Hey everyone, Eric Waddon here as I will be every Wednesday for our group blog. This week is dine on a dime week and when I think of that I think of value. I myself like to eat in as much as possible but I do like to treat myself out to some food two or three times a week to switch it up. Graduating in May, I will only be here so long so I like to take advantage of the local food places.
One of my favorite foods in the world to eat is burritos. Ever since I had a Chipotle Burrito I fell in love. Something about the combination of sour cream, rice, lettuce and chicken just does it for me. Although burritos aren’t the cheapest things (usually won’t find one under $5), I feel like the amount of food and fullness you get out of one compensates in value. I decided to compare the value of two of my favorite burrito places here in Morgantown: Chico’s Fat and Black Bear Burritos.
Chico’s Fat is a self proclaimed California Style Burrito & Taco shop. They sell burritos, bowls, salads, tacos, quesadillas and all the normal things you might find in a burrito shop. The atmosphere inside is kind of a South Western Motif with a lot of Indian style rugs, cactuses and desert like décor. They have been in Morgantown for over 2 years now located on High Street.
They have a traditional assembly line setup when you step up to order your burrito. I went with a regular burrito which seemed to be the best value burrito at $7.50 versus the basic $5.25 and the super $8.75. On that comes rice, choice of beans, choice of meat, (carne asada, barbacoa, carnitas, al pastor, chili verde, pollo asado, pollo en salsa roja)pico de gallo, cheese & salsa.
Their burrito is adequetly sized probably weighing around a pound. Chico’s Fat burritos seem to be fatter than they are long. I usually like a skinnier burrito so you can get the rice and all of the ingredients in the same bite. I really liked this burrito. Their rice is more of a western style, it’s a dirty brown with some nice spice to it versus the traditional salty white rice. They have a great selection of hot sauce and salsas that add to the flavor. Sour cream and corn are huge for me in a burrito and I felt like theirs could have been better because I couldn’t taste the sour cream as much and the corn wasn’t seasoned that great but the chicken was really good. Overall I really enjoyed the flavor. The rice gives it a nice punch and the wrap job and tortilla were excellent. Another nice thing is that included with your burrito is a nice side of chips and salsa. I really liked these chips they had a nice tortilla flavor with a good amount of salt and again the hot dipping salsa was awesome. With a drink it cost me $9.59 and at the end I was more than full and satisfied.
I thought they had good service. They have two people working the assembly line unlike most places who sometimes only have one. The atmosphere inside seems a little forced but it is a not a bad place to sit down and have lunch with your friends. When I go back I will be looking to try the Baja Fish burrito which includes a baja slaw and jalapeño crème fresh. I definitely recommend Chico’s Fat to the average burrito fan.
Black Bear Burritos is located off Pleasant and High Street in downtown Morgantown. Right across from 123 Pleasant Street Rock Venue, it holds to its counterpart by offering live music 3-4 times a week. Black Bear is about 2-3 times the size of Chico’s Fat and has a lot more to offer than burritos, people definitely come here for the atmosphere. They have a bunch of tables, a stage for musicians and even a full bar. Black Bear offers a variety of drinks and plenty of beer on tap, but were here to talk about burritos today. Black Bear is definitely more expensive than Chico’s Fat. At first you see that a burrito is only $4.25 but where they get you is that you have to buy the ingredients to go with. I got a Build Your Own Burrito with rice, cheese salsa, +$1.50 chicken, lettuce + $.75, roasted corn +.$75, blue cheese crumbles +1.00, and sour cream +$.50. With a drink the total came to $11 which for me is a little pricy. Anytime I’m spending more than $10 for a meal I feel like I should really be getting my money’s worth. Black Bear also provides a ton of chips but they are nowhere near as good as Chico’s Fat, in fact they were pretty bland. The burrito was anything but. The roasted corn and sour cream were much better here and made the burrito taste a lot better as a whole in my opinion. I really liked the way they wrap their burritos as well more long than short and plump. They have white rice which is more like Chipotle if you have ever been there. Overall, this was a very good burrito as well which is to be expected when paying so much. You do get a very big burrito though for the cost and if you were full you could probably eat half and save the rest for later which is what I do sometimes. What’s the point of eating past being full? The cool thing about Black Bear is definitely the indie like music atmosphere. It’s an awesome place to go with your friends to sit back and have a dinner and listen to some great live music at no additional cost, you can even have a beer or glass of wine as well. On a funny side note, right now their signature burrito is the Charlie Sheen:
“GO CRAZY with this pepper-cheese tortilla filled with romaine lettuce mix, fresh tomatoes, diced cucumber, provolone cheese and roasted red peppers. We add chicken (or tofu) grilled in ginger-soy marinade and add our sweet vinaigrette dressing. (We have Pepsi products so we can’t serve it with coke.) WINNING!”
Overall, I think I would have to say that Chico’s Fat gives you the most for your dollar and have a very good burrito. I would say Black Bear might be a little bit better flavor wise tasting but their chips aren’t as good and you will pay a little bit more. But go out on a night when there is live music and the extra $2 you pay will be made up with a live performance.