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Burritos, Enchiladas, and Chimichangas, Oh My!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Enchilada dinner plate with refried beans and rice

No one can argue that Mexican food is convenient and delicious. If you are hungry at almost any time of day, you can visit a Mexican restaurant to satisfy the urge for really good food. You might find yourself or talk with friends and family about your unfamiliarity with many things on the menu at your local Mexican restaurant. Many people regularly order only one or two items when they visit this genre of eateries.

Fortunately, it is pretty easy to learn more about some of the more common offerings and be able to distinguish between them. Here is a quick look at a few different types of Mexican food and how you can tell the difference between them.

The Burrito

Beef fajita burrito
Traditionally defined as a flour tortilla that you wrap around single or multiple ingredients. Technically, you could call a “wrap” from a sandwich shop a burrito. They can be filled with almost any ingredient, including eggs, beans, cheese, sauce, meat, or a variety of vegetables.

There exists a regional difference when you talk about the fillings that go inside a burrito. Original burritos can still be found in northern Mexico and are pretty small and made with no more than two ingredients. Traditional fillings include potatoes, beans, rice, sauce, vegetables, meat, and cheese.

If you are not from the south (in the USA, ) then your idea of a burrito is San Francisco style. This style of burrito is large and contains many ingredients. An example of a stuffed full San Francisco style burrito could include sour cream, rice, guacamole, whole beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, and salsa. Burritos served at national chain Chipotle are a good example of this type of burrito.

There are no “fillers” in a San Diego style burrito. They are big, but usually contain only guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and meat. There is an exception to this style which is called the California burrito. It contains carne asada, guacamole, French fries, cheese, and Pico de Gallo.

The Enchilada

Shrimp enchilada dinner plate
A filling is at the center of small corn tortillas that wrap around it. If you are served enchiladas, the plate will contain these tasty treats in a bed of sauce and garnished with sprinkled cheese. Depending on where you are and what you order, the fillings and sauce may vary.

One of the main differences between enchiladas and burritos is that the enchilada is usually made with corn tortillas and the burrito is made with flour. The second difference between the two is that you eat enchiladas with a fork. They are covered in (smothered with) sauce. Burritos can be hand held food. The size difference is significant. To get the same amount of food, as offered in a burrito, you may be served three or more enchiladas.

You can find them stuffed with a variety of filling types, but traditionally they are stuffed with meat and nothing else. The sauce they are served with is made with chili (the word enchilada means — to season with chili.) Tex-mex enchiladas are made without using any chilies.

The Chimichanga

chicken or beef burrito with cheese
Deep fry a burrito and you have a chimichanga. Location and chef goals are what determines the filling of a chimichanga. Most of them have peppers and slow cooked beef inside. Other fillings may include cheese, beans, rice and a different selection of meat. Sides included with an order of chimichangas often include generous servings of cheese, enchilada sauce, guacamole, and sour cream.

Experts think that the chimichanga was invented in the state of Arizona. They can be found all over the entirety of the southwest. Some people are used to a chimichanga that looks more like an enchilada than a burrito. However, they do not have to be covered with sauce. It might not be practical to pick one up and try to eat it like a burrito, because it is hot and the flour tortilla will be crunchy due to the deep frying.

Many grocery stores in the US carry frozen chimichangas. They may fit our description of a deep-fried burrito, but they are not to be compared with what you get in a restaurant. They are smaller and easy to eat with your hands.

Our specialty here at the Plaza Restaurant is to make delicious food for your whole family. Please check out our Locations so that you can find a restaurant near you. Be sure to have a look at our Menu to see the wide variety of options we have to offer you. The Plaza Restaurant has been serving our guests since 1982 from our family owned and operated business.