Great Burrito Search 2K3

I’ve been looking for a burrito place in boston to replace Qdoba, which is not available here. At qdoba, I always got a “fajita ranchera” burrito, which is a burrito with rice, chicken, peppers and onions, a little ranchera sauce, hot salsa, and mozarella cheese. A lot of places around town have something close to this, but I haven’t found anything quite right.

The hardest things to find are:

  • Hot in temperature
  • Available without beans
  • Contains hot salsa within

Here is my review of places I’ve been so far:

Anna’s Taqueria
This place seems to have a cult following, which I think is due more toward the “feels like college only everyone’s in their late 20s” atmosphere than the food. Char and I thought the burritos were lukewarm, unspicy, and too small.

Purple Cactus
There’s a Purple Cactus very close by, so I wanted it to be perfect. However the burritos are never hot enough, and there’s no hot salsa within. It’s ok in a pinch though.

Viva Burrito
Viva Burrito is a little far, being a short walk from North Station. The Boston Citysearch reviews I have been going by say the burritos are “juicy.” More like extremely fucking runnier than I like it. I needed 8 napkins, and the whole thing was soggy at the bottom. It’s too bad, because except for that it’s the best burrito I’ve been able to find.

Picante Mexican Grill
This is on Mass Ave. Not bad. A little dry, no salsa within.

Why can’t anyway put hot salsa inside their burritos? Is it so tough? The Qdoba system has them ask you which of four or five salsas you want. It seems everywhere else they assume you’re a pansy. The search must continue. (Or, I have to try asking places if they can add salsa)

If anyone knows of a good burrito place accessible by subway please let me know!

Charles River

Char and I take a walk on the Charles

Note: this entry has been back-dated, I forgot to post it.
Char and I took a
walk along Charles River in Watertown. They’ve been extending the path along the Charles in recent years, and it’s looking really beautiful. The whole thing is overflowing in green, and if it weren’t for the steady drone of cars you could nearly think you were in a rainforest.

Charles River. You can see a lookout across the river.


A bird says hello

This bird does not move

We saw the above bird twice — once on June 3rd, and again about two weeks later. It was on the same rock, in the same pose. Given the lack of motion I thought for a moment it was a fake bird, but it soon moved its head around. Laurel, do you know what type of bird this is?

Revere Beach

Char and I took a trip to Revere Beach, which is the closest beach to us under our definition of close: "is it on the T?" In this case, Revere Beach has its own stop, so we might as well own beach-front property.

The beach was a little sad. The weather was gray and chilly, so that
didn’t help. But also there was a lot of trash everywhere, like ice cream dishes and water bottles. I imagine it’s a lot better in the summer when it’s
hot and full of people.

Welcome to Revere Beach


At least there’s shells!

Char gave me this wonderful present

But I love her still


Char and I went to the Boston Marathon on Monday. I should have
kept an eye out for Will Ferrel, who finished in under four hours, but I forgot he was going to be there.

Heartbreak Hill, where we always watch.

The trucks in front of the lead women.

Said leaders


I’d post more, but frankly the pictures aren’t that good. The light was harsh, and lots of runners look like lots of runners. I don’t have anything real dynamic.


For three bucks apiece, Char and I went to Salem. It was, perhaps
predictably, a tourist trap with crappy boutiques and overpriced restaurants. In this case, the boutiques catered to that large goth/wiccan/new-age segment of the population.

Me being patriotic in front of a recreated ship

Very old graveyard

This clothing store was the only store worth seeing in Salem.

So I hear there’s this war on tv?

I took part in the Boston antiwar protests today. The organization was quite clever: first there were walkouts at various campuses around the city, and each college had its own rally. Then they started to walk toward the center of the city and converge, forming a larger protest. From Boston City Hall we marched to Copley Square. The MIT rally was smaller than I would have liked, but it felt legitimate, unlike the protests I remember passing by at school in Madison.

The MIT protest was already underway as Char and I got there

Bush Head

Professor Hugh Gusterson, who gave an excellent speech.

The microphone was very quiet, so sometimes it was hard to hear the speakers. Also the news helicopters overhead kept buzzing closer and closer, making the ambient noise very high.

A 21st century protest — this woman is recording the speeches onto minidisc.

I saw a guy with a video camera attached to a laptop. I saw lots of cell phones everywhere. I didn’t get a shot, but often people would hold the phone up to the crowd so the other party could hear. Imagine if the US had more phone-picture infrastructure, MMS, etc? I could see talking to friends across the country, sending eachother photos. I would also like to update my blog from a phone.

I worked some, then headed to government center for round two. I got there just as the marchers reached city hall plaza

The marchers arrive

A lot of the signs were more extreme than I would have liked: Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity, Fuck Bush, fuck all bastards(?!?), etc… Any news organization is going to have to edit around these stupid signs, making it harder for the protests to get mainstream coverage.

Satellite uplinks sprout

The Bush head made the trip

There were a lot of people

I don’t know what that line of cops with what look like lightsabers are guarding

Everywhere we went people watched from the windows like observers of an experiment.

It was much darker marching to Copley, so I didn’t take as many photos.


This photo is very dynamic, but also sort of creepy. I like.

Boston stoplights

Stoplights like this don’t really exist in other places. Or if they do, they are strange abberrant intersections. Boston is its own universe of crappy intersections, bad signage (I hate that word), and horrible drivers. Every day I discover a new stupid thing. The nexus of evil is The Fenway, the worst collection of rotaries and one-ways on the planet. But, that’s for another day.

Today, it’s the stoplight from hell. In actuality this light means “don’t turn left,” but that’s not really obvious here.