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
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.