T & I discovered there are two Costa Vida's around Denver, so since we were near one, we went to see what they are about.
I went in to order. Like Qdoba or Chipotle, you stand on one side of the sneeze guard and order each item as you go down the line - black or pinto beans, chicken or steak or pork, which salsa, cheese on it, and then unlike Chipotle and Qdoba they stick the burrito in a Quiznos-style oven-conveyor to heat the burrito and warm the tortilla. The tortillas are not steamed before building it like at Chip and Q. At Costa Vida you are given the option of smothering the burrito. I did not have my shredded beef + black beans + rice + cheese + medium salsa smothered. After heating, she added lettuce and pico de gallo on the side.
The presentation looked good.
Yeah, LOOKED good. Nah, it wasn't that bad but nothing special and nothing to write home about.
On the prep line the shredded beef is bathing in its own juices or a sauce - very flavorful in concept but in burrito form it really makes the burrito too wet.
And the cheese melts in the oven - sounds delicious but the melted cheese mixes with the juice to make an even wetter burrito. And with the lettuce and pico served on the side you have to cram a bit on the wet burrito before a bite. I gave up on that and let the burrito innards fall in the lettuce as the burrito disintegrated. A tasty pile of stuff to enjoy at the end though.
My burrito chain rankings (of these 5):
1. Qdoba (the Poblano Pesto Burrito is the best thing ever. EVER!)
2. Chipotle (consistently the biggest burritos & dependably good.)
3. Baja Fresh (the tortillas = heaven.)
4. Moe's (a distant 4th. Very distant.)
5. Costa Vida (Yes, behind Moe's.)
But do not think this review is all negative. There were two pretty good things:
The napkins are stacked in a neat unique way -
And the sink in the bathroom is pretty cool -
Labels: what i eat