I tried out Bueno Y Sano, a small local Mexican restaurant chain tonight. Bueno Y Sano, which started out in Amherst, MA in 1995, now has 5 locations across Massachusetts and one in Burlington, VT. I went to the Springfield, MA location at 880 Sumner Ave.
Bueno Y Sano doesn’t have a specific gluten free menu, but on my findmeglutenfree app, it said, “Most of our menu is gluten free as long as you do not have a flour tortilla. You can order any burrito without a tortilla or with corn tortillas on the side.” When I asked about this in the store, the woman behind the counter started talking about seitan (this is also mentioned in a Yelp review that I had previously read). I was pretty confused by that, so I told her I had celiac, wanted a steak burrito, and made a big show of throwing a few bucks in the tip jar so she wouldn’t gluten me. I ordered my “burrito” with everything on it: rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo (tomato, cilantro, and onion) and mild sauce.
My order was ready amazingly quickly, maybe a minute tops. While it is fast food in the sense that you order at counter, it comes very quickly, and you seat yourself, it came on a metal plate and there was real silver wear, which I thought was a nice touch. I would classify it as upscale fast food. Since I didn’t have a tortilla (I’ll try to remember to ask about the corn tortilla’s next time along with other options beside burritos), the stuffing of the tortilla was piled on the plate. It was a pretty generous portion (see pic below).
I thought the food itself was very good. While it is similar to a fast food experience, the food was much, much better. The most notable elements were how fresh the ingredients tasted and that it had just the perfect amount of kick for me (admittedly, I’m a wuss). It was an excellent “burrito”!
As far as Mexican fast food goes, Bueno Y Sano is levels above Taco Bell. As a former Taco Bell fanboy, this pains me to admit, but it is undeniable. I’m guessing Chipolte is a better (but I’m assuming inferior) comparison. Shockingly, I’ve never tried Chipolte due to cross contamination concerns. I’ve eased up quite a bit on my worries about cross contamination recently (I don’t seem to be super sensitive) and I don’t think those concerns are any greater at Chipolte than Bueno Y Sano (they have very similar looking setups) so I will try Chipolte very soon and compare the two.
Overall, I thought Bueno Y Sano was pretty great since I’ve missed eating at places like this. It is right by my house (and I drive directly by it getting to and from the highway), so I like the idea of being able to grab a quick bite at a reasonable price (the burritos range from $5.75 to $9.00 with my steak burrito being $7.50.). Plus, I love Mexican food so that is a huge plus. I’ll be back soon!