The Burritos Are Up, but the Chips Are Down at Los Betos

By Elijah Harris

It was honestly hard to believe I was eating “fast food.” Los Betos has been the most authentic Mexican food I’ve had to date, which is somewhat crazy because I have now been in Tucson for more than a year.

I had grown accustomed to preparing my own food and eating at home my freshman year, with the occasional Domino’s or Pizza Hut pizza delivery. This year, I relaxed that somewhat hermit lifestyle and decided to venture out. I discovered Los Betos while taking the walk I do almost everyday after class. I wanted something different.

This is not one of those familiar national chains. The only cities I could seem to find that had a Los Betos restaurant were in Boise, Idaho; Scottsdale, Ariz., and here in Tucson, where there eight different locations. .

The atmosphere seemed laid back. I could see and smell the different kinds of meats, vegetables and seafood that were being grilled. It made me rethink all the doubt that was running through my mind earlier before entering the restaurant. Then this mood of mellowness was reassured when the server took my order with a smile.

I ordered a chicken burrito and a Coke, and the chips and salsa were complementary. This is where the “how is this fast food?” question kicks in, because you don’t get “complementary” items at fast food restaurants.

It took about 6-7 minutes for me to get my food, but the size of the portions I was given was nothing like fast food at all. The chicken burrito was about the size of my forearm. The first bite told me that the food was careful prepare and seasoned right. I admired the burrito for a good two and half minutes yet it was still really hot, which is good. In prior chicken burritos I’ve had the chicken was diced or chunked, but the chicken in this burrito was shredded. I thought that I needed to add some spiciness to it. So, I added what I think was a form of hot sauce to the burrito and it spiced up my burrito. At this point I knew I needed to drink to my Coke sparingly because I did not want to pay 75 cents for a refill. The tortilla felt softer and tasted more delicious than any other tortilla I’ve had. The salsa was okay, but I couldn’t say that for the hard, stale the chips were.

The authenticity of the meal sure beat anything that I’ve had back home at a Mexican restaurant in Knoxville, Tenn., though.

The cost of a meal is not too pricey — mine was $8 — for what you can get. There are two locations relatively close to the University of Arizona, at 32 N Campbell Avenue and 2910 E Speedway Boulevard. Overall, I would recommend Los Betos, with the exception of those chips.

It’s the little things that matter.



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