Court Street Competition: Battle of the Burritos

by Jayne Yerrick

With 21 bars, 16 pizza shops and eight coffee shops in Athens, picking a place to go may be a bit overwhelming. But have no fear! Speakeasy will be your guide. In this series, we will compare popular eateries, bars, head shops and many other special places in Athens to find the best fit for every student.

Fortunately, if you’re a burrito lover, there are plenty of options to choose from.

The most popular places to grab a burrito are the Burrito Buggy, Holy Guacamole, Big Mamma’s Burritos and, of course, Chipotle. Due to this vast variety of burrito options, it was a bit difficult to determine which burrito is the very best.

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Big Mamma’s Burritos:

The self-proclaimed “Athens Legend” has been on Court Street since 2005. This restaurant is definitely the go-to place for a late night meal. I stopped by Big Mamma’s around midnight last week when my roommate and I had major burrito cravings. I can confirm that Big Mamma’s Burritos definitely satisfied our craving—it was well worth the walk up Jeff Hill. Big Mamma’s offers burritos inspired by interesting flavors like Philly’s classic cheesesteak and Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili. The name sure doesn’t lie, either. Big Mamma’s serves seriously big burritos. However, if you’re not prepared to stuff your face with a 24-ounce burrito, they do sell “baby burritos,” which are 12-ounce burritos for only $3.99. I think that every Ohio University student should stop by Big Mamma’s Burritos at least once. It’s too legendary not to try.

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Holy Guacamole:

At first I thought Big Mamma’s Burritos was home to the largest burrito on campus, but then I stopped by Holy Guacamole, and my world was forever changed. I ordered a chicken burrito and in return I received a standard carryout container filled to the brim with burrito. If you want to get around two or three meals for the price of one, then Holy Guacamole is the move. Not only was the burrito huge, but it was also delicious. Besides the size, Holy Guacamole’s burrito stood out because of the Mexican queso that covered the entire tortilla. Needless to say, a burrito from this food truck is one that will likely require a fork, a knife and a ton of napkins. Yet if you’re willing to take on the mountainous mess, the flavor makes it very worthwhile.

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Burrito Buggy:

Admittedly, I was most excited to grab a bite from the Burrito Buggy because I’m a sucker for alliteration. Maybe it was because I overhyped the Burrito Buggy, or maybe I ordered the wrong burrito, but the Burrito Buggy did not live up to my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed my burrito, but it was pretty average. It had the works: chicken, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Yet, nothing about it really stood out to me. Since the Burrito Buggy is located right next to Holy Guacamole, I was expecting a closer competition. But compared to Holy Guacamole, the Burrito Buggy was somewhat disappointing. Holy Guacamole not only beat Burrito Buggy in size, but the cheesy goodness at Holy Guacamole is hard to top. I will say that the Burrito Buggy is the right choice if you need a quick bite that is manageable to eat.

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Chipotle:

Since Chipotle is a chain, it is not unique to Ohio University’s campus like the other burrito stops. The popular consensus is that Chipotle is great, and I do agree for the most part. Those that value personalization tend to prefer Chipotle because there are so many options. Chipotle caters to their customers by allowing them to build their own personal burrito (or burrito bowl). However, I think that some local burrito establishments, specifically Holy Guacamole and Big Mamma’s Burritos, offer better burritos. Plus, I think it is important to take advantage of the local restaurants while in Athens. Another important note is that the guac here is extra, and it’s not at Holy Guacamole!

So who won this burrito battle? It was an extremely close showdown between Big Mamma’s Burritos and Holy Guacamole. Both burritos were huge and packed with flavor, but I think Big Mamma’s Burritos may have won this fight. The taste of Big Mamma’s surpassed the flavor of all of the other burritos. The chipotle mayo they include in the burrito takes the flavor to the next level. It’s also consistently accessible, while the food trucks come and go.

Even though Big Mamma’s may have won Speakeasy’s competition, I encourage you to stop by each of these establishments and try them out for yourself. Each burrito was tasty and different in its own way, and ultimately the best burrito is up for you to decide.

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