Friday, October 1, 2010

The other burrito joint in Salem: Comida

This is not a burrito from either restaurant, but it sure looks good.

Ever since the signs were put up, Ricky and I have been waiting patiently for the opening of Comida. Side note, back when we were moving, we looked at an apartment above Comida, so we're both very relieved that we opted not to live above a burrito joint. Anyways, ever since seeing the signs, we've been debating which one would be the better place: Howling Wolf or Comida? Which would be our jam? Which would reign supreme?

Let's break it down.

--Convenience. Comida is cash only, and in this day and age, it is both annoying and lame. I realize it's meant to be a cheap burrito place, and that each time you swipe a card they charge you, but it's more annoying for me to have to go to the ATM and get a $20 on the other side of town than it is to swipe my debit card and have food. Howling Wolf accepts cards. Also, Howling wolf has ample seating to allow you to hang out and enjoy your food, whereas Comida has one bar you share with condiments. While sometimes it's nice to grab and go, the option to grab and eat there would be nice. Winner: HW

--Portions. When we've gotten chips and salsa/guac/queso at Howling Wolf, the chips are nicely salted, come in large portions, and you get the equivalent of a cup of soup worth of sauce. At Comida, you get a small bag of about 15-20 chips. They are dry and not salted enough. As far as sauce, you get small side cup. Maybe 1/3 of the Howling Wolf portions. Both times we've gotten a side, we've run out of sauce/dip before chips, and are left with about 9 chips we don't want to eat. Winner: HW

--Flavors. The first time I went to Comida, I got a pork burrito, an the second a chicken burrito. I got roughly the same accouterments each time. And I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the burritos. Comida says that the meats aren't seasoned in anything too overpowering (i.e., the chicken isn't super spicey and the pork mild), and that the sides exist to boost the flavors. Well, it worked, because each time I tasted a meat, though I had no clue what that meat was.

That being said, the number of extras you can add to your burrito, both were about the same. Both offered the standard fair, including several tasty homemade salsas and a pretty great guacamole. Comida's guacamole tastes quite fresh with ample amounts of cilantro, and their mango salsa is equally tasty. On taste alone, the Comida guac/salsas may eke ahead. Meat winner: HW. Side Winner: C

--Deal. Portions and convenience go to Howling Wolf. The meal comes to usually over $10, but I feel like I get a better deal when I go to Howling Wolf only because of the size of portions. Both burritos were filling, but not huge, whereas Ricky's burrito has broken with the size of it at least once. You also get complimentary ice water at Howling Wolf. And seating is available. Winner: HW

Overall winner: Howling Wolf.

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