Sunday, October 23, 2011

Burrito Battle Month #3: Cali Burrito

Cali Burrito
3104 Hamilton Blvd.
Allentown, PA 18103
Hours:  Mon-Wed 11-8; Thurs-Sat 11-9; Sun 11-7

This week’s review not only introduces you to the winner of Burrito Battle Month—but possibly the winner of Evans Eats overall favorite eateries in the LV & B.  We discovered this spot soon after its opening through an article in Coupon Clipper.  My husband, as usual, was skeptical, but willing to join me in the adventure.  I was intrigued by the story of 2 Lehigh Valley-bred gents returning to this area after 10 years living in California.  They had a vision and mission to bring a Cali-style burrito joint to this area.   

Good sign #1:  They have lived elsewhere & have been exposed to other cultures.  Good sign #2:  The Lehigh Valley has a lot to learn from the dozens of taco/burrito joints along the bike paths of LA beaches. 
Upon first external appearance, it only added to my husband’s anxious doubts, but as soon as we entered, we were put at ease.  There is remarkable success in the California vibe they have brought to the serene, reserved culture of the valley.  It has the relaxing effect of a warm, sunny day and whets the appetite as if you just returned from a morning of surfing.
The crowds have only grown in the last few years and it’s                            easy to tell why…They provide a fresh, healthy, consistent product…served quickly from a friendly, “chill” staff, who add to the experience.  Keep in mind, this is not a Mexican burrito—it’s a California-style burrito…using fresh products with a Mexican flare.   The customized opportunities are endless…not only can you create-your-own burrito, you can choose from one of several –and add your own “hook-ups”:  cilantro, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, crushed chips, pickles, cabbage, or cheese. 
For the health-conscious, brown rice and whole-wheat tortillas can be substituted.  The vegan and vegetarians will enjoy 3 of my favorites:  
The Humboldt (smoked tofu, black beans, brown rice, sour cream & cheese) The Cambria (grilled veggies, black beans, brown rice, guacamole & cheese) & The Nepenthe (falafel, rice, black beans, pickles, tahini sauce).  

The classics include:   
The Big Sur (steak, pinto beans, rice, ranchero sauce and cheese)    
The Old Monterey(chicken, black beans, rice, cheese and quacamole)    
The El Dorado (pork, pinto beans, rice, ranchero sauce and cheese)   
The Mendocino (ground beef, pinto beans, 
                                                         rice, cheese and pico de gallo)  

I personally always check their featured “Burrito of the Week” which is usually a popular creative concoction.  Breakfast burritos are served all day and for the non-burrito lovers, enjoy their quesadilla and tacos.  Are you one who cannot decide between hard and soft-shell?  Cali-burrito has solved the dilemma but using both—a soft shell covers a stuffed hard shell.   I recommend The San Diego (deep fried fish and shredded cabbage).
Besides the cool atmosphere & delicious burritos, their best features are the house-made tortilla chips that come with every taco and burrito order, combined with their salsa bar (featuring amazing salsa of the week, salsa verde, mild and hot.)—This definitely puts Cali Burrito above the other option of the LV & B. 

Cali Burrito attracts a hip crowd of all ages, enjoying a meal after working out, grabbing take-out for the wife and kids, or providing a setting for a book-club discussion.  Enter the piece of Cali brought to PA.

Will we return? Definitely—it’s one of our favorite places to introduce friends & family.

Cali Burrito on Urbanspoon


  1. Lynne Morgan here,
    I am with Heather on this one. Cali Burrito is one of my favorite places to eat. I love the freshness of the just made burritos. The Nepenthe is my favorite by far. I am not adventerous as Heather. I tend to get the Nepenthe and the Huervos Ranchero everytime I go.
    I had the pleasure to go with Heather, Mark and another couple and it was nice to hang out there and talk. It is not too loud and not so quiet that you feel like everyone can hear your every word.
    I love the ever changing new salsa flavor. I have never had a bad one yet. Service is quick and the place is always clean too!
    Definitely a treat!

  2. Well Said, Lynne! Thanks for your added feedback!