#5. Taqueria Super Burrito
1502 N. Western
Super Chicken Burrito
$5.00 (includes avocado and sour cream)
There were seven or eight of our 19 entrants in the Burrito Bracket that I'd never eaten at prior to the start of the competition, but Taqueria Super Burrito is the only one that I have no recollection of even seeing from the outside. There's a pretty good reason for that, which is that it's located on a rather desolate stretch of Western Avenue. Go a bit north, and you'll intersect Milwaukee Ave and all the good stuff that surrounds it, like Arturo's Tacos and the Map Room. Go a bit south, and you'll run into the Empty Bottle and the huge Puerto Rican flag thingy. But in between, there are a lot of auto body shops and abandoned lots and broken fire hydrants, and that is where Taqueria Super Burrito is located.
You'd naturally expect the western fringe of Wicker Park, which borders on largely Hispanic Humboldt Park, to be fairly burrito-rich, but that isn't really the case. For one thing, Humboldt Park is in substantial part Puerto Rican rather than Mexican. For another, Western Ave. is not only the frontier of Wicker Park, but also the de facto boundary of the sort of contiguous white yuppie blob that continues more or less unabated to the lake shore. There might well be some great taquerias as you get deeper into Humboldt Park, but they aren't the sort of places that get reviewed on Yelp or Metromix. So, Taqueria Super Burrito is the closest accessible option for quite a number of blocks.
The Food: This is our first foray into chicken thus far in the bracket, which is at least somewhat intentional. Chicken is generally a low-risk, low-reward option for a burrito filling; it's going to be nice and edible, but it doesn't give the taqueria the chance to strut its stuff as much as something like carne asada or al Pastor. And that seems to be a pretty good description of Taqueria Super Burrito too: low risk, but perhaps not much more than medium reward. This was a very solid, serviceable burrito. All of the ingredients were quite fresh (though the avocado wasn't wonderfully so) and kept in pretty good balance to one another. The chicken was decent, and seemed to contain at least a fair proportion of white meat. The burrito wasn't bland -- it was a good burrito, really -- but probably not anything to go out of your way for.
There were, however, two areas in which Taqueria Super Burrito gets some bonus points. The first is the very spicy red salsa and the fresh chips that come with your dine-in order; although not quite as good as De Pasada's salsa verde, this was maybe the best red salsa that we've encountered so far. The second is that this food is cheap. The super burrito, aptly billed on the menu as "a meal unto itself", comes complete with sour cream, avocado, tomato and lettuce for $5, something which could easily run you $7 or more if you ordered everything a la carte.
The Experience: TSB's edifice is small and a little run-down, but they do their best to spruce it up with a large number of tropical-looking plants lots of free reading material in both English and Spanish; I chose People to catch up on all the latest Brangelina gossip. The service was quick, and neither especially friendly nor especially unfriendly. Like Carniceria Leon, they have bottled Mexican coke, although I suffered through a moment of embarrassment when I couldn't quite figure out how to open my bottle on the bottle opener attached to the cooler, and my glasses wound up falling off in the process. Overall, a solid experience in line with my expectations, but as some readers have observed, Dona Naty's Taco, which looks like it could be the Appalachain State of the Burrito Bracket, retains a pretty good shot at pulling an upset.
#5. Taqueria Super Burrito
Posted by Nate Silver at 4:33 PM