mashup flowed very well with the rice. The guac was truly on point. It penetrated the rice and maintained an apparent creamy presence throughout the entire burrito. And it wasn’t just processed chunks of avocado, but some homemade flavor-blasted burrito enhancer. There was also lettuce, salsa, and sour cream in the mix, which positively contributed to the burrito experience, but the chorizo pork n’ potato, rice, and guac is where it’s at.

Ah, and the flavor flag that blanketed this heavenly concoction did not fail to add a spicy (or cheesy) twist to every bite. A+ for flavor, consistency, and creativity; would recommend.

But my experience did not stop at the burrito. Allison and I had not seen each other since she graduated BU. It might’ve been nearly a year since we really got to chat, so naturally, we spent hours talking about everything and nothing.

Somewhere between bathroom breaks and tipsy texting episodes, Allison befriended the burrito man. I blankly stared as the two conversed in spanish, recognizing words like “Boston” and “tequila.” Next thing I know, I’m done with two 24 oz. cans of (my BYO’d) beer and am being handed a cup of tequila and lemon-lime soda with a smile and a “happy new year.”

A couple of hours and three strings of drunk texts later, the tequila bottle is empty and burrito man is refusing to take our money for the meal or the tequila.

Overall, the food was great and so was the experience. I will definitely pay this place a visit next time I’m back in NYC.

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