Savory, salty, spicy, burrito-y -- Mmmm we love our green chili burritos. Mix it up with creamy refried beans and we're in burrito la-la-land.
Two of the Valley's best burritos come out of tiny hole-in-the-wall take-out joints that have been around forever. Carolina's on Mohave has been around since 1968 and the elusive Rito's is celebrating its 35th birthday this month.
Both burrito joints have cult-like followings, have several awards under their belts, and lines out the door at lunchtime. But which burrito joint executes our favorite green chili mix burro better?
Let's find out.
In This Corner: Carolina's Mexican Food
The Setup: Tucked away in a rundown Central Phoenix neighborhood, Carolina's has been churning out award-winning tortillas and burritos for 44 years. The menu is made up of your standard Mexican staples, and the summertime lunch lines can be brutal in the non-air-conditioned building.
The Good: Carolina's tortilla are top-notch. Soft and sturdy with just a slight char, they have the ability to stand up to whatever it is you decide to fill them with. The green chili filling was thick and hearty with a decent amount of pork chunks, and the beans had a perfect creamy texture.
The Bad: Where's the heat? Carolina's green chili is on the extremely mild side. Great for those of you who hate the slow burn that the rest of us crave. We had our containers of red sauce to spice things up, but the sauce just didn't satisfy our need for heat.
In The Other Corner: Rito's Market & Mexican Takeout
The Setup: In the heart of the historic Garfield neighborhood, you'll find a small building with line out the door and a packed patio -- even in the summer months. Strictly a grab and go joint, the menu is limited to burritos and the occasional taco or enchilada.
The Good: Rito's is known for its green chili, and it's been called the best in town for good reason. The pork is so tender it almost melts in your mouth and the viscous sauce has just the perfect slow green chili burn. The beans are about the same consistency as the chili sauce, which makes the two harmonize perfectly in the fresh tortilla.
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The Bad: This sucker is hot mess. Try eating it like a standard burrito and you're liking to have it all over your shirt and, if you're not careful, a burnt tongue, face, hand, or anything else the saucy insides come in contact with.
And the winner is...
Rito's. Its green chili really can't be beat. We'll happily endure 110-degree temperatures and burnt tongues for its messy burrito. Carolina's makes a decent green chili, but the Rito's flavor is outstanding. It's so good, we'll probably be dropping by today for seconds.