New kids on the burrito block Adobo sprung up in Holborn at the end of last year, in that rather uninspiring stretch between Holborn station and Chancery Lane tube station.

I’d been past Adobo on the bus recently so was surprised when we actually went in and saw that they do actually have chairs and tables – it looks too small when you’re zooming past on a number 8.  This was good news, it’s too bloody cold to eat and walk.

Adobo seems to be marketing itself as a healthy option. This is something I’ve been thinking about lately, burritos really are full of jolly good stuff. Even if you choose cheese it’s not the end of the world for your new year’s resolution.  I’m not saying you can live solely on burrito (man can not survive on burrito alone) but they’re not exactly bad news and one burrito can keep you full for absolutely ages which you can’t say about other fast food which just makes you feel greasy,  guilty and hungry an hour later.

I opted for a pulled pork burrito and Dr Chimpington went for a beef fajita burrito. Yes, you read correctly, a fajita burrito. The difference between this and a normal one was that his had peppers instead of beans.  I had black beans and we both had guacamole and cheese. Of course.

As usual the mildest salsa looked to be the chunkiest and crunchiest so I ordered this.   I need to go on record by saying that I really really REALLY love chillies (honest, I have already chucked some into tonight’s pappa al pomodoro to ring the changes) but always seem to end up chosing a mild one as they look to have more crunch. However I really regretted it this time as Dr Chimpington’s salsa verde sent him into a veritable swoon.

Both burritos were tightly packed and brimming with lovely flavours. I was more aware of the rice than usual so wondered if the rice normally manages to combine with all the ingredients or if there was more than usual (or even if it was a bit more al dente than usual).  My pulled pork was good and I was suitably tempted by the bite I had from Dr Chimpington’s burrito.  The meat wasn’t quite as mouthwatering as Wahaca or Chilango but that might have been because we got there at the end of the day. However on the whole this was a really gorgeous burrito.  I really liked this burrito. I am really looking forward to a return visit.

We had a side of gorgeous guacamole – really really good stuff.    It can so often be disappointing (too smooth and creamy is my usual complaint) but this was good and chunky.

I have to mention the staff  –  both of them were utterly lovely and attentive.  It’s so rare these days to get such service these days, they actually looked like they were happy to be there (which I sincerely doubt they actually were given that it was a  freezing Friday evening).

I did have a quibble.  A single quibble, a humble quibble  that the foil they used wasn’t the magic foil you get at Chilango.  It was normal foil.   Bah.  Mind you, if that’s my main criticism it’s not really the worst thing in the world.

And if the yummy food and lovely staff is not enough to tempt you then the prices will.  Even the normal prices seem to be cheaper than Chipotle & co, but when we went they were offering all evening burritos for £4.  Yup, that’s four quid for a burrito*.   FOUR BLOODY QUID FOR A REALLY RATHER DELICIOUS BURRITO!!!!

* this was a special offer so don’t expect it every time, that said their burritos are good, in my opinion, value even before the special offer.

Take Away

In all my *coughs* years (er, yeah ok months [/rumbled]) of burrito research I’ve only ever eaten in.  I’ve not yet put take out to the test.  How will the foil keep the heat in?  Will the tortilla manage to remain unsoggy?    Will the flavours survive in transit?  All these questions and many more needed to be answered.

On Monday morning I had a brief appointment in Fleet Street so I took the opportunity to head off to my Go To burrito supplier Chilango and decided to put them through some exacting test conditions.

I’d not been to this branch at lunch time and was expecting a queue of epic proportions but luckily it was not too busy and they’re pretty quick at getting their orders out so I didn’t have too long to wait.  Two identical burritos were purchased and destined to be delivered to the LBRI research hub in south London.    Would the burrito survive the journey over the river?  And more importantly would the specialist courier (me, or more specifically me on a bus) have the will power to carry two burritos without being tempted to try just one mouthful?

Both burritos were pork, with black beans and cheese with an extra dollop of guacamole. Apologies to the vegan burrito brethren but I just can’t imagine any other way. I opted for the mild salsa as it’s the chunkier out of the three that Chilango have to offer and I felt that it was the fairest option to put to the burrito in transit test.  There was a tense moment of sheer panic when the burrito creator forgot to put the pork onto one of the tortillas but disaster was thankfully averted when everybody pointed out her error.  Phew.

I left clutching my yellow bag of utter temptation only to see the bus shooting past.  Not only were these burritos going to have to catch a bus, they were going to have to wait for it.  I have no shame in admitting that I was getting increasingly anxious about what this delay would mean and I’m not just talking about the noises coming from my belly. This extra journey time meant that the burritos would have to endure a longer time in transit and this opened them up to the terrifying possibility of going cold or soggy.

In addition I was concerned about the strength of the bag and the risk of leakage – if the burritoes leaked then the bag would be destoyed and thus my lunch would end up all over the place.

A further, and very valid, concern was that the smells emanating from my little yellow bag of joy would create intense envy and/or violence.  I was worried about being burrito mugged.

I won’t bore you with the details of the journey but suffice to say the bus came, me and my burrito luggage got on and survived the trip without anybody stealing the precious cargo and (more surprisingly) without me opening one of them up and starting early.

Dr Chimpington was at the lab and kindly took one of the samples from me so he was able to examine it.   Both burritos underwent rigourous testing.

First:  The foil was unfurled.  I unwrapped the top and folded it slightly thus leaving the bottom 2/3s still encased.  Dr Chimpington took off all the foil leaving his burrito naked and vulnerable.  Both burritos still felt warm.  This was good news.  Magic foil!

Next:  The sniff test.  This was very brief as we were both rather hungry.

Finally:  The first bite.    I think the scientific term for what we experienced is ‘Yum’.  Or ‘Yummy’ if you want to express it in Latin.  Flavours were retained and still delicious.  You could pick out individual flavours such as coriandar.

Conclusion:  The burritos were not quite as warm as they would have been if we had eaten in, however they survived a journey which (if you include waiting at a bus stop) of nigh on half an hour so are forgiven for not being piping hot.  The taste was still great and we were both suitably stuffed for the rest of the day which, as they say somewhere, is definitely a result.  And as I would say a pleasing one.