Restaurant makes badass food

Some burritos say they’re big. Some burritos whine about having organic beef. Some have authentic cheese, as if anyone cares. Some burritos throw wussy pickled jalapenos and then pretend it was an accident. But those burritos aren’t badass. No, a badass burrito kicks your ass and then goes and laughs about it with his friends. A badass burrito dares you to finish it off and when you can’t, it mocks you with that two thirds of a burrito left on your plate. Just try to look your friends in the eye after that. It’s okay though. Not everyone can be a badass, but if you’re up to a challenge and can handle having your ass handed to you by a burrito, then maybe this is your kind of place.

Half of why Badass Burrito is so badass is because it doesn’t flaunt it. It’s pretty much the definition of a hole-in-the-wall. Off the beaten path in Lansingburgh, it’s a one-room bar with about six tables on one side. It’s easy (and irritating) to take a motif too far, but the walls just have a few sporadic south of the border-themed items and a couple of vanity plates that have “BADASS” on them. Frankly, if I didn’t know beforehand that this place served food, I wouldn’t have figured it out on my own. Still, following your own path and disregarding convention is pretty badass.

Burritos are their namesake, but their menu is pretty badass in general. For starters, it’s fairly broad considering the size of the place, and they add clever twists to most of their dishes. The Badass Beachcomber ($4) is battered fish with onions, and the Mexico City Burger ($8) would be standard except that they roll it in a mix of garlic herb spices and top it with red onions and a garlic aioli. If you’re into more traditional dishes, they do have quesadillas, enchiladas, and Tijuana street tacos too.

They have a decent set of appetizers like badass wings and strips, but they also have some unusual choices. I tried the battered and deep-fried Homemade Chorizo Poppers ($5) which have chorizo, a type of pork sausage wrapped in bacon. The batter was fantastically light and buttery while the chorizo had a distinct smoky spice flavor. The bacon wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to compete with the other flavors, and as if you needed more flavor, they came with a cup of the most amazing chipotle dip. It was thick and powerful with a variety of initial flavors and a strong finish. I also had the Alamo fries, which were fresh, cooked to crispy perfection, and heavily spiced. They are great on their own, but especially fantastic with the dip.

I proudly admit that I wasn’t badass enough for the Nachos Supreme ($9.75) and I defy even two people to finish one order. The sheer scale of them is indescribable. Obviously you can choose between beef, chicken, or pulled pork, but then the bowl is mounded over with onions, olives, guacamole, tomatoes, scallions, queso, and even their own homemade spiced sour cream. This was just a bowl with gratuitous amounts of flavor. Even the tortilla chips are dusted with spice. The only shortcoming was the queso, which lagged behind the other flavors in terms of utter intensity, but overall the most badass bowl of nachos I’ve ever failed to finish.

Finally the burrito. There’s the standard make-your-own burrito using whatever toppings out of their vast selection, but if you’re looking for a more unique flavor, they’ve got that covered too. A southwestern chicken burrito features marinated and grilled chicken with a blend of spices rolled in a spinach wrap. If burritos aren’t really your thing, they do have a chicken club wrap. But, this is Badass Burrito, so burritos should really be your thing. The Cowboy Burrito is sautéed onion, salsa, blended cheese, and Alamo fries combined with carne asada. The massive burrito is stuffed with all the ingredients. Their powerful flavors blend together balancing each other for an overall sharp and savory taste.

With all the generic burrito bars popping up lately, Badass Burrito provides one of the last few independent burrito places that focus on originality. No, it’s not a family dinner place, but if you’re looking for an evening hangout with fantastic food, this is the only badass option. To quote the founder: “Have a badass day.”

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