Burrito bonanza

. June 26, 2013.
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Pacific Beach Burritos
2835 E. Washtenaw Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
734-434-9900
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm
           Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm
           Sun 11am – 8pm

www.pacificbeachburritos.com

My neck was bent at an odd angle and I think I mumbled “duh.” I was standing in Pacific Beach Burritos in Ypsilanti, eyes trained upward on the giant menu hanging above the counter, trying to decide what to order.

My husband was my mirror image beside me.

It wasn’t our fault we looked like that. The number of choices on the menu was staggering, including 13 kinds of burritos—not to mention tacos, tortas, combo meals, salads, and assorted sides.

“What’s your most popular burrito?” I finally asked the cashier. The people’s choice would be my dinner tonight.

She named two burritos: the San Diego burrito (with carne asada steak, french fries, cheese, and sour cream) and the Macho Ypsi burrito (with meat, salsa, rice and beans.) I got the first, my husband the latter. We also threw in an order of chips and guacamole plus a shrimp taco.

It was easier to order for my son, age 7. Pacific Beach Burritos only lists quesadillas (cheese, carne asada, chicken or beef) as a kids’ item. My son loves cheese quesadillas, so this was perfect.

However, our 3-year-old daughter is fickle about quesadillas. Sometimes she eats them, or perhaps a taco, but not always. I ordered her a cheese quesadilla plus a carne asada taco. Between the two items, I hoped something would satisfy her.

She wanted milk, which was not available, so we sampled the horchata drink instead. Made with rice milk, cinnamon and sugar, horchata tasted sweet and interesting, but my daughter chose a bottle of juice instead. My husband tried the Jamaica tea made with hibiscus flowers. It was flavorful and sweeter than regular iced tea.
We grabbed some seats in the sparse, no-frills interior. There were no booths, just tables and chairs. Outside, thatched umbrellas over picnic tables invited dining al fresco. Mexican music pulsed from the speakers and I saw my son start to boogie in his chair. That made me smile.

Our chips were warm and crunchy and the guacamole tangy. My husband loaded up on mild and hot salsa and Mexican carrots (marinated in vinegar with jalapeño) from the salsa bar. Quickly our meals were brought out to us.

The portions were big, including the kids’ quesadillas, cut into four strips and served with guacamole, sour cream and Pico de Gallo. So much cheese oozed from each strip that my son asked me to trim the excess before he would eat. (Ah, the particular requirements of 7-year-olds!) “We have to come back here,” he declared in between pleased bites.

My daughter ate some of her quesadilla and a couple tortilla chips. Her carne asada taco was topped with onions and cilantro, which she ignored, before eating a handful of the steak. Next time I might inquire about ordering a plain taco with only meat. Or perhaps we would try a side order of pinto or refried beans.

My San Diego burrito was sizeable, stuffed with carne asada. The taste of the French fries and cheese complemented and softened the predominately meaty flavor. The shrimp taco looked good with a nice portion of seafood sprinkled with coleslaw. By the time I remembered to ask for a bite, my husband had polished it off. He also

enjoyed his Macho Ypsi burrito calling the mixture of meat, beans, and rice “good”.
Overall, we enjoyed a casual and satisfying dining experience. Even our daughter, not the world’s biggest fan of Mexican food, was happy just dining out with us. If you and your family are in the mood for Mexican food, stop by Pacific Beach Burritos for a fast, filling, and affordable meal.

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly Yes
To avoid wait They are probably busiest at lunch, but the restaurant is fast-food style with counter service so you should never wait long
Noise level Moderate
Bathroom amenities No changing table for the wee ones
High chairs Yes
Got milk No
Kids’ menu Limited to quesadillas
Anything healthy for kids  Check out their vegetarian dishes or a side of pinto beans or Mexican carrots
Food allergy concerns  They cook in vegetable oil. For specific issues, always call ahead or check with the staff.

Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer who lives in Saline. Contact her c/o editor@annarborfamily.com