Battle of the Mammoth California Burritos: Dos Toros vs. Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen

On the left, Dos Toros' beef burrito; on the right, Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen's rendition of the same dish (click to enlarge).

The burrito is the centerpiece of Cal-Mex cuisine, evolving out of the Mexican burro, which features a normal-size tortilla wrapped around a modest filling of beans or meat. The name is comical, because it assigns a diminutive ending to a product that is much, much bigger...

California, where the burrito was invented by an immigrant population that substituted flour-based tortillas for corn-based, and, in recognition of the abundant food supply of their new country, transformed the burro into the much more opulent burrito.

New York underwent a burrito revolution in the 1980s, during which such mini-chains as Benny's and Harry's duked it out for your burrito dollar, vying with each other to produce the biggest and most bulging specimen.

Now, we have two kinds of California burrito available in the city. Dos Toros, near Union Square, creates what it claims is a Mission-style burrito associated with San Francisco, though the owners come from L.A. This burrito is dense and heavy, and has a sophisticated mix of potential seasoning sauces, including crema, pico de gallo, guacamole, and a choice of hot sauces.

Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen, on the southwest edge of Soho, seeks to replicate a Los Angeles burrito, with the meat, cheese, and beans going inside the flour tortilla, and the rice and beans outside. This burrito has a closer connection to the original burro that inspired it.

We purchased a beef burrito from each place, and made a careful comparison.

Next: The statistical analysis

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