Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tienda Santa Cruz

I went on a burrito pilgrimage the other day, to experience the grub from a taqueria in the back of a little market. Located at 8630 North Lombard Street in St Johns, this nondescript, shabby little place could easily be missed. You'd never expect such a bustling place shoved in the back, though it felt more like a cafeteria than a restaurant.  Very utilitarian- no extravagance needed.

They were also cranking out some super delicious looking pastries, if you want desert. Not that you'll need it!

Asada Burrito

Ingredients: Asada, beans, rice, cilantro, onion, cheese

Price: $4.50

Sides: Red and Green Salsa, Pastry for desert!

Size: Medium-big

I've always hated the word "authentic." What amount of truth can such a word hold in modern society? Culture is a mixed up mess; mocking its predecessors, constantly changing, building on its own forgotten history. Nothing is "real," yet everything is.

However, authentic is the word that comes to mind when describing this burrito experience. Although, there was no one slaughtering goats out back (at least I don't think so). Plus, I don't even consider burritos authentic Mexican cuisine, but somehow, this was really really real. Pure and simple.

The tortilla was phenomenally crisp and chewy at the same time. How'd they do that? There was too much of it, but it was so yummy that I didn't care. The thinly sliced steak was subtle and savory, if a bit on the chewy side. The rice and beans added little to the overall essence. Cilantro and onion. Yeah!

But... the whole time I was eating, I was wishing that I had gotten the tacos instead. I know... I know... I'm a burrito junkie- tacos are for pansies, right? But hear me out. This was like eating a giant taco; it was just too much of the same thing. If I were eating a variety of tacos, fresh squeezes of lime every now and then... it would have been heavenly! When I'm chowing down on a burrito, I want that juicy, saucy, cheesy, oozy, dynamic mesh of flavors and textures tickling my senses. This was just too simple, too primordial.

If you're taking it back, taking it waaaaaaaaaaay back, taking it to the street... take it to the tacos.

The Rating

3 out of 5

if it were tacos and I was the taco aficionado... a million out of 5! 


  1. You really must have their Chile Relleno burrito, slathered with some of the red sauce in a squeeze bottle. It is consistently the best burrito I've had in 8 years here in Portland. I've had it dozens of times (I currently work a few blocks away), and maybe once or twice it was so-so. Occasionally I'll have a pastor or carnitas, too. They're simple and perhaps too much of a good thing, but nevertheless excellent burritos.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, David! I do love me some chile relleno burritos, and would love to try their version.

  2. Oh, and by the way, the chile relleno burrito is $4.50.

    Best. Price. Ever.