10th Ave Burrito (Belmar, NJ)
Score: 7 / 10 Reviewed by: Chris
A few blocks from the beach boardwalk of Belmar NJ is 10th Avenue Burrito- a place that claims to server SF style burritos. Can they pull it off? It's got the right feel, but the burrito itself is only good, not great.
This place is small- only a couple tables and some stools by the window sill. Heavily tattooed guys behind the counter take your order and make your meal. The menu is organized a bit confusingly. Under burritos are the options of bean, portabella, grilled chicken or steak. The included ingredients are standard- rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa. Guac can be added for an extra $1.65. However, they also have a separate section for pork mole, veggie, fish and veggie burritos. What's not clear is that those latter four don't have all the standard ingredients.
Burritos here don't come in foil (except possibly if you get it to go), despite the burrito blueprint on the wall clearly showing how foil should be included. But they are wrapped impeccably well.
A fan of mole, my first burrito here was the pork mole. It was nice and flavorful, but it's one of those four that lack the main ingredients. The entire first half was nothing but meat, while the second half was mostly rice with bits of meat thrown in- not a good internal dispersal. While the meat started moist and flavorful, as i moved through, it became drier and blander. The only other ingredient was cheese, which was melty though a bit sparse. The missing ingredients meant the burrito was one-dimensional.
10th's standard burritos fare much better due to the inclusion of sour cream, salsa, guac, etc. These round out the flavor much better as well as help moisten the dry portions of meat.
I also ordered some chips and guacamole. You get a monstrous basket of chips- thick and tasty but very greasy. The guac is very chunky, but a bit bland. It didn't taste like much beyond avocado, despite the obvious bits of other ingredients in the mix. Unfortunately, it's $5 for this. Add a funky bottled drink and my lunch jumped to nearly $15. Not a good value. Best to go here with a friend so you can split the chips.
Overall, 10th Ave is a decent spot, and i'd be by here often if i lived on the Jersey coast. But it is rather pricey and needs some quality control. With those it could become very good quite easily.
posted 8/30/2008 3:25 PM, updated on 6/17/2009 9:14 AM