by Eric Ginsburg
Most people, at least in this area of the world, are not as stingy with their burrito endorsements as I am.
The Triad suffers from what TCB’s Brian Clarey calls “Good Enough Disease,” where low expectations in any arena, but especially food, contribute to the elevation of what would be considered subpar or unacceptable in a larger market. So it goes with the San Francisco-style, handheld burrito (as opposed to a “wet” burrito covered in toppings and cut with silverware).
The shortcomings emerge in an assortment of ways, like a poorly wrapped burrito that is otherwise delicious but where the foil is tucked into the meal, forcing the consumer to pull it out and creating a mess, or mediocre ingredients creating a less-than-memorable experience.
With plenty of high-quality Mexican food in the area, a disappointing burrito is no burrito at all, and I (along with any other sane Triadian) just order arroz con pollo, a tostada or quesadilla. And with a dearth of options, I’d rather endorse nothing than give credence to an impostor.
So when I say that the signature burrito at Blue Agave may be ranked as my second favorite in the Triad — jostling with Taco Riendo 3 in Winston-Salem for the position behind Greensboro’s Villa del Mar — that should mean something.
Blue Agave, a more upscale restaurant than its two divey counterparts at the top of the burrito hierarchy, is actually a purveyor of both the fork & knife and handheld variations on the dish. Located far enough down Battleground Avenue that it’s pushing Greensboro’s city limits, Blue Agave serves something its counterparts don’t: a “choripollo” option blending chicken and chorizo.
The Blue Agave Burrito, as it’s called on the menu, comes cut in half and unwrapped, filled with orange rice, black beans, sour cream, cheese and one of five meat choices. The $10 meal, which comes with a salad and a delicious aioli that is even better on the burrito than the salad, is in line with what you’d expect to pay for a filling dinner like this. But that’s almost double the price of its more fast-food-styled counterparts.
Blue Agave is much more than a burrito joint, however. A large dining room area with booths and tables, well endowed bar space and flanking outdoor seating make the restaurant appealing for any sort of outing.
Patrons can order one of two egg items during lunch — the huevos rancheros or huevos con chorizo which both sound appealing — any number of house specials including a fantastic Blue Agave arroz con pollo with just the right amount of cheese and sour cream to cover the vegetables and main fare and other menu items that incorporate the choripollo, like the tacos.
The fresh guacamole, although expensive, may be unparalleled in quality in the local market. And this is no example of “Good Enough Disease” — it tastes impeccable. Blue Agave’s sangria margarita arrives in a goblet (and is cheapest on Saturdays), but the simpler lime margarita on the rocks is big as well, and is only $3 on Mondays.
Here at Triad City Beat we usually don’t talk much about specials and deals in print — that’s more a function of advertising than journalism, we argue. But it would feel like malpractice not to mention that Blue Agave is currently running a Monday special like none I’ve ever seen: 40 percent off all food.
Not appetizers, not buy-one, get-one entrees. Almost half off the bill for all food items running from 4 p.m. until close at 10. I mean, damn.
Dining out isn’t an option for many people in the Triad, but a nicer meal out — rather than a quick and cheap lunch sandwich or cooking at home — can’t get much more attainable.
Visit Blue Agave Mexican Bar & Grill at 3900 Battleground Ave. (GSO) or at blueagavemexicanbarandgrill.com.