By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — In the quest to find the best burrito in the United States, one of three Chicago establishments picked for the competition has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
La Pasadita, 1132 North Ashland, earned its spot after a visit by the intrepid burritophile Anna Maria Barry-Jester.
“The meat had a tough, grilled exterior that melted away as I bit into it,” she said. “Its reputation — and its place as the No. 1 seed in our Northeast region — is well earned.”
“La Pasadita won this one on the quality of its carne asada, which is a force to be reckoned with.”
Barry-Jester is traveling the country on behalf of the FiveThirtyEight website to taste all 64 burritos in the Burrito Bracket.
She was less impressed by another popular Chicago burrito in the bracket, Irazu, 1865 North Milwaukee.
“The tortilla was beautifully griddled, but the ingredients were bland slices of steak, iceberg lettuce, tomato chunks and avocado slices,” she wrote. “It was uninspired, but simple enough to be tasty and light.”
Nate Silver, a former Chicago resident who now oversees the America’s Best Burrito project for his FiveThirtyEight website, is a huge fan of the burrito.
He started a Chicago Burrito Bracket back in 2007, but then got busy developing FiveThirtyEight and dropped it. He admits he is partial to LaPasadita.
The 64-burrito bracket was reached by parsing data from Yelp reviews and developing an overall rating called Value Over Replacement Burrito (VORB).
The final Chicago entry, L’Patron Tacos, 2815 W. Diversey, was highly rated by Barry-Jester, but fell in its bracket to a burrito place from, of all places, New York.