BEST BURRITO - 2010
One Spanish dictionary translates the word pineda into English as "a kind of linen garters." Rest assured you'll bust yours after a Pineda burrito. It's hard to know what makes them so addicting—the soft, salty wedge of fried cheese in the vegetarian burrito, or maybe the eye-watering, "no seriously, it's spicy" zip in the meat versions. Most likely it's lard, but you won't care. The restaurant is set up Subway-style, so you can see your burrito being prepared by some of the nicest people in the food industry. And it's quick: In about three minutes and for just over $5 they'll present you with a tightly wrapped burrito as big as your head. The Minneapolis location (they also have shops in Plymouth and West St. Paul) is small, simple, and a little dingy around the edges. Sure, it may lack ambiance, but that's not why you're there. You're there for that big brick of a burrito, bursting with rice and beans, slow-cooked meats, tender vegetables, and tasty spices. You'll try to put it down, eat only half and save the rest for dinner, but you won't succeed. And whereas with a Chipotle burrito you polish it off out of boredom (and suffer the consequences later), with a Pineda burrito you do it for the love.