Sunday, November 6, 2011

Burrito Battle Month #4: Tulum & Hello Burrito

Within its quaint, serene downtown, Bethlehem, has its own burrito duel between 

Tulum                                                                                        Hello Burrito
17 W. Morton St                                                                       38 W. Broad St
Bethlehem, PA  18015                                                               Bethlehem, PA  18015
610-691-8300                                                                           610-882-2124

Tulum has the feel of a Tex-mex joint in Texas...small and cozy, colorful tiled walls and counters and a unique use of seating space.  It's the classic college-town stop, and hopefully provides a wholesome meal for a study break to many Lehigh students with its near-campus location.

Their menu is classic with a choice of chicken, beef, pork or grilled veggies.  Their intriguing menu has the burrito classified by sauce--with an authentic mexican mole and salsa verde.  They use some unique products on their burritos, including sweet potatoes on the Santana and pineapple and roasted corn on the Mayan.  Their signature burrito is wittily termed "the Beth-mex" with a classic red sauce.  If I recall, all burritos and tacos include a side of chips and salsa.  Another thoughtful aspect of their menu is the "miniritto"--a smaller-size portion for only $5.35!

Unfortunately, I have only been to Tulum once.  While my counterpart's impression is usually compatible with my own, this time he has referred to them as "weak."  That's the only quote I can obtain regarding why he refuses to return.  While it's not my favorite burrito in the Valley, I would definitely return to experience their synthesis of flavors and wholesome commodities.

Just over the bridge, Hello Burrito is a relatively new business promoting their commitment to fresh, non-fried, unprocessed and largely local products with an emphasis on burritos, quesadillas and soups.   Beyond the traditional "southwest" burrito, it features the fusion flare by having a variety of ethnic burritos represented on their menu including the mediterranean, thai and asian sesame.  While we haven't been there since it first opened, I remember enjoying the thai burrito.  My main suggestion is that they call themselves "Hello Wrap", which would seem to be a better representation of their product.  Their "burritos" (or wraps) come with a side of apple or bagged chips--a nice gesture, but to me screams "wrap" joint not "burrito" joint.  Rumor has it the owners also have a wrap business in Kutztown--so maybe that explains it.

The aesthetics are clean, bright, open and airy--though depending on your preference it may feel stark.  Hello Burrito does provide an enjoyable lunch spot with plenty of healthy options and has pleased many LV consumers.  Just think "wrap-burrito" fusion.

So, Who has your vote for Best Burrito in the Lehigh Valley?

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