Battle of the Kalihi burritos

Mexico or Alejandro's: Which massive burrito is better?
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Q: Which massive burrito is better? 

Kalihi has two solid burrito spots within minutes of each other: one on School Street, the other deep in the valley. So which do you hit up when that burrito craving hits hard? Read on to find out. 

Mexico Restaurant: Grande burrito

Mexico sign
This quirky spot is probably the last thing you’d associate with Kalihi 

Mexico Restaurant almost seems out of place in this land of the plate lunch. Rainbow Drive-In and Helena’s Hawaiian Food are both within spitting distance. But if you’re craving larger-than-life burritos, enchiladas smothered in rojo or verde sauce and other Mexican staples on humongous platters, this is your stop.

Cost: $16.50
Size: 12-inch tortilla
What's in it: Shredded chicken and beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream
Veggie-to-meat ratio: 2:1
Tip: Ask for extra garlic ranch dressing. It’s supposed to be for the salad, but it’s perfectly great for dipping your burrito in, too

Mexico grande burrito
Grande burrito ($16.50) comes with shredded chicken and beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, rice and beans. It’s topped with guacamole and sour cream 

 

Mexico burrito comparison
For scale: Here it is compared to my arm. My ARM.

Alejandro's Mexican Food: Macho burrito

Alejandro's Mexican Food is a hidden gem in Kalihi Valley. I still remember the first time I went there. I didn’t quite know where I was going or what to look for. All I was praying for was an open parking spot. But the tacos here are legit enough to keep me driving into the valley. I even included Alejandro's in my ultimate Taco Tuesday roundup

Alejandro sign
Parking is always tight at Alejandro's, but there’s an additional lot around the corner

Cost: $14-15.50 (beef costs $14, carnitas are $14.50 and carne asada is $15.50); $2 more for wet burrito upgrade with extra red enchilada sauce
Size: 12-inch tortilla
What's in it: Your meat of choice, cheese, sour cream, rice, pinto beans, onions, cilantro and salsa verde 
Veggie-to-meat ratio: 1:1
Tip: If you go to Alejandro's on a Saturday, you can get $1 off your Macho burrito (that's the day's special). And if there's no seating inside, get your food to go and take it next door to the Cantina, where there's more seating and a bar with margaritas, draft beers, tequila and mezcal.

Alejandros burrito
Macho burrito is a 12-inch tortilla loaded with your meat of choice, cheese, sour cream, rice, pinto beans, onions, cilantro and salsa verde

A: It depends how much you love meat

Here's what these burritos have in common:

  • They're both made with 12-inch tortillas
  • Both made to order
  • Meats all cooked in house 
  • Both cost more than $14 (almost the same price if you order a wet burrito at Alejandro's)

If you want lots of meat packed in every bite, go with Alejandro's

  • The Macho burrito is definitely more dense; each half is loaded with rice and pinto beans 
  • It feels like you get more meat in every bite because this burrito has less veggies — lettuce doesn't spill out and there's no side salad 
  • Less veggies allows the meat to shine without competing flavors

If you're eating for Instagram or sharing with friends, go to Mexico

  • The Grande burrito is a show-stopper. It's made for photos — looks and feels like 5 pounds of Mexican goodness
  • It's cleanly partitioned inside — half shredded beef (covered in rojo sauce) and half shredded chicken (topped with verde sauce). It's perfect if you're indecisive or want the best of both worlds 

To sum it up: If I want something super meaty, it would be Alejandro's. Their carnitas remind me of the burritos in Southern California. If I don’t want to feel so guilty, I’d go with Mexico’s Grande burrito, which comes with a side salad and is filled with lots of lettuce and tomatoes. Those veggies have to be doing some good. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.  

Mexico Retaurant
1247 N. School St.
Kalihi
845-9059

Alejandro's Mexican Food
2831 Kalihi St.
Kalihi
777-0038