The Boston Phoenix
June 8 - 15, 2000

[Food Reviews]

| by restaurant | by cuisine | by location | hot links | food home |
| dining out archive | on the cheap archive | noshing & sipping archive | uncorked archive |

Viva Burrito

Quick Mex in Government Center

by Justine Kerr

on the cheap
  • Wok 'N Roll, June 1
  • Andale Mexican Grill, May 25
  • Yely's Coffee Shop, May 18
  • Taquería La Mexicana, May 11
  • The secret of Viva Burrito is out. Lunchtime lines -- populated mostly by hungry types from the nearby hospitals and government offices -- snake through the restaurant's interior, as the folks manning the grill dish up overflowing tortillas with assembly-line precision. Although Viva is located in an anonymous strip of stores near the new county courthouse, the space inside has a very personal feel, with huge Mexican murals, a cool tiled floor, and butcher-block tables.

    A midtown burrito joint would probably pull in patrons anyway, but Viva goes the extra mile with its food. You can see the ingredients sitting right there behind the counter: crisp lettuce, soft tortillas, shredded cheese. The high volume means that nothing sits for more than a few moments at a time. Viva also exceeds expectations with the variety of its menu: you can get a basic cheese quesadilla ($2.95) or a spicy Cajun snapper taco ($5.55). Desserts, too, are good: although the flan ($2.50) was gooey and bland (so unfortunate), the coconut cheesecake ($2.75) redeemed the dessert menu with a rich and creamy custard.

    A word of warning: this is messy business. The entrées are all supersized -- plan on finishing your meal later -- and require two hands to maneuver from the cardboard tray to your mouth.

    Viva Burrito, located at 66 Staniford Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday. Call (617) 523-6390.

    The On the Cheap archive