Stepping Out

Matthew Kaufman and Ryan Jacobson
Ryan Jacobson

El Burrito Loco
Rating: 4/5
3611 Bates Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63111
(314) 457-8600

A sudden craving for good, cheap Mexican food had us scouring the Internet and our friends’ brains. We took a friend’s recommendation to check out El Burrito Loco in south St. Louis. Although it was quite a schlep to get there, the titanic burritos we ordered proved to be a cut above any closer options. These burritos hit the spot without hitting our wallets too hard.

The dining area of El Burrito Loco encompasses two rooms, and you can either order at the counter or enjoy table service. As we perused the menu we munched on some free tortilla chips and salsa. The menu was much larger than we had expected; dinner platters and other Mexican specialties provided us with a wealth of choices. Still, we both decided that we would try the restaurant’s specialty – burritos.

The burritos are handy; they come in three sizes, and you can choose from a bunch of different fillings that range from chicken in chipotle sauce to spicy potatoes. We settled on a beef and jalape¤o salsa burrito and the Burrito Loco itself. The former was quite a treat. This beast arrived piping hot on a plate garnished with lettuce and pico de gallo and filled with refried beans, rice and meat. The rice was a big hit. It had a citrus kick that really stood out. The meat was right on, too. It was slow cooked and tender, and the jalape¤o salsa made it pop with flavor. Don’t even try picking these burritos up unless you want half of it on your lap.

But what is the Burrito Loco, you ask? This bad boy comes with beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo. This could be a good choice for a vegetarian, but we opted to add chicken for a small fee. Overall, the burrito turned out to be a very tasty choice. By far our favorite part of this burrito was the guacamole. Freshly made, it had large chunks of avocado yet maintained a creamy texture. The chicken was not quite as good. It was slightly bland, but it did go well with the burrito’s m‚lange of flavors. This burrito also came lukewarm and we would have liked it slightly hotter.

For such a no-frills spot, the service was outstanding. Our sodas were refilled early and often and the server checked in on us periodically. The restaurant wasn’t busy, but this could have had something to do with the fact that we were eating dinner at 4 p.m.

Overall, El Burrito Loco was a great alternative to the chain burrito joints springing up all over the place. These dishes were made with real care that you can only find at a family-owned, authentic restaurant. Sure, this place is a twenty minute ride away, but if you find yourself on the south side of St. Louis or hungering for a nine-inch concoction of deliciousness, then El Burrito Loco is well worth the trip. Call us crazy, but we thought this place was pretty darn good.

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