The Burrito Brawl: A Case for Boloco

Flyby Blog

It's an argument almost as old as the burrito itself, and students for generations have devoted untold hours to debating the best burrito joint in Harvard Square. Over the next few days, members of The Crimson's summer staff will make a case the Big 4 of Square burritos: Boloco, Chipotle, Felipe's, and Qdoba.

Of all the arguments made against Boloco when trying to determine Harvard Square’s best burrito, perhaps the most common is that it’s the least “authentic.”

I’m from Los Angeles. To call any of the burritos around here authentic would be like saying that Vegas’ Eiffel Tower is Parisian. There’s a reason all those schools that call themselves “The Harvard of Somewhere” don’t just call themselves Harvard.

And once you move past that sticking point, the Boloco experience is the best the Square has to offer.

The first point: location. As a student who spends his waking hours at The Crimson and sleeping hours in Lowell House, it’s tough to top Boloco. Yes, Panera is closer to the The Crimson than Boloco is, but until they start serving breakfast sandwiches after 10:30 a.m., they won’t have my consistent patronage.

We must also recognize the non-burrito offerings that Boloco gives us. Its television gives me that critical ESPN-viewership option that only Qdoba can match, and even there you’re forced to awkwardly contort your body while standing in line if you want to see the screen.

And the smoothies? Those speak for themselves. Certainly one of the better non-Jamba Juice choices in Boston.

In the interest of full objectivity, you could make the argument that the Chipotle steak option is better than what Boloco offers. I don’t necessarily agree (nor do I necessarily disagree), but it’s certainly a valid point. But the other essential burrito ingredients—beans, rice, salsa—are all top-notch.

I’ll end my piece in this debate on an often-overlooked factor in a quality burrito: the wrap. Eating at Boloco rarely results in those embarrassing grease stains on your pants that you have to walk around with for the rest of the day.

The last time I ate at Felipe’s, two rounds of hand washing and a dozen napkins couldn’t quite do the trick.