It was Girls’ Night Out, but we didn’t want to spend a fortune, so we walked into El Burrito on Bridge Street.
We were welcomed with a complimentary basket of tortilla chips and a salsa verde sparkling with tomatillo. The waitress asked us if we wanted anything to drink. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to know what was available and beverages weren’t listed on the menu.
I knew from others that the cooler at the top of the stairs held an impressive selection of Mexican sodas and juices, so I chose a Boing Guava Juice ($2) from the juice shelf. Sue ordered an Iced Tea ($1.75).
We were hungry, so we ordered the Super Nachos ($6.95) which were crispy corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and lettuce. The Nachos were well-made and the portion was easily shared between three people, but the guacamole, served in a separate bowl on the side was the stand-out. Chunky, rather than smooth, and full of rich avocado and just the right cilantro notes, it was one of the best “ordered-out” guacamoles we’ve had.
The menu is extensive with many choices. Sue wanted to try something new, so she ordered the Chicken Huarache ($6.50). It turned out to be a long flour tortilla laid the length of an oval plate, spread with refried beans, sprinkled with chicken, then topped with lettuce and queso fresco. Sue tried to roll it up to eat like a burrito, but it was too fat to bite into. Use a knife and fork for this dish!
After the waitress was unable to answer Denise’s questions about other menu items, Denise chose the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail ($14.50), which was a tall glass filled with shrimp in the tomatoes, onions and cilantro of a homemade cocktail sauce and topped with avocado and a full slice of lime. Saltine crackers surrounded the base of the glass.
Squeezing the lime over the dish was critical to its success—the acid splash cut the sweetness of the cocktail sauce and united with the cilantro to produce a memorable seafood experience. We noticed that other diners also ordered this item, so it appears to be getting a well-deserved reputation at the restaurant.
Somebody had to order a burrito at a place called “El Burrito” and since I am the reviewer, the others let me do it! From a nearly full column of burrito choices, I picked the Burrito de Carnitas ($8) which was a flour tortilla wrapped around shredded pork, refried beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream and melted cheese. The menu states that it’s served with your choice of either French fries or sweet potato fries, but the waitress didn’t ask me which I wanted and I forgot to mention it.
However, the French fries I received were expertly fried and sprinkled with black pepper that perked up both the lovely shredded pork in the overstuffed burrito and paired nicely with the rest of the salsa verde from the chip basket. The burrito itself had sounded overwhelming, but the flavors melded together for an enjoyable and filling meal.
Hearing that there were desserts, we immediately asked for the menu. Instead, the waitress recited a list from which we chose Flan and Mexican Fried Ice Cream.
Both desserts were beautifully presented. The Flan ($3.50) was redolent with strawberries, cinnamon and whipped cream. It was eggier and more solid than the Guatemalan version I’ve had elsewhere, but easily as worth ordering. The ice cream (from a menu I found online) is actually Mexican Homemade Ice Cream ($2), which explains why it was lacking a fried crust. Unfortunately, its rich custard taste was marred by large ice crystals.
Service seemed inexperienced. While I’ve mentioned the gaffes at our table, we noticed that our waitress seemed to learn from her mistakes and provided the other tables under her care with service that we had to ask for. I also suspect there was a language barrier, not between us and our server, but between our server and the kitchen. We’re hopeful that she’ll be up to speed soon.
Our Girls' Night Out a success, we walked onto Bridge Street and when we saw other friends, told them that El Burrito was worth their visit. We’ll definitely keep it in mind again when we want an inexpensive, yet tasty place to gather.
If You Go:
Location: 180 Bridge St., Phoenixville
Cost: $2 to $18
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Payments accepted: Cash only (ATM on site)
Parking: On-street parking or paid Phoenixville parking lot