Hello Plotheads, and welcome to the first installment of “A Family Blog” – a Web page dedicated to the reviewing of restaurants and bars in and around the New York Area by yours truly – members of A Family Plot.
The first question you may be thinking is, why are we doing this? Well, as individuals, we all have widely varying interests – but one of the things that we all really enjoy doing (besides making music) is sitting down to enjoy good food and drink. And we figured that since we often dine together anyway, have a lot to say about whatever it is we are indulging in, A Family Blog might be a good idea. In addition, we thought it would be fun, entertaining, and hopefully beneficial for you music fans out there who happen to be foodies as well. Our goal is to provide unbiased, unpretentious viewpoints on what we’ve experienced in a casual “hanging out with the band”-type setting. And since this is a new endeavor for us, your suggestions, feedback, etc., is encouraged.
So enjoy your meal with us … FAMILY style!
LA Burrito, specializing in Mexican cuisine, is on the south side of Williamsburg, and a few short blocks from our rehearsal space. Appearing quite modest from the outside, the inside boasts a very welcome ethnic feel. With the unobtrusive sound of Mexican music in the background, looking around, you could swear that you crossed the border and were in some Mexican grandmother’s eat-in kitchen.
The menu had all the “classics,” as well as some atypical dishes, i.e., a catfish burrito, which none of us were lucky (or unlucky) enough to try. Prices were very reasonable (you could have a satisfying meal anywhere from $6 and up.), and there is no wait staff; you simply place your order, and when called, enjoy it at a table of your choice.
Joe’s order: a chicken chipotle burrito, consisting of Mexican pinto beans, lettuce, and a rich chipotle salsa on a flour tortilla.
Mike’s order: a Baja Burrito, consisting of shredded chicken, a rich tomatillo salsa, pinto beans and Mexican rice.
John’s order: shredded chicken enchiladas, consisting of pinto beans, brown rice, salad with sour cream, and tomatillo sauce.
Wayne’s order: special of the day: a mole verde platter, consisting of shredded chicken, Mexican rice, refried beans, lettuce, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, corn, garbanzo salsa, and four corn tortillas.
Joe: If I wasn’t sitting here trying to review this, I’d be enjoying myself!
Joe: It’s a lot of food for not too much money. The chipotle sauce is good, but not overpowering. And I do like the quaint, cozy atmosphere.(addressing Mike) Do you feel that string beans are a necessary part of a burrito?
Mike: That’s weird, having mixed vegetables in your burrito. Not a major offense, but weird. Look, I’ve got peas, too!
(Note: neither of their dishes mentioned “mixed vegetables” as an ingredient.)
Wayne: I do think corn is a nice touch.
Mike: Corn is at least native to Mexico; string beans aren’t. And the mixture of peas, carrots and string beans – the way its cut – is all too similar to a canned mixed vegetable.
John: The vegetables are too hearty; canned vegetables are like mush.
Wayne: Real class.
(Mike sings along with what sounds like adult contemporary Mexican music)
Mike: There’s no trace of the rich tomatillo salsa. And inside there’s sour cream, which I like, but a couple of vegetables that don’t belong in a burrito or any Mexican dish – carrots, peas, string beans – fundamentally that is screwy. But the pricing is fair and the food is good. They’re just light on seasoning and flavor.
John: My synopsis is: good food, inexpensive. A nice little place. The food is OK, but bland.
Wayne: I will echo John’s sentiment and say very bland. There were no flavors that really jumped out at me in any way. It was all one even culinary keel. When I first saw the greenish hue from the sauce on my plate I thought it would be bursting with spices and flavor. In the end I ended up with a full – but unsatisfied – belly.
Random female customer: Are you guys in a band? You have that band vibe!
Mike: Yeah. But everyone looks like they're in a band in this neighborhood!
Wayne reaches for some guacamole (that he did not pay for!)
John: That’s a claw if I ever saw one!
Wayne: (After tasting the guacamole) Not great, but better than good.
Joe: A little bland. No frills, but not in a good way.
Mike: It’s fair.
Wayne: I like the hot sauce they have here on the tables. It’s no too hot. It gives you the right amount of zing – not too heavy, not too sharp.
(After apparently eating too much too fast) Guys, I overdid it with the hot sauce! It went down the wrong pipe! Oohhhhh!!!!!!!!! (Gasping for air)
John: One thing I do like is the crowd that comes in here. Cool people. I really love the “Shreck” doll, too (one of the restaurant’s “decorations” on a nearby shelf).
Joe: Mexican Shreck.
John: The tomatillo sauce is yummy. And everyone finishes their food here, so that’s a good sign.
Joe: I’m not walking away from here hungry.
John: I gotta say, I’d rather eat at Taco Bell than here any day of the week.
Mike: Really? Wow!
Joe: And a hush has gone over the table.
Mike: I understand what you mean. But its still Mexican food, which is one of my favorite foods, so it’s hard for me to ever really say something bad.
John: If you give me a chicken quesadilla and a Chalupa Supreme over at Taco Bell I will have that (over this) any day!
Joe: Dude, I would have that over filet mignon!
John: Go to Taco Bell!
Joe: I like it here.
Wayne: The dish was OK. And the water’s free! (giant water cooler and glasses in the back for the taking)
Mike: It’s not as black and white as thumbs up/thumbs down for me.
FINAL, FINAL WORDS
John: Bonzo (Joe's nickname), gimme more of that lube!
(Now don’t get the wrong idea, folks! L.A. Burrito also gives out complimentary condoms and lubrication packets to its customers. Perhaps another reason to – or not to – visit!
Be on the lookout for our next eating and drinking rendezvous – coming soon!
A Family Plot will be performing at Crash Mansion in New York City on April 24 at 11 p.m. See you there, Plotheads! But in the meanwhile, drop us a line and let us know what you think about “A Family Blog” at firstname.lastname@example.org.