They say that you shouldn’t go food shopping when you are hungry, or you’ll just buy all kinds of junk food. I would also add that you shouldn’t watch the Cooking Channel while you are hungry, or there’s a possibility that you might not be able to stop yourself from eating the entire contents of your refrigerator. Luckily, on Friday, pizza was on its way while we were watching United Tastes of America, or that might have become a very real scenario in our house. Burritos were the topic of the show that night, and they all looked so amazing that we decided that we would have to have them at some point over the weekend (obviously, we’re a marketer’s dream. It’s amazing we don’t have a house full of “As Seen on TV” products).
Taqueria Veracruzana (908 Washington Avenue) in South Philly had been on our list of places to try for awhile, and it seemed like the perfect place to satisfy our television induced burrito cravings. It’s located in the Italian Market, which has undergone something of a transition in recent years, and now includes a variety of Mexican and Asian grocery stores and restaurants in addition to the Italian butchers and kitchenware stores that have been in the Market for decades.
We went with the sole intent of having burritos, but the menu does feature a variety of other Mexican specialties, including breakfast, tacos, moles, and enchiladas. While we waited for our order, we snacked still warm tortilla chips, red chipotle salsa, and salsa verde. Both of the salsas were a bit too spicy for me. Next time I go back, I’ll have to order some guacamole or pico de gallo so I have at least one mild option.
I got a chicken burrito and Chester got steak. Both were stuffed to the point of bursting (and mine actually did. I had to eat most of it with a fork!) with refried beans, rice and avocado. The only thing I found odd was that they used American cheese. I guess it’s got the same sort of mild flavor that queso fresco has, but I didn’t expect it, since everything else seemed pretty authentic.
If you go, don’t get scared by the way it looks outside (a bit sketchy and grimy, especially at night); the interior is brightly decorated, well maintained, and clean. As a note, you can stop by the creepy looking store down the street for alcoholic beverages, since the restaurant is a BYOB—but that place is actually sketchy and grimy, so do so at your own risk. I’ve pretty much decided that this is going to be my go to place for burritos from now on. The quality and freshness of the ingredients, and the reasonable prices, make it a much better option than Qdoba and Chipotle. I hope to go back soon to try some more items on the menu.