Blue Coast Burrito – Florence, Alabama
First Impression Visit
The burrito wars has invaded Florence, Blue Coast Burrito fired a warning shot across the bow of the king of tacos and burritos by opening a location just a few hundred yards down the street. Until Blue Coast Burrito invaded the Taco Bell was probably the largest purveyor of the Americanized Burrito in The Shoals Area. I’m not saying it was the only place that sold burrito because I know there are several Hispanic owned Mexican Restaurant that serve a more authentic style of burrito and that is why I referred to it as an Americanized Burrito. But then again, it’s a debatable point.
The Blue Coast Burrito chain was founded in Nashville and operates several locations in and around the Nashville area. There are other franchise locations in Tennessee such as Chattanooga, Knoxville, Cookeville, Hendersonville, and in Arkansas in Jonesboro and Little Rock. Blue Coast Burrito also has outlets in a few food court locations.
Placing the Order….
When you walk into Blue Coast Burrito you will have to get in line to order your burrito and unless you have previously visited the Blue Coast Burrito, then you’ll find the selections somewhat daunting. Your best move is to go to a neutral corner and study the menu board to select what ingredients you want in your burrito. Only after you’ve made your selections should you get back in line and start placing your order. And this is even more of a necessity if you’re somewhat hard of hearing like I am because with the machine noise behind the counter, people talking and placing orders ahead of you and employees that won’t speak above a loud whisper, making choices on the fly is hard.
However, with determination and Debra’s ability to hear better than I and read lips, we did manage to get our orders through to the young lady building the burritos. As I stated above, there is a large selection of filler items for the burrito and for my first visit I decided to go simply and ordered the large 12″ burrito ($5.99) on a wheat tortilla with grilled steak, which is just small cubes of I presume round steak, pinto beans, Pico de Gallo, diced tomatoes, hot salsa and onions. Debra chose the 10″ burrito ($4.99) on a flour tortilla with the LaTinga Chicken, which is spicy shredded chicken with Jack Cheese, shredded lettuce, green onions, sour cream, and diced tomatoes. We did order the “Combo” that came with chips, salsa bar and a Coke ($2.99 ea).
The choice of seating areas to enjoy your burrito is three, there is the back by the restroom doors section, the front of the counter section and the outdoor section which is a shared area with the Five Guys customers. The back section is not bad seating if you don’t want to listen to the noise, the outdoor section is great for late afternoons but we opted for the upfront seating area.
After we had gotten our Cokes fixed we dropped them off at our chosen table and then went to the salsa bar where they have small disposable cups for you to get your choice of salsas. The salsa choices were Salsa Rosa (Hot-n-Spicy), Roasted Tomato (mild), Tomatillo salsa (mild), and Pineapple Salsa (mild). According to Blue Coast Burrito’s website all of the salsas are freshly made each day as well as all of the ingredients for the burritos. Naturally, I chose the Salsa Rosa and I do have to say it was very good and with a decent amount of spice to it. The salsa had a mild back bite that was noticeable after the initial hot taste had cleared your mouth. So, I wouldn’t recommend it for any of the faint of heart crowd because it will get their attention quickly. However, for you pepper heads, get four cups, fill them to the brim and save yourself a few trips back for refills.
The first thing we noticed about the burritos were that they were about the same size although I had ordered the 12″ vs. Debra’s 10″ size. I’ll go into more detail down below in the “Our Conclusions” section though.[Tweet “I’m Lovin @blucoastburrito http://bit.ly/WbinVt #food #foodpics #foodreview #nomnom”]
Debra’s burrito was packed with shredded chicken and even though the menu said it was spicy, it was not overly spicy and had a very good flavor. She was quite satisfied with it and puts it in the “I’ll order that again” category. As to my grilled steak burrito, I found the meat not having much of a grilled flavor and it was a little to much on the tough side even though it had been on the steam prep table for who knows how long. The other ingredients were quite good and I placed the grilled steak in the “get something different next time” category.
Here is a word to the wise on burrito sizes, the 10 and 12 inch references are for the diameter of the tortilla, not the length of the finished burrito. If you are only going to get a few ingredients in your burrito, then save a dollar and go for the 10 inch size. However, if your going to load it up with everything but the kitchen sink, then by all means go for the 12 inch size tortilla to give the burrito maker more to roll it up in.
Taste wise, both of our burritos were quite good and with the exception of the tough grilled steak we both enjoyed them. On our next visit I will order the LaTinga Chicken and add more ingredients to get a bit more for the money. Making the burritos a combo is also a good move since the salsas are very good and more chips can be had for the asking.
The Brown Bag Review recommends that you pay a visit to the Blue Coast Burrito, overall our impression was good and the ingredients do look and taste freshly prepared. However, as I noted above, do study the menu before getting in line to order, decide which size tortilla best fits your ingredient mix and if you want to order the combo.
Also, be aware that the finished burrito is not like the mammoth offerings at Chipoltes and the Blue Coast Burrito when tucked and rolled are only about five inches in length.
Also check out the Blue Coast Burrito’s Fish Tacos, Taco Salads and Tortilla soup, because there may be something that suites your taste better in that group.
Our Overall Rating –
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