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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Amy's Kitchen

Black Bean Burrito and Burrito Especial

Dr. Gourmet Reviews the Black Bean Burrito from Amy's KitchenThis week we're continuing to revisit older reviews to see what, if anything, has changed.

Amy's Black Bean Burrito and their Burrito Especial were two of the first reviews we did for the web site, and the outcome was mixed. While the Black Bean Burrito was pretty good (we gave it 3 1/2 forks out of 5), the Especial was considered "not very especial." In the more than a decade since the first reviews, had anything changed?

A look at the labels tells us that something has. The Black Bean Burrito now has 10 fewer calories, significantly more sodium (100mg more), and more fiber (+2grams) than it had before: the current version has 290 calories, 680 milligrams of sodium (that's 2.3 milligrams of sodium for every calorie!), and 6 grams of fiber.

Meanwhile, the Burrito Especial has 40 more calories, the same amount of sodium, and a little more fiber: today's burrito contains 300 calories, 620 milligrams of sodium (slightly over 2 milligrams of sodium per calorie), and 4 grams of fiber.

 Dr. Gourmet Reviews the Burrito Especial from Amy's KitchenIt's not clear from our original review (pretty short, I know) whether the Black Bean Burrito of ten years ago had a whole wheat tortilla, but it's worth noting that this one has a slightly sweet, whole-wheat flavor and a soft, just slightly chewy texture after cooking. In addition to the black beans, Amy's has added broccoli, green peppers, and corn to the mix. Hard to say, but more veggies might account for the higher fiber count. At any rate, the filling is mild, with a touch of cayenne and a stronger note of cumin, but you can taste the sweet corn as well as the green peppers. The broccoli does get lost in the flavor shuffle, so to speak. The filling goes all the way to the end of the burrito and the whole thing was scarfed up by the team, who agreed that this would be a satisfying lunch.

They also agreed that the Burrito Especial wasn't especially "especial," but in its way was just as good: the black beans here are mixed with white rice, green chiles, onions, and cheese in a soft white flour tortilla. Cilantro, cumin, and cheese is the main flavor profile here, punctuated with the savory black beans. One taster said it tasted a lot like the burritos he got from a taco truck at home in Los Angeles (make of that what you will).

The overall verdict for this re-review: "still good" and "improved," respectively. If we hadn't reviewed these previously, however, I'm not sure I'd have selected them for a review - that ratio of 2 milligrams of sodium to 1 calorie is a lot higher than we like to see here at Dr. Gourmet. If you choose these for lunch, bear that in mind.

First posted: May 22, 2015