Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arriba, Arriba!!

So, a few weeks ago I discovered a brand new (secret, I'm convinced) part of New York with so many options for good eats: Hell's Kitchen.

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Stumbled upon this pretty awesome Mexican restaurant called Arriba, Arriba. I ordered one of their specialties: the "Famous" California Burrito (with chicken, of course) and no sour cream. I have to admit, it was probably one of the best burritos I've ever had, if not THE best. The enchilada sauce was amazing, and everything was prepared perfectly.

My only real complaint was about the atmosphere. There was hardly any space between the tables, and it was so dark in there I couldn't see what I was eating. I definitely wanted to take a photo, but there's no way my iPhone would have shown anything. It was also super loud - more like a club than a restaurant.

None-the-less, it's definitely still worth a visit. 

Located: 9th Ave. at 51st St. New York, NY
There are also other locations in Sunny Side and the East Side of NYC.

Rating: 5

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chipotle: Where The Heart Is

At last.. a blog update! I have been crazy busy the past couple of months. Traveled to Rochester and Vegas (next up: Louisiana), celebrated my birthday and Halloween.. and now we're in November.

I realized that I sometimes go through certain food phases. In Rochester I was on a pulled-pork kick (Dinosaur BBQ and Beale Street Cafe - both super tasty), and then Vegas was all about shrimp (I literally ate some version of it at least once a day for 5 days straight. Sushi Samba was awesome). While this is all fine, it also means that I have been slacking on burrito consumption.

But since I returned home I decided to write about the one burrito I can always fall back on. Actually - the one burrito I base all of the others on: Chipotle's Chicken Burrito.

I get a lot of crap for my obsession with Chipotle. Coworkers mock me for getting lunch there at least once a week, Californians tell me I don't know real Mexican food, people hate on it because it's a chain, the list goes on. But this is what I love:
  • Their iPhone app. During my lunch hour, Chipotle always has a line - and it's long. I will not have any part of this. I have my preferred burrito saved on my phone (entitled: "Val's Fav Burrito") and I place my order within a minute - paid for and everything! By the time I walk down to the restaurant, it's there waiting for me. It makes me feel like a V.I.P. (and why shouldn't I!?)
  • Warm tortillas. I have never had an issue with Chipotle's tortillas. They're always warm and soft - never hard and crusty. Although I usually eat my burrito with a fork & knife, if I wanted to bite into it I would have no trouble picking it up and eating it.
  • They serve beer. Who doesn't like a cold Corona with their warm burrito? Unfortunately I haven't gotten a beer at Chipotle yet (I usually go during lunch), I appreciate having the option.
  • Roasted chili corn. Their website describes it the best: "Sweet with a little heat." In my opinion, corn is just such a nice addition to a burrito. 
  • Cilantro lime rice. Just enough stick to it. 
  • Their logo, graphic + web design, atmosphere. They're all simple with just enough flavor to keep them interesting. I remember reading their paper to-go bag that showcased a story about a pinto bean.
  • Naturally raised pigs and chickens (+ some beef!) Knowing that the animals were raised humanely just makes me feel more comfortable eating their meat - plus it's healthier!
Taken from

Val's Fav Burrito:

1. Rice
2. Black Beans
3. Chicken
4. Fresh Tomato Salsa
5. Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
6. Cheese (just a dash)
7. Lettuce

    Location: Freakin' everywhere

    Rating: 4.5


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