One student’s Quest to find the Best Burrito in Waco
By Caroline Brewton
As a working student, I don’t have much free time. To save myself a few, precious minutes, I often compromise my nutritional needs for junk food or takeout, often resulting in fatigue and a vague and nagging guilt over the state of my health.
In order to have the energy to face a grueling day of class and work, I decided to embark on the search for the perfect breakfast food to keep me going. I settled on the breakfast burrito because it contains eggs (protein) and a tortilla (carbs). I deemed it the perfect mixture of health food and comfort food.
OK, maybe it’s not the healthiest, but considering that my old strategy was to inhale five Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies in my morning rush, a breakfast burrito seemed like a good compromise. I could always add vegetables if they were offered.
I decided to visit noteworthy local restaurants that served breakfast burritos and rate the burritos they served on a five-star system based on the following categories: price, salsa, add-ins, and tortilla. The results are below.
The Cafe operates out of a food truck that comes to the Downtown Farmer’s Market, located at 400 South University Parks Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. I recommend getting there early before all of the good stuff is gone—you can pick up breakfast and do some grocery shopping at the same time.
Although I like the convenience of a Farmer’s Market burrito stand, because the market is only open on Saturday, I often find myself unable to satisfy my craving for Sergio’s. I suppose this is good; if it were available all the time, I would eat it all the time, so the limited availability saves me from burrito-burnout.
Due to the range of add-in options, overall quality, and price, Sergio’s was my favorite burrito. The price is good. One burrito only costs $4 and there is no additional charge for whatever you choose to add. The burritos here aren’t quite as big as they are in other places, but because of the add-ins and quality you get for a flat rate of $4, Sergio’s gets four stars.
The salsa was excellent. Not too hot and not too bland, Sergio’s excellent salsa is also offered at no additional charge. You can choose between a red and a green sauce, both of which I loved.
Sergio’s offers the best selection I’ve seen in Waco. Several compelling meat options are offered, including sausage and al pastor, my personal favorite. In addition, a wide selection of vegetables are available, including mushrooms and pico de gallo. Sergio’s gets five out of five stars for add-in options. It’s by far the best range of choices I’ve encountered and left both my taste buds and my need for vegetables satisfied.
Although the tortilla was good and tasted homemade, it was second on my list. The tortilla’s lower rating was not enough to drag down the burrito’s score, though, as a combination of factors make Sergio’s the best.
Located at 2409 N. 18th St., this unassuming-on-the-outside restaurant offers some serious burritos. Immediately, as I walked in the door, I was greeted by friendly wait staff who took my order and had my food out in mere minutes, a crucial factor for those in a rush to get to class or work.
Weighing in at $3.50 per burrito (three toppings included) with a charge of $.50 cents per additional add-in, the Los Chilangos burrito gets four stars for its price. Though it costs extra for additional toppings, a factor I would usually deduct stars for, the burrito is so big and delicious I gladly paid for the extras.
The salsa, which was bright orange, had a good flavor but was very watery. I give it three stars, as it wasn’t my absolute favorite.
I ordered ham, cheese, egg and potato, and though it wasn’t as healthy as the burrito I got from Sergio’s, it was good enough to keep me wanting more. Every bite contained plenty of excellent ham or potatoes and both were cooked to perfection. There were plenty of meat options, but no veggies. I suggest Sergio’s if you want something healthy or vegetarian. Prepare to expend all your calories on a delicious burrito that is worth the extra workout.
This was my favorite tortilla of all. It was thick, delicious and obviously homemade, the perfect complement to the burrito’s excellent interior.
Los Chilangos is located further away from campus, though, so one should factor in travel time if grabbing a bite to eat before early morning activities.
Despite its location, Los Chilangos is definitely worth the trouble. The burrito was the largest out of all five I sampled and delicious to boot.
When I want comfort food that’s going to put me in a sated food-coma, I’m coming here.
Taqueria El Crucero
El Crucero’s small interior could barely contain the number of people inside. I had heard good things about El Crucero before, and I wasn’t disappointed. The burrito was excellent, although a little slow in coming out. The service was friendly.
I was extremely confused by the menu, which was posted on the wall. There were several cross-outs made in marker directly on the menu, which made me doubt if I understood it. The price for additional ingredients was crossed out, and there was also a sentence fragment reading “Only one meat choice.” I didn’t know if that meant you only got to pick one meat to include in your burrito, or if only one was available.
I decided to order a bacon, egg potato and cheese burrito and sort it out later. My burrito total came out to $3.75 with tax, so I’m assuming that’s a flat rate. Salsa was an additional $.25 for each small cup, but the salsa was so good that I was happy to pay it.
The salsa was a little container of heaven. I ordered the much-talked-about green sauce, which fully lived up to its reputation. It tasted as though it were jalapeno-based, with a pleasing kick, but its texture really set it apart. It was almost fluffy. Words can’t describe this sauce — it’s that good.
The containers are very small, so I recommend getting four or five. If you eat in the restaurant, salsa is free and comes in unlimited quantities from a squirt bottle. The red sauce was also good.
As I’ve said, I was extremely confused by the menu, so I just ordered the most basic item. If add-ins were available, they weren’t displayed in a way I could understand. There was a vegetarian breakfast burrito option that cost $5 and included eggs, potato, soyrizo, cheese, grilled bell peppers, pico de gallo and avocado. While the offering sounds delicious, I prefer to pick my own add-ins.
The tortilla appeared to be homemade and tasted good; I give it four stars.
La Familia is a small restaurant located at 1111 La Salle Ave.
The restaurant serves breakfast the whole time they’re open, which I love. I can satisfy my need for burritos until they close.
This burrito was about average-sized, but included large chunks of delicious potatoes. The service was very friendly, but the restaurant only accepts cash, which I find inconvenient.
La Familia offers a good, basic burrito and is close to campus.
I was confused by their system of pricing. A one-meat, two-ingredient burrito costs $3.25, but extra ingredients can be added for additional change. Some cost $.50 and some cost $.20. Even with the additional cost of adding ingredients, I felt the price was still better than some others.
The salsa wasn’t bad. It was not too watery, but it also had nothing to distinguish it. It was a run-of-the-mill red sauce, perhaps a bit too heavy on the tomato. I would have liked a little more kick, as it was a little bland.
Although I was confused by the variable price of add-ins, La Familia definitely gets points for thinking outside of the box. They offer sour cream, which I had never thought to put on a breakfast burrito. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It sounds incongruous, but the creaminess of the sour cream complemented the taste of the sausage-and-egg burrito perfectly. I highly recommend trying the sour cream. The sausage was also excellent.
The tortilla was not bad, but was not great either — like the salsa, it was rather average.
Taqueria Zacatecas (Taco Z)
This burrito stand is a campus favorite, but I was unimpressed. The tortillas were sub-par and I didn’t like the salsa at all.
Located at 2311 La Salle Ave., it is fairly close to campus, and so I believe its favored status comes from its convenience.
This was the most expensive burrito I bought, and also one of the smallest. The total came out to $4.60, even though I stuck to the prescribed three ingredients. Additional ingredients cost $.25.
Taco Z’s salsa was by far the worst I tasted. It was a green sauce and had bland flavor. I don’t recommend it.
The add-in menu wasn’t short, and it included beans and rice, but no vegetables. The bacon I ordered was overcooked and in very small pieces. They did use an ample amount of white cheese, which I liked. Apart from that, it had no distinguishing characteristics.
The tortilla didn’t appear to be homemade and was not good enough to set it apart.
Hearing about it often from other students, I was expecting the best, but it fell short. Taco Z’s proximity to campus is not enough to make it worth the trip.
I recommend the also close La Familia if you need a quick bite in between classes and don’t want to venture farther than LaSalle Avenue.