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Burrito Drive

In a word: A Mexican-American tollway.

The specs: #0248
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Christopher Robin's Fresh Foods, Isthmus, Fringe Foods, TDPF; Table Talk with a co-owner; official web site; Burrito Drive on Urbanspoon

Latest Burrito Drive news and reviews

JM ate the 3 carnitas tacos with a Sprite.
Nichole ate the quesadilla with a Coke.
The bill was $17, or $8.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Burrito Drive a B; Nichole gave Burrito Drive a B- (see our grading rubric).

Burrito Drive

Burrito Drive's gotten a lot of attention among the foodies in town. We think it may be because you can get delivery, or maybe it's because there's a Spam and Velveeta burrito, or maybe it's because Madison is so starved for Mexican restaurants that every new one deserves note.  Who's being sarcastic?

Delivery areaTheir delivery philosophy seems to be Isthmus, campus, and the shores of Monona. Huge, to be sure - but why they don't expand just a bit more to the densely populated true east and near west sides is puzzling.

The food itself was, frankly, overpriced for carry-out dinner for 2. It's probably a better deal if you're ordering delivery for a crowd, and we hear they have discounts for large orders. But this is what we got for our $17:

Burrito Drive

The carnitas tacos were oniony little things on flour tortillas (in case you hadn't picked up on this yet, Burrito Drive is not really Mexican--more a frat boy's idea of Mexican with a little bit of culinary ingenuity thrown in). The excellent guacamole and tasty cheese disappeared into the onion flavor, and the fresh salsa didn't help the onion ratio, either. (Did we mention there was some onion?)

The quesadilla with sweet potato, caramelized onions and parsley garnish was rather bland. Again, the cheese was invisible, but the cucumber "crema" (sour cream dip) made up for it slightly. Nichole's meal was more filling than JM's, but was less guilt-inducing than the average quesadilla.

We can see the appeal, especially to the late-night munchie crowd. But the lowbrow fusion idea isn't something that will get us coming back too often. It is, however, delivery Mexican-ish food which is something of a landmark.

Comments

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I stopped in a couple of weeks ago. Decent Burrito, nice people... I'd go back. It was a little pricier than Qdoba, but then again the Q has the discounting power of being a chain. BD is a stand-alone with all of the usual bills to pay. I doubt anyone there is getting rich off of what they charge.

I've been hearing about this place but I've never been. That spam and velveeta thing sends shivers up my spine =)

Great idea for a blog by the way, can't believe I'm just finding it.

I keep track of all my madison restaurant eatin' at hngry.com, as it's kind of a startup project of a buddy of mine.

http://hngry.com/metros/United-States/Wisconsin/Madison

I've had about half the items on their menu - I recommend the cookie dough empanadas! Also, the enchiladas are the best non-dessert item on the menu IMO (I thought the burritos were a little bland, and the quesadilla was a little odd)... Great blog by the way, though I don't always agree w/ your reviews, cool concept!

Adam,
Make sure that you tell the world when you don't agree with us here. Our experience of any given restaurant is usually one trip - one time and we need more and different perspectives to give a clearer picture than just one meal can. Seriously, we're just using our posts to start that conversation.

Thanks for reading.

I gotta say, they certainly did do what they needed to do in order to get their name out there. I think I've seen about 20,000 flyers on the ground around campus!

Now that we're neighbors with BD, the little lady and I have given it a couple shots. Deep breath...build the anticipation...wait for it...

Meh.

I really wanted to like their stuff, because I've been on a serious sweet potato jones lately. But bland is the word at Burrito Drive, which is in the face of ingredients that could really pack a lot of flavor if used properly.

The BD quesadilla (same one you guys had) was indeed quite bland. Hard to image saying that about anything with carmelized onions. But the cucumber crema did indeed save the dish from being legitimately culinarily depressing.

Carnitas burrito: bland. Chorizo burrito: shockingly bland. I don't know whether blandness or badness is a greater sin (which is the comparison, for me, between Burrito Drive and Qdoba).

This is not a place we'll order from very often, which is just too damn bad given its proximity.

Overrated. Souless.

I had the carne asada burrito once. It tasted like they actually marinated a cut of steak and cooked it to order, as opposed to the common large bins of precooked bits of steak you find at taquerias. But the portion was far too small overall and I found myself still hungry after having spent about $8.50. For midnight munchies I'd probably prefer this over Glass Nickel though.

oops, meant to write in the last one--there are a couple good "real" burrito places in town, though neither deliver. Taqueria Guadalejara (previously Morales but even better now), and El Pastor.

I have to admit, the late night delivery thing has reeled us in a few times. Aside from pizza, subs, and horrible Chinese, this city is horrific for delivery. I agree with the review that this place is a bit overpriced. My suspicion is that you're always paying extra for the "free" delivery if you do take-out or have it brought to you. Also, this place really isn't "Mexican" food as much as it's high quality junk food masquerading as Mexican food. The tortas are actually fresh cooked steak on French bread. Yes, French bread. But you know what, this sandwich is like twice as good as any of the crap sandwiches that Glass Nickel delivers. So all in all it's a decent alternative to other delivery options, Madison being what it is. And while some options are bland, others taste good, and be sure to mention the furtive free chips and salsa coupon when you call.

You know this is a sad sad delivery town when two separate reviews refer to Glass Nickel as the sole alternative late-night delivery source, especially in a college town of this size. We finally got around to ordering some tacos from here last week. They came very quickly, which is a feather in their cap, but my chorizo tacos were shockingly dry, and they only came wrapped in one taco (instead of the usual double wrap you find at most Mexican restaurants), and guess what, they fell apart! Plus, and this is the worst part, and mentioned in a previous review above, the dinner was really overpriced. Ghastly so! One appetizer and two orders of tacos was over 24 dollars. Would I order from here again? Yes. Because that's how bad Madison is for late-night delivery. Would I recommend this place to anyone? Probably not.

It may be bad form to leave a negative comment right off the bat, but this place was bad. And when I say "bad", I mean it was absolutely the worst restaurant I've ever eaten in my entire life.

It's hard pinpoint exactly what went wrong, but probably even more difficult to point out anything that was actually done right. Perhaps it was the sickeningly sweet, gooey "sweet potato puree" that nearly overpowered everything else in the burrito. Or perhaps it was the "pickled red onion", which tasted like it had been left out rotting in the sun for three weeks.

Clearly ordering the Sheh-meh-neh burrito was a mistake since, in retrospect, it seems packed with ingredients that don't belong in a burrito in the first place. Still, I'm not the only one who had problems. Both friends who accompanied me to the (wildly overpriced) restaurant thought it was horrid, and they had far less adventurous meals.

On the way home, we pulled into Michael's parking lot for some ice cream, and I had to exit the car to comply with my body's request to evacuate the burrito IMMEDIATELY. I can't say I've ever had any other meal that has literally made me sick. Needless to say, I won't be going back.

Nice site, btw. :)

Welcome, Nate! Thanks for the comments. Man, if what happened to you apres Burrito Drive had happened to me it would have been a D all the way.

Well, I certainly hope that doesn't happen to anyone else! I'm obviously not as forgiving as you guys though (I'd give it an F, I think).

And just to clarify, the burrito made me puke all over the parking lot, and (thankfully) didn't make me sick in any other way. Just wanted to forestall any possible confusion. :)

Oh man! OK, F territory. Totally. It's in the FAQ so I better stick to it. :)

ewww.

I went to Burrito Drive for a late night dinner about two weeks ago. My husband and I both spent the evening after dinner throwing up. He had the Hungry Hippie (or something like that), I also had a veggie Burrito. Neither were very good going down or coming back up.

Wow, my experience with Burrito Drive is in complete contrast with many of the very harsh posts here. First off, I can officially say I am addicted to this food, I absolutely love it and find myself craving it! Nate, what went wrong? Oh, you mean you didn't like it? From the beginning of your post, it sounded like you got punched in the face by a burrito, or hippy, both unlikely in equal parts. Anyways, the classic tacos are great, the sweet potato purée is incredible and fits well in the carnitas burrito and as a make your own. The red salsa is the best, the pico de gallo doesnt do it. I agree that I don't understand why it is so pricy, but I don't care, it's worth it.

If I didn't like the food at an establishment, I wouldn't go back. I wouldn't post a hater message, affecting peoples' careers. Unless I was personally insulted by someone there, which I find hard to believe, though I don't know the guys there. The girls are very friendly there!!!!

Eat here, if you can afford to keep coming back every day.

Your bonus will appear on next week's paycheck.

Seriously. Don't make negative comments about a place? You're joking, right? Isn't that the point of a community-supplemented restaurant review blog?

::eyeroll::

negative comments are fine, that's the point , you're right...hate messages that are over the top are not, in my opinion. I don't work there and am not friends with anyone there, not biased...sorry to offend you.

No, I did not like Burrito Drive. I thought the burrito I had was the single worst thing I have ever gotten from a "restaurant" in my life. But I can't post that because it's a "hater" message? Please.

I'm glad that somebody enjoys this place. By all means, keep going back (I can assure you I have not...). But just as you have a right to come on here and talk up your "addiction", I have the right to say I thought the place was crap.

I love Burrito Dr. It filled a great "need" in Madison (fast Mexican food by delivery). Great, homemade ingredients. Great chips and salsa. Fast, friendly service (fast delivery). Good options for vegetarians.

Hub and I are both hopelessly addicted to the pico. It's definitely good drunk food, which is appropriate since we, more often than not, have it delivered when we're at the Malt House. My standby is the chicken chimi.

We're juuuuuuuuust out of their delivery area, which is unfortunate, because - here comes another Glass Nickel reference - sometimes I just don't want pizza. Silver Mine's new location provides us with additional late-night delivery, but I'd rather have BD.

The worst service ever. They screwed up our order and then accused us of lying about it. The man on the phone claimed that he was the owner and didn't want to talk to me. He hung up on me twice. I have NEVER received such terrible service in my life!

We went there once and found much the same. Pretty overpriced. I got one of the sweet potato burritos and while I was happy with the taste, it was really pricey. The most upsetting was the dessert, though. The tres leches is LITERALLY two twinkies soaked in condensed milk and topped with whipped cream. It was positively disturbing. Also, the order took 35 minutes to put together. We asked about it twice and both times, the girl at the counter said it would be any minute. We finally realized that meant 'any minute we feel like giving it to you'. At least be honest and tell me that you have a big order your putting together and it will take 30 minutes. Or just lie and tell me the same thing so that you don't come off as slow. Either way, we won't be returning.

My husband and I order from here somewhat frequently, including eat-in, carry-out, and delivery. We've never had a bad experience. I normally alternate between the Hungry Hippie and White Trash burritos. My husband has had numerous dishes. We've liked them all. The chips and salsa/guacamole were also great.

I wouldn't say it's a place you must visit. But it definitely has a place in our rotation.

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