Burritos Locos has food like a taco stand but, fortunately, a lot more space. Half the restaurant is a patio, and with summer approaching, nothing sounds better right now than stuffing my face with tacos while a cool breeze passes by.
Carne asada ($1.60) and chorizo ($1.75) tacos are a familiar sight, while higado and cebolla (liver and onions, $1.75) and tripas (beef tripe, $1.75) tacos cater to more adventuresome palates.
Without a doubt, tripe tacos are a sure sign of Mexican authenticity.
We went for the lengua, or tongue, tacos ($1.60 each), which have a similar flavor to barbacoa with a firmer texture. The picadillo (seasoned ground beef, $1.60) and barbacoa tacos ($1.60) have a subtle flavor, but it’s easy to perk them up with a dip in the spicy red house salsa.
Tacos are loaded with meat and are on soft tortillas (not made in-house).
A lot of the same meats are also in the burritos ($6). Additional fillings include beans, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. But beware: The more ingredients you throw in, the more muted the meat becomes — choose less for better results. I’d suggest sticking with two extras at most. The carne asada burrito is an especially meaty and tender option.
Loco-wise, there isn’t actually anything crazy about the burritos, except for their size. In a burrito showdown, these would literally squash any others out there — they’re humongous.
There are a lot of shrimp dishes, like the camarones empanizados (fried shrimp, $10.50) plate. Being fried shrimp, it’s a safe option. You can’t go wrong with something battered and crunchy.
The tamales ($2), made in-house, had a subtle sweetness that we found distracting. And they lack the dense masa of a traditional tamale — they’re airy, like cornbread.
The Spanish rice served with a lot of the dishes is also airy, but unlike the tamales, we liked its texture and flavor.
The gorditas ($3.50), made in-house, are like thick tortilla sandwiches, filled with the same meats as the tacos. They have a rough texture with sporadic burn marks, like my grandma used to make. They’re also filled with beans, which add more texture (creamy) than flavor.
Breakfast options include chilaquiles rojos ($6.50), tortillas cooked with ancho peppers and smothered in cheese. Ancho peppers aren’t as piquant as other peppers, like jalapeños, but they are used to make a lot of traditional dishes and are prized for their earthy flavor, which I love.
But the ultimate breakfast option is the “tacos desayuno,” or breakfast tacos ($1.60), with their chorizolike flavor. Just like the tacos and burritos, the breakfast tacos are stacked full. Bacon, beans, cheese, eggs, potatoes and Mexican sausage make it a challenge to fold each one, not that I’m complaining.
Even better, breakfast is served all day. And with Burritos Locos open insanely late some nights (3 a.m. weekends), I can pacify my breakfast taco cravings at late hours of the night (or early hours of the morning).
It’s 11 p.m. as I finish this, and I haven’t eaten. Guess I’m about to have breakfast for dinner.