Just When You Thought You Knew Someone (Anna's Taqueria Review)

8:56 AM

During the dog days of summer, almost all of our cooking involves the grill. But in extreme heat (record-breaking temps this week), the last thing on my mind is to put myself in front of an open fire. A bowl of cereal would suffice if it were just I. But the littles need more sustenance. Local eatery here we come!

Everyone has his or her “go-to” place for take-out. They are often affordable, quick, and consistent. No menu is needed as you often order the same thing. And it is unlikely Instagram-worthy. It’s the unsung hero of family dinners, yet always welcomed enthusiastically.

One of our go-to take-out places is Anna’s Taqueria. My husband and I have been going to Anna’s since our days as BU undergrads. The place is a Boston institution. Now celebrating 15 years, Anna’s has six locations all over the greater Boston area. Anna’s is one of the most beloved taquerias in the area – and that’s saying a lot for a town that has more burrito joints than you can shake a tortilla chip at.

For years (and years, and years…) I’ve been ordering the same thing – grilled chicken burrito with cheese. Anna’s menu includes lots of great options such as quesadillas, tacos, and Mexican plates. But since my college days, I very rarely stray from my grilled chicken burrito.  And now as a mom with two hungry boys, we still frequent Anna’s and they too will order the same thing visit after visit – chicken burrito for my oldest and rice and beans for the 3 year old.

So when I got an invite to attend a summer picnic hosted by Anna’s to try other items, including a soon-to-launch new kid’s meal, I knew it was time to be “adventurous” and try something new.

So how did it go? The boys loved their kid’s meal – a mini version of Anna’s Mexican plate. They got a choice of rice or beans (pinto beans), choice of chicken, steak or grilled veggies (chicken) and a small quesadilla. They attacked it as if it was a deconstructed chicken quesadilla and went to work reconstructing it their taste.

For the grown-ups, they had range of burritos to try: including grilled chicken (of course), chicken ranchero (spicy with peppers and onions), carnitas (roasted pork), chili verde (pork in spicy sauce), al pastor (rotisserie-cooked pork), steak, steak salsa roja (spicy pepper-based sauce), barbacoa (shredded beef in chili sauce), lengua (slow-cooked beef tongue) and grilled veggies.

photos courtesy of Anna's

We also got to try some of their house-made drinks such as Horchata (traditional, sweet, cold Mexican drink made from ground almonds and milk) and Jamaica (Mexican fruit punch made from boiled Passion Flower petals). So good.

So let it be known, on June 27, 2012, I retired my grilled chicken burrito obsession and have moved on to my new favorite – the al Pastor burrito. And yes, washing it down with house-made Horchata.

So if you haven’t been to Anna’s (the horror) or haven’t tried something new, I encourage you to go. Like today. It pays to be adventurous. Just not sure if I’ll ever be so adventurous to order THE CUBIO. For those that aren’t familiar with the Cubio, it is not for the faint of heart (it isn’t even on the menu). But here’s a hint: three super burritos rolled into one.

Anna's Taqueria (Brookline, Beacon St) on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: Thanks to Anna's Taqueria  for hosting the event, which I received free of charge. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services mentioned. As always, opinions are my own.

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