This week, I reached out for something new, for me anyway, from a restaurant without a drive-thru window: a Best Steak Burrito from Cabo Bob's, one location in Houston (so far) on Fountain View and San Felipe, as CultureMap's Eric Sandler reported last year.
Cabo Bob's is all about going the extra mile on quality. I heard about Cabo Bob's from a bunch of recent University of Texas grads who practically lived on burritos and tacos from there. Cabo Bob's started in Austin in 2008. Now there are four in the state capital, plus one in San Antonio and one recently opened in Houston.
Here's the Best Steak Burrito breakdown: An Ancho chili or smoky cheddar tortilla, grilled steak, brown rice, Baja beans, sautéed onions, Monterey Jack cheese, pico de gallo, Ancho Rancho, and queso. This burrito is packed tight and bursting at its seams. It looks like a guy in Spandex bike shorts who should invest in a full-length mirror or find new friends. Cabo Bob's doesn't list its nutritional numbers, but the Best Steak Burrito will run you $9.39.
Here's the thing about Cabo Bob's, nothing about this burrito is simple. First you pick your tortilla from four varieties: buttermilk flour (white), Ancho chili (red), cilantro tomatillo (green), or smoky cheddar (orange).
Each tortilla is smushed and cooked to order on a rotating comal griddle. It's fun to watch it blister and puff up. The grass-fed sirloin steak is cooked over natural Post Oak charcoal in a Kamado Joe high-heat ceramic grill. The brown rice and toppings are prepared fresh in-store several times a day. That's real queso, no short cuts.
Cabo Bob's has five kinds of rice and beans, 12 different salsas and sauces, and 16 toppings to customize your burrito. The Seventeen Veggie Burrito has … you'll have to take their word for it. I didn't count. The chicken is Texas-sourced, never frozen, white breast meat. The fish is Regal Springs lake grown tilapia. The guac is made from hand-scooped Hass avocados,
Next time I went, I had the No. 1 Just Fish Tacos with buttermilk tortillas, crispy fish (fried to order in rice bran oil), chipotle crema, mango pico, shredded cabbage, and lime — three for $7.49. I asked the manager, what makes Cabo Bob's different from the 10,000 other burrito and taco joints in Houston. He said lower prices for better quality. He had me at lower prices. At the end of the counter you'll find Dublin sodas made with Imperial pure cane sugar.
By the way, there is no actual person Cabo Bob. He is the fantasy of chucking the 9-to-5 slow death sentence, moving to the beach and fishing whenever, no one to answer to. That's him painted on a side wall. Cabo Bob is living his life like a song — a Jimmy Buffett song. Cabo Bob's is open from 10:30 am to 9:05 pm (everybody's a comedian) Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.