Local Mexican restaurants range from malo to delicioso

By Alex Favreau
Baja Fresh
After the first few bites, Baja Fresh’s chicken burritos were nothing but sub-par. The only word I could think of was dry.  The dryness of my first bite made me need to chug a few gulps of my soda before I could go on and swallow.  I decided that the first bite might just have been a fluke, so I kept on eating, hoping that there would be some moisture after all. However, every bite remained arid.  The chicken in the burrito was the opposite of melt-in your-mouth, and the beans and rice had little to no flavor.
A big upside to Baja Fresh was the Salsa Bar.  The Salsa Bar offers six different types of salsa, such as Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde.  If the food was a little bit more moist, Baja Fresh would be a great place.
“Baja Fresh’s salsa bar is so awesome,” said sophomore Casey Murphy.  “However, I wasn’t too ecstatic about the food.  The burritos aren’t all that and overall a place in Westfield would be better.”
Tinga, a sit-down restaurant, is distinguished from the others because of its vast menu. Not only does it serve authentic Mexican cuisine such as quesadillas, burritos and tacos, but  the restaurant also offers more general options such as chicken fingers, french fries, sandwiches and wraps. This way, everyone can find something they like. These specific features are all great, but the restaurant’s highest point is its food.
My chicken burrito had all of the qualities that I look for in one: juicy chicken, great tasting beans and rice and the perfect amount of spice. Each bite presented an impeccable division of the burrito’s components, providing wonderful taste. I enjoyed it immensely and will be returning as soon as possible.
“Everytime I’ve gone to Tinga the food has been great.  Both their Mexican and BBQ style foods have been wonderful,” senior Luke Dodge said.
The first thing I noticed at Qdoba before placing my order was the diversity of burrito choices.  Not only was there the usual chicken and steak offered, but there was a carne esada, pork, and vegetarian, giving people with different preferences the ability to order something.  Once my chicken burrito came to me, I sat down,started to dig in and was met by a taste that satisfied all my taste-buds.  Moist chicken, delectable beans and flavorful rice made this burrito worth the short trip and money.
With the diverse menu and six different options of burrito choices, Qdoba offers food for all sorts of tastes, including gluten-free and vegetarian. Qdoba offers something called a naked burrito, too, which is all the burrito fillings minus the tortilla. They even offer a burrito without meat.  Overall, “Qdoba has quality meat and taste,” freshmen Brendan Kelly said.
Chipotle was one gigantic room where every single noise echoed enough to give me a headache. To top that off, there is garbage all over the floor and at the tables, too. Seeing the sparse menu, hearing the loud echoing, and observing all the garbage everywhere gave me a bad first impression of Chipotle.
The food at the Chipotle relates a lot to everything else about it: it’s quite bad. The food was flavorless and torrid. There was one great part about Chipotle’s burrito though: its spicy kick. The spice is what kept me coming back for more, and is what made me leave feeling semi-satisfied instead of  unsatisfied.
Junior Brynne Bartiromo agrees when she said, “After evading the trash and getting past the noise echoing throughout Chipotle, I thought the food would’ve been alright.  To be honest, I was more than wrong.”