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In Search of Bend's Best Burritos 

Packing a bowl at La ParrillaWith winter fast approaching, our bodies increasingly yearn to stock up on calories, while our pockets-depleted from the cost of

click to enlarge Packing a bowl at La Parrilla
  • Packing a bowl at La Parrilla
Packing a bowl at La Parrilla
With winter fast approaching, our bodies increasingly yearn to stock up on calories, while our pockets-depleted from the cost of season passes and gear upgrades-are urging us to cut back. To reconcile this disagreement between stomach and wallet, the wise turn to the burrito. Providing most of a day's calories for less than $10, the burrito is the food of choice for the active and the strapped. To celebrate the coming season and its go-to meal, we hit the streets in an attempt to find the best burritos in Bend. With no shortage of options in town and a limited number of burritos that a human should consume in a short period of time, the list of honorees is far from comprehensive, but it represents the variety and quality that Bend has to offer. So without further ado, we are proud to present the Source Weekly's First Annual Bend Burrito Awards.

Best Traditional: Rico's Tacos

If authenticity is what you're after, look no further than Rico's. A sparsely decorated yet charming room with bouquets of cloth flowers on the tables and a portrait of the Virgin Mary garlanded with roses and Christmas lights on the wall, Rico's Taco is simplicity at its best. The basic burrito, served with nothing but a couple of lime wedges and sliced radish on the side, is filled with seasoned rice, refried beans, and your meat of choice. (You can request additional fixings.) Try the chorizo sautéed with cilantro and onions or the spiced beef and you can't go wrong. 1326 NE 3rd St., 382-4022

click to enlarge And a Marg chaser.
  • And a Marg chaser.
And a Marg chaser.Best Non-Traditional: Parrilla Grill

A Westside favorite located at the flaming chicken roundabout, Parrilla is so non-traditional that they call their burritos "wraps." They also have the best concept burrito out there: the Jambalaya Wrap, a pretty classic version of the spicy Cajun stew with sausage, chicken, and shrimp mixed with rice and stuffed into a flour tortilla. An all-around terrific idea. 635 NW 14th St., 617-9600

Best Bang for Your Buck: Taco Stand

This tiny, neighborhood eatery isn't the most Mexican of taco stands. I mean, the owners are from New Jersey! But the food is excellent, and the place is always packed. Everything is fresh, flavorful, and super cheap. For $5.25, the special Chipotle Chicken Burrito was satisfying and the hot sauce, available in regular and "monster" hot, was delicious. 221 NW Hill St., 382-0494, open M-F for lunch only

click to enlarge No charge for plastic flowers
  • No charge for plastic flowers
No charge for plastic flowersBest Sit-Down Burrito Meal: El Rodeo Cantina

Go to El Rodeo for lunch, as dinner might break the $10 budget, and settle in for a treat. Burritos here are knife-and-fork rather than the grab-it-and-run, so you have a chance to take in the scenery in the restaurant's La Cascada Lounge-floor-to-ceiling fake stone fountain, fireplace with bullhorn centerpiece, lots of wood paneling and 80s carpeting and upholstery. While the décor and setting slightly overshadow the food, the Burrito Asado held its own. The carne asado was well cooked and seasoned and all the trimmings were tasty and fresh. 785 SE 3rd St., 617-5952

Best Late-Night Gut Bomb: Rigoberto's Taco Shop

Don't come here for the ambience. It's a stark white room with cafeteria tables and, oddly, a bunch of gumball machines. You come here when your judgment is impaired, and you think it's a good idea to cap off your night out with a "California" burrito, which you chose because you thought it would be lighter and healthier than some of the others, but it turns out to be a massive jumble of beef and, surprisingly, whole French fries. And it actually feels like a good idea until you wake up at 3 a.m. with the meat sweats and heartburn and vow never to eat again. 1365 NW Galveston Ave., 389-6751, open 24 hours

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