Boloco Summer “Burrito” Knock-Off

June 6, 2008 · 15 comments · Print This Post

in An Erin Cooks Original, Boston / Massachusetts, Dinner, Resturants, Reviews, Snacks, Vegetarian

Bringing Home Boloco

My friend Melissa and I have a long running complaint about the state of walkable lunch spots near our office. While the hands down favorite is definitely Brown Sugar Cafe, a girl cannot survive on Masaman Curry alone (as much as we might like to). So for the most part I bring my lunch and once a week venture out to one of the very few places that doesn’t require me to get back on the T. Almost all of these locations are chain restaurants like Bertuccis or TGI Fridays. Sometimes, if I get hard up enough, I’ll just get a Skinny Vanilla Latte and some Fruit & Nut mix from Starbucks and call it a day.

Last week though Melissa talked me into going to Boloco. A place I’ve avoided for years because for some unknown reason I’d convinced myself that it was gross and that I didn’t like burritos (what?!) and no way was I going in there. In hindsight this is all completely ridiculous. The line spilling out the door every day of the week and blocking my Starbucks addicted self from getting around them, would probably cue a sensible person into the fact that this little establishment offered up some fine lunch treats.

So with much suspicion and trepidation I ordered their “Summer Burrito” with Tofu. The “Summer Burrito” consists of black beans, mango salsa, melted cheese, cilantro, and rice, all folded up neatly in a flour tortilla. In the interest of full disclosure my first bite of this purchase was not good. The tofu was shockingly tough and pretty much inedible, but after removing it from the other ingredients (and also hiding it from view–yes it was that unappetizing in appearance) I happily finished the entire thing.

I’ve been on a mango kick recently, and I loved the flavors of the mango and cilantro combo so much that I instantly wanted to recreate the filling at home. Below is my attempt at doing so. I did run into a puzzling incident while I was making this dish. I literally opened five cans of Goya Black Beans and they were all spoiled. Three of the cans were newly purchased. After I vetoed the contents of those (since they were really revolting, sort of sludgy and foamy and very broken) I sent CK out to pick up more at the little store at the end of our street and I kid you not, those cans were bad too. Unfortunately, I had to ask poor CK to get in the car and go to Whole Foods where we at last found cans of black beans that didn’t look like a science experiment in fermentation. Has this happened to anyone else? Was there a huge Goya recall that I missed, because these beans were practically alien life forms living incognito in tin cans.

Anyway, after the bean debacle I finally threw everything together and served the dish with white corn chips. We both really enjoyed it. I hope you will too!

Boloco Summer “Burrito” Knock-Off at Home

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
1 package of frozen mango, thawed
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
3 cups of cooked rice (replacing water with chicken broth)
1 can of black beans (15.5 oz), rinsed
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla chips or burrito shells

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion until softened but not browned. Add the mango and cilantro and cook until heated through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan warm the beans over medium heat. Squeeze the limes over the mango and onions. Layer individual bowls with rice, beans, and the onion and mango concoction. Top with grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips, or you can also roll all of the fillings into a burrito shell.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John June 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Hi Erin,
Thanks for the cool post… and for trying us again! Do me a favor though… email me your mailing address so i can send you a refund for your Summer Burrito… that tofu should never been as described, and we owe you for that.

Thanks again for including us in your day and for the feedback!


John Pepper
Co-Founder and CEO


2 Kylee June 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Did you do anything about the spoiled cans of beans? ie, contact the company?


3 Erin June 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

John – Thanks so much for your note! I’m looking forward to trying more of your burritos on my lunch break and it’s good to know that the tofu really shouldn’t have tasted like that. Knowing my luck in matters such as this, I probably got the one poorly prepared piece in the whole store.

Kylee – You know I didn’t. I wish I had taken pictures or written down a lot number but I was just so shocked and well honestly in the middle of my burrito “experiment” and I really wanted to try it out so I just threw them all out. I asked a bunch of friends if they’ve experienced anything like this with black beans before and they all said no. Oh well…if it happens again I definitely will.


4 Julia June 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Boloco rules! Erin, we should go there next time we go to lunch. My favorite is the Bangkok. So yum! Peanut sauce!

As for black beans, I use them all the time. Never experienced foamy but sludgy, yes.

I’m with you, the only thing I have ever returned to a grocery store is a bad bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s and they happily gave me a refund. (You wouldn’t know I worked in hospitality for 20 years! I hate sending stuff back, I have no idea why).


5 Cze-Johnson Carrie June 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Troy would love this.. me? not so much. I can NOT eat burritos due to the whole ‘bean’ thing.

black, pinto, refried, or baked… I try them regularly just to make sure I’m not being closed-minded.. but *GAG*… not my cup of tea. or burrito, as the case would be.


6 Elle June 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Erin, yes! About a month, maybe six weeks ago, I made dinner with a can of Goya black beans and it was inedible. They tasted moldy, or like dirt. I thought it was a fluke! Guess not.

Your burrito sounds delicious and great for the summer.


7 Erin June 6, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Julia – It’s a date! And I totally agree. Contrary to the two complaints in this post I don’t as a rule like to do things like send food back or return spoiled items. I think I only ever returned a package of feta to a grocery store once because it was $8 and moldy. Ha ha

Elle – Good to know it wasn’t just me?! I was starting to wonder if my presence had some sort of toxic effect on beans 🙂


8 Amy June 6, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Ooh, yum! I’m always looking for new burrito ideas. I used to work in Harvard Sq and got Boloco occasionally for lunch; I also loved their Bangkok burrito, but their smoothies were my FAVORITE, particularly the Jimmy Carter (pb/banana/milk/vanilla froyo)…sooo good. Oh – and – lucky you for working near Brown Sugar Cafe! Mmmmm.


9 Donald June 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm

I too love mango! What a nice dish.

Erin, you have to try Rancho Gordo beans. More work, but well worth it. No more cans!!!!! 🙂


10 MrsA June 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Hello Erin! I look forward to making the mango and black bean dish. I just LOVE mangoes and I just LOVE black beans.

Never buy canned black beans if you can keep from it. Knowing you most likely will not find fresh black beans in Boston, go for dried. For $0.77 you can have a sack of dried black beans. Just take them, rinse them, soak them over night, discard the soaking water then throw them in the crockpot with some water or chicken broth (couple of inches over the beans) while you are at work. When you come home, they will be done.


11 cookinpanda June 6, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Mango in a burrito. Great idea. It really does sound quite wonderful.


12 Erin June 7, 2008 at 9:14 am

Mrs A & Donald – This is a great suggestion. Thank you! I’ll definitely have to look into trying this for future bean recipes. Honestly I’m scared to open the cans at this point.

Amy – There’s a PB smoothie?! I think that will be my lunch next week 🙂 I didn’t know you used to live and work in Boston? Small world!

Carrie – I think you could still use the rest of the recipe and just fill your burrito with thinly sliced chicken or steak and nix the beans completely. I bet steak and mango would taste pretty fab too 🙂


13 Melissa D. June 12, 2008 at 10:18 am

I am a new Boloco addict! I HEART the mediterranean burrito with chicken and avacado…. and thanks to that nasty-poo tofu incident Erin is taking little ole’ me out for one ON Boloco! Sigh-who could ask for more : )


14 Lon @ FoodMayhem September 14, 2008 at 9:40 am

Erin, we had the same issue (with the black beans) you had, and wrote to Goya about it. They did take responsibility and knew about the issue, saying they tested and it is ok. We posted our letter to them and their response here:


15 Mandy May 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hi Erin! I have just stumbled upon your blog (from another blog) and found this post. I can’t but notice that based on this post, the area sounds extremely familiar (sounds like the Longwood area in Boston). My son is a regular patient of Children’s Hospital Boston, and actually we just got home less than a week ago from our last trip and are headed there again soon for about a month. I can’t wait to read more of your blog and catch up on places the locals like. Brown Sugar is our absolute FAVORITE place too!


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