Taqueria le Veracruzana (Philadelphia, PA)
Score: 5 / 10 Reviewed by: Chris
In south Philly, along what seems to be primarily a Mexican-Vietnamese neighborhood, is Verecruzana. It's not much to look at from the outside, but is lively, bright and vibrant on the inside. Some decent eats can be found here, but not mission style burritos.
This is actually a sit-down place, with folding menus and the works. There are no different levels of burritos here- just `burrito'. You can get it made with steak, chicken or carnitas. I went with carnitas.
While i waited, i received a basket of chips and two large bowls of salsa. These were excellent. The chips are the double-layered variety. They were fried perfectly, nice and crispy but not overdone or greasy. The salsas, one avocado-based, the other a deep orange, were both very tasty and spicy. This was a great start to the meal.
Then, my overlarge burrito arrived. It was not wrapped in foil, nor sufficiently well wrapped to stay together in my hands. I therefore had to go the route of barbarians and use a fork and knife. It was... a restaurant burrito. The cheese was not at all melted, the lettuce got in the way, there were too many frenched onions, and the tomatoes were complete slices. They used scarcely any avocado (not guac). All that said, it was reasonably tasty. While i would have preferred whole beans, the refried beans were actually acceptable; not tasting of a can. The rice was quite good and proportioned well. What really made this meal work was the meat; the carnitas was moist and tasty, and was the predominate flavor. For $7, this was a nicely sized meal. And i was able to wash it down with some Jarritos.
Veracruzana is a nice little place and i enjoyed my meal. I'll happily come here for lunch or dinner again, but it won't because i'm looking for a Mission style burrito. They've got good meat, but need to bring the whole thing together properly- then they'd be a lot closer to a truly good burrito.
posted 4/13/2008 1:55 PM, updated on 7/22/2008 4:32 PM