1534 Adams Ave. #D
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The restaurant business is a funny business. Someone has an idea, it becomes successful, then there are a bunch of copycats. Now that I think of it, I guess that is the way it works in lots of other industries as well. I mean there is one hit teen vampire movie, and all of the sudden there are ten shows about teen vampires on TV. Okay, I am kind of rambling here, but my point will be made shortly.
We were recently contacted by the folks over at Burrissimo to come in and see what they were all about. I immediately went to their website to check out the menu. Within three seconds of looking at it, I immediately knew what it reminded me of, an Italian version of Chipotle. It was as plain as day. You choose a style, a protein, a sauce, and then finish it off with veggies and cheeses. For all of you that know me, or have read the blog for an extended period of time, you know my distaste for Chipotle, but that is based on their serious lack of flavor, not their ordering process, so Katie and I made plans to head out to Burrissimo.
Burrissimo is located at Harbor and Adams in Costa Mesa. The same shopping center as Haus of Pizza and The Habit. This little shopping center was really packed when we showed up at 6pm on a recent Wednesday night. After walking in the door of Burrissimo, the first thing I noticed was the nice open feel to this restaurant. The high ceilings, and the separation between tables really made us feel comfortable right away. Let's take a look at the ordering process first.
The first step in the process is to determine what kind of meal you want. Burrissimo offers three options for you. You can have a Salad, a Pasta Bowl, or the namesake of the restaurant, the Burrissimo, which is an Italian Burrito. Yes, you read that correctly, an Italian burrito. After choosing what kind of meal you are going to have, it's time to choose a grill item. Here they offer six kinds. Vegetarian ($6.49), Chicken ($6.49), Crispy Chicken ($6.49), Meatballs ($6.79), Steak ($6.79), and Salmon ($7.99). As you can see, your choice of grill item determines the price that you pay. The next step is to select a sauce. There are three warm signature sauces, (Pomodoro, Diavolo, and Alfredo), and eight cold signature dressings that are used primarily in the salads, (Red Pepper Pesto, Zesty Parmesan, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Italian Herb Vinaigrette, and Oil and Vinegar). The final step is to top it off with veggies and cheeses of your choice. They offer three kinds of cheeses and multitude. of vegetables. The tagline for Burrissimo is, "Served fast and fresh", and it was definitely fast. We had our food on our tray as soon as we paid, and we were on our way to our table. Let's see how everything turned out for us.
Katie went a very traditional route at Burrissimo, by getting a Pasta Bowl. She added lots of stuff to this large bowl. Starting with the Angel Hair Pasta and the Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic Chicken, then the cavalcade of items started. She selected the Pomodoro sauce, sauteed mushrooms and zucchini, sauteed onions and peppers, Italian corn, artichokes, spicy beans, roasted garlic, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. See, I told you she went nuts here. She was very happy with her choices. She felt that the pasta was cooked well, was not sticky, and was a great vehicle for the rest of the ingredients. Not only was the pasta good, but the serving size for this was more than Katie could handle. She had more than enough left over for lunch the next day.
Of course I hear the word Italian burrito, so I had to try one for sure. The Burrissimo is started with an organic Italian flatbread, which is lightly brushed with oil, and is then put on a warming surface for a few seconds on each side. I kind of went for a traditional Italian feel with my picks here. I selected meatballs to join the angel hair pasta in the Burrissimo, then I added sauteed onions and peppers, Diavolo sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. I would have liked a little more of the spicy Diavolo sauce, but even without this, the Burrissimo was not dry. The produce was fresh, the angel hair acted like rice, and the meatballs had a nice meatiness to them. I thought the serving size for this was a very good value. Not quite as big as a Chipotle burrito, but it had way more flavor. I look forward to coming back and perfecting my ultimate Burrissimo experience.
Burrissimo has a few side items on their menu as well. Just in case we did not have enough to eat, we also ordered a half order of Pepperoni Rolls ($3.29). This Italian bread is brushed with butter and stuffed with some thicker than usual pepperoni. It is then dusted with Parmesan cheese. Ours was a little under cooked, but it still was good. There was plenty of pepperoni, and the cheese did not overpower this side item. This is served with your choice of three dipping sauces. We went with ranch, but pomodoro will be our next selection with this.
Just as we were about done with our dinner, one of the friendly employees of Burrissimo was handing out samples of their Tuscan Sausage Potato Soup. I was surprised they did not offer sausage as one of their grill items, but the sausage was definitely evident in this soup. It was very full of flavor, extremely creamy, and really got me psyched to have this soup on my next visit here.
No trip to Burrissimo would be complete without having the Zeppole's ($2.99). These Italian doughnuts are fantastic. These came out warm, had plenty of cinnamon and sugar, and lacked the greasiness that I had expected. You have your choice of having these with a raspberry dipping sauce or a vanilla icing. We went with the icing choice, and could not have been happier. If you do not get these when you are here, you have made a grave mistake.
We really enjoyed our visit to Burrissimo, even more than we thought we were going to. All of the items we had on this night really satisfied, and we left very full. I really thought this place is a great value. Nothing on their menu is over $8, so a family of four can easily eat here for under $40 including dessert. I'm really happy that Burrissimo took an existing idea, tweaked it just enough, and out did the original concept. Okay that will be my last dig at Chipotle, at least for this review.
Would you like to try Burrissimo for yourself? The great folks at Burrissimo have given me ten ($10) gift cards to give away to readers of my blog, plus one grand prize winner will receive a Happy Birthday Costa Mesa Prize pack, which includes, a pair of 60th anniversary concert tickets for June 28th, a $25 Burrissimo gift card, a Burrissimo logo cap, a bottle of BSting Signature Hot Sauce and an order of Zeppoles, which are not to be missed. The city of Costa Mesa is holding some great events for their 60th anniversary, and you can find out more detail here: http://www.travelcostamesa.com/costa-mesa-60/index.html. Enter the contest below, and good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Even if you do not win one of the eleven prizes, you can still get something for free. From June 24th to June 30th, Burrissimo will be giving away a free order of Zeppoles with a minimum $7 purchase. This is a great deal, because I am still thinking about those Italian doughnuts. So good. For more information on Burrissimo, go to their web site, http://www.burrissimo.com/.