Neighborhood Staple with Purple Cactus!

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The first time I EVER had Purple Cactus in Jamaica Plain was back in the Spring of 2004.  An ex-boyfriend took me there, raving it was his favorite burrito spot.  I remember the physical experience vaguely but two things stuck out:  my burrito’s size AND my burrito’s taste!  Flash-forward to 2014 and the eatery still stands remaining one of my FAVORITE burrito locations in all of Hub.

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Opened back in 1999 this healthy take on California style burritos has become a neighborhood gem, getting reviews from Boston.com saying, “this place is the bomb!” and “fast food worth waiting for,” from the Boston Globe.  When the first location opened in Provincetown or “P-town” in 1993 the menu had only 3 burritos, chips, guac, and salsa.  Currently the menu has 8 sections, including breakfast, as well as side options.  Normal hours are 9am to 10pm daily with the full menu starting at 10am and Winter Sundays are 9am to 9pm.

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I’ve tried the Vegetarian Chili, which was quite tasty containing a variety of Beans, Monterey Jack Cheese, and Tortilla Chips.  I was quite contempt with my small 8oz. cup.

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I’ve also done the Grilled Chicken and Grilled Steak burritos, but never the Shrimp.  Today was the day!  I ordered my Shrimp burrito with a Spinach tortilla wrap.  Other wrap choices are: white, wheat, none (in a bowl) or Red Chile (I want to try that next!).  I had to make it a “Super Burrito” so I added guac and sour cream on the side.  It was only $1.20 extra and VERY worth it!  For a drink I got my favorite, a Cabo Cooler, a.k.a Lime-aid.

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If you’re more on the no meat or fish side they also offer salads and other vegetarian options, including TOFU burritos!

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What really works for me here is that the customer isn’t skimped by any means with their food.  When your paying the extra for steak over chicken your getting good HUNKS of steak in your burrito, not thin strips.  Prices here vary with the highest priced item being $8.75 for the Carne Asada (Grilled Beef) with Peppers Quesadilla.  My total came to about $9.50, which for the size of these burritos isn’t too shabby.  I wasn’t worried about my shrimp quantity or quantity at all.

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Turns out my Shrimp burrito was Fantastic!  The shrimp were as juicy and poached as described with about 4 nice sized shrimp in each burrito half! Sooo good!  My cabo cooler was refreshing as always.

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Next time I think I’ll switch it up and order a Smoothie.  I wasn’t even aware they had those.  A Classic Blonde – Apple Juice, Bananas, and Strawberries- sounds good, with a Turkey Avocado Wrap.  Yea, that sounds sensational!

With Love and High Recommendation,

Potbelly Tara.  Xo!

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The Purple Cactus

674 Centre Street

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

617 522-7422

http://www.thepurplecactus.com

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Local Favs at Tiki Tok!

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Every time I visit Cozumel, Mexico I fall deeper in love.  Their downtown strip on Avenida Rafael e Melgar offers tourist mucho finds from jewelry, cheeky souvenirs, and of course, tasty food!   One of my favorites so far on the island is Tiki Tok Restaurant Bar.

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I discovered Tiki Tok on my first visit to last year but not for the food.  Actually it was for their coconuts!  I LOVE coconuts.  Nothing says refreshing like a big green coconut filled with coconut water.  Yum.  This year, the restaurant outdid itself by actually putting a face on the coconut made out of fruits.  Way to jazz up the “coco frio natural”.  Cute.

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The server recommended the fajitas as the best item on the menu. I love it when employees are familiar with their menu.  Usually in America I don’t eat fajitas, so I was interested in how delicious it would be in it’s homeland.  My party got the Fajita Combo of Chicken and Shrimp accompanied by Quac, Sour Cream, and Black Beans.

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In addition to the coconut water I grabbed a Strawberry Margarita Fresa.  This frozen beverage was perfect for the hot day under the roof of the outdoorsy restaurant.  There’s even sand seating if you want to feel like your right at the beach, even though the beach is directly across the street.

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When our sizzling fajita came out I was instantly excited.  The smell was inviting, the appearance enticing.  I already knew what I was in stored for.  Juicy chicken with tender shrimp.  The guacamole was a nice chucky texture and I couldn’t ask for any more onions (love onions).  The pitas were soft and the overall combination in my mouth was superb.

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Next time I go to Tiki Tok I HAVE to spend more.  My table got 2 margs, shared the fajita, and 2 coconuts for only $435 pesos or $36.25 US dollars.  They use the same dollar symbol we do so it can look daunting at first but TRUST me, it’s worth every cent.

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Tiki Tok Restaurant Bar

Av. Rafael E. Melgar, Upper Level | between 2nd and 4th St.

Cozumel 77600, Mexico

987-869-8119

Viva La Viva Burrito!

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Being that I used to work in the West End a couple of years back (when Cold Stone Creamery was in the mini plaza with Whole Foods) I had lunch from Viva Burrito in the past and recalled it being good.  Now that I take my eats more seriously, I had to return to this cozy spot and confirm my memory.

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Pretty fast at taking your order and quick with service Viva is great for a pit stop on a lunch break or to have a seat and relax in the Boston area.

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Unable to come in person to place an order?  Have no fear; if you have a pen, paper, and a fax machine handy then you can fax order over and have it waiting for you upon arrival.

Open 7 days a week with over 13 option sections to pick from on their menu, customers can experience authentic Mexican food without being bored by simplicity.  I went with the Chicken Burrito containing Rice, Black Beans, Salsa Fresca, Cheese, and Grilled Chicken Breast Marinated in Fresh Garlic with Spices as the main entrée.  For a snack I enjoyed chips and quac. Want something Spicy? They offer a FREE Spicy Salsa Bar!

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Burrito’s range from $4.95 to $5.99.  Sides are from $1.99 to $5.49.  I would break down the menu further, however at this reasonable restaurant if you walk in with $20 to feed yourself you’ll leave satisfied with not only food but a beverage.  They offer smoothies, sodas, and beer options.  I had a soda (rare!)

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My burrito was delicious.  I work in a restaurant that makes burritos so it was great eating another recipe.  My memory wasn’t wrong.  The only thing my memory didn’t have was trying their guacamole.  I was missing out!

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So chunky!  Well balanced with flavor.  So good to say the least.  I actually, at that moment remembered back to when I visited Cozumel, Mexico and had quac and chips there and it seemed pretty much the same.  Awesome!

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I’m not sure when I’ll return to the West End for eats, but with summer almost here I’m sure Viva can get ready to see more me, Potbelly.

Xo.

Viva Burrito

66 Staniford Street Boston, MA

617-523-6390

http://vivaburrito.com/