No matter who you are, you have to admit —everyone loves a good burrito. While the majority of plebeians go to the chain burrito joints, like Moe’s or Chipotle, there are other great places to check out, especially in the Hendersonville area.
I ate at and reviewed four local burrito restaurants. Each of the burrito restaurants I went to serve food “Subway style,” where you walk through a line and create your own burrito with the ingredients that are offered. I considered the quality of the food, prices, the atmosphere and other factors.
To make the ratings fair, I ordered the same kind of burrito from every restaurant. Trying to keep it as basic as possible, I ordered a burrito with a white tortilla wrap, rice, chicken, black beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole. I’ve scoured far and wide for the best burritos, and I hope you enjoy.
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Moe’s Southwest Grill, located at 300 Airport Road in Arden and 1 Hendersonville Road in Asheville, is known for being more of a Tex-Mex joint than a Southwest grill. Moe’s is easily the most “Subway-esque” restaurant as it feels very formal and the food almost feels a little artificial. The environment of the place was decent and the paintings hung around are pretty neat. Fun fact for you, all the music they play in the restaurant is from artists who are dead. Moving on to the more important things, the burritos are mediocre, nothing special to be honest. The tortilla wasn’t steamed long enough, so it was a little too chewy and got stuck in my teeth. The chicken was dry and didn’t have much flavor. The guacamole wasn’t great either. I almost didn’t feel it was worth getting on the burrito. Alternatively, I’d say the best thing about Moe’s is their drink machine. It’s one of those new Coca-Cola machines where you can combine drink flavors such as orange Coke or vanilla root beer. Pretty neat. All in all, when it comes to burritos, Moe’s is just average.
Neo Burrito, located right in Biltmore Park, Asheville, remains the best out of these choices. The restaurant itself is pretty small, but the environment makes up for it. Neo Burrito is going for the theme of being “environmentally friendly,” and it’s certainly believable. All the toilets are filled with recycled rain water, and when you’re finished with your meal, they have select garbage bins for you to sort your food and dishes (such as compost, recyclables, dishes, etc.) For a decent price, you get a huge burrito with free chips that are really good. The tortilla was the perfect mix between soft and crispy, the chicken was very soft and full of flavor, and the guacamole was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. All the ingredients are organic and from Neo Burrito’s own farms.. All in all, Neo Burrito remains my favorite, aside from the seating occasionally being a tight squeeze when the restaurant is busy. Whether you care about helping the environment or not, definitely check this place out.
Chipotle, located at 1828 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, has been a big project in-the-waiting. I’d never been to Chipotle before. It was great to see it finally open up, so I could get a taste. And boy was I impressed. The burritos were big. The chicken was still a little dry, but it had a nice lime flavor to it. While the guacamole was great, you had to pay about $2 extra for it, which I wasn’t too happy about. After eating far enough into the burrito I realized that the burrito’s large size was mostly due to the amount of rice, and I felt I was getting full off of rice rather than the rest of the burrito. And I hadn’t even ordered chips. Unfortunately, you have to pay extra for them, too. All the ingredients tasted very fresh, though, and the burrito certainly felt worth the money. Another restaurant with a small seating area, but the glass walls made up for it. Overall, the burrito is still worth the price, and I’d say the restaurant lives up to the hype.
Mary’s Burritos, located at 1971 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville, exceeded my expectations. The restaurant is this cozy little place right off the road that really feels like something special when you discover it. While it does follow the traditional “go down the line and pick what you want” style, it does feel a little less formal, but that’s OK. Out of all the restaurants I visited for these reviews, this place was definitely the cheapest. However, this did not affect the quality of the burrito as I thought they were amazing. The burrito was huge and all the fillings were fresh and delicious. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even able to finish my burrito, even though I was starving when I started eating it. The cooking felt a little more traditional to the classic Mexican-style, and you could definitely tell from the taste. It’s a nice switch up from the average the burrito joint. I feel this place deserves more publicity, so please, check it out.
By Joel Fennimore