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Friday, January 11, 2008

Best Wet Burrito in an Unexpected Place


For reasons best left unexplained to the general public, Spicy Food Guy found himself in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past week.

A culinary mystery, that Grand Rapids. Two Mexican cafes or restaurants per block, all promoting their burritos. Makes no sense whatsoever. It'd be like being in some random small town in Mexico and discovering authentic Philly Cheese Steak establishments on every corner. That being said, Spicy Food Guy delighted in the murky mystery that led to this peculiar juxtaposition of ethnic food preferences. Sometimes, we just don't know how it happened. Grand Rapids. A love for Burritos. Black holes. Dark matter. There is much we do not understand.

The wet burrito was also a new concept for Spicy Food Guy. Technically, a wet burrito is a standard burrito slathered in melted cheese and red Chile sauce. Who'da guessed? Then, Former Grand Rapids Resident Friend of Spicy Food Guy (FGRRFOSFG), discovering that SFG was on his way to Michigan, begged, pleaded, and cajoled SFG into trying a wet burrito at the location where they call their wet burritos "famous", the Beltline Bar.

Spicy Food Guy loved his famous wet burrito at the Beltline Bar. Mexican authentic, no. Distinctly Midwest American Mexican, yes. That's what makes it scrumptious. Ground beef, not shredded beef. No rice to be found. Lettuce and tomato and onions inside the burrito, not served on the side. Melted cheese outside the burrito. Fattening as all get out. Worth the trip. Spicy Food Guy is filled and content.

14 comments:

  1. Grand Rapids has a large Mexican population. You can find both Midwest-style "Tex-Mex" food and authentic Mexican food (in small restaurants owned by immigrant families) all over town. Grocery store chains sell authentic Mexican ingredients for use at home.

    Because of Grand Rapids' population (many different ages and ethnicities abound), a lot of major restaurant chains try new concepts there. You could say it's one of the restaurant capitals of the state.

    The Beltline Bar (not Beltway, but I'll forgive you since you're not from town) is famous in town, but it's not a chain place. The locals all know where it is, and 30-minute+ wait times on Friday and Saturday nights are never surprising. They will also deliver anywhere in Grand Rapids. It's totally worth a visit, though. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Thanks for the correction and explanation. -- SFG

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  3. I'd kill for one of those about now!

    FGRRFOSFG

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  4. FGRRFOSFG's obsession for the Wet Burrito is borderline scary, but I know for a fact he is not a stalker -- SFG

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  5. As a former resident of GR I eat wet burritos every time I visit as often as I can.

    I've never seen them in any other city anywhere.

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  6. Mr SFG,

    After 18 years, I made it back to the Beltline Bar...It was near orgasmic!!!!

    If there was ever a Mexican place to eat that could go national, this is it.

    Yes, I am a stalker of the Beltline Bar!!

    FGRRFOSFG

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  7. The Beltline Bar! It's the great taste of Mexico right in your neighborhood!

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  8. Beltine Bar wet burritos are the best!!! I've been eating them there for over 30 years now - (gosh I'm old). Now living in Detroit area, I don't get them as often as when I lived there - but appreciate it when I do. My friend (from Detroit burbs) went there on business and came back telling me about this great place with "wet burritos". I knew exactly where he'd been - yes, the Beltline Bar. He goes there more than I do these days. I think it's right up there with Tony Pako's for him now - and that's saying a lot! Making wet burritos for dinner tonight - was just surfing the web in hopes that they'd have published their recipe. No luck so far. M-

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  9. Oh my gosh! I have been surfing the web for a great wet burrito recipe. I lived in So Cal for the past 15 years; now I live in Boston for school. But I grew up in Grand Rapids. Never have I had a wet burrito like the Beltline Bar. (My father use to bartend there when it was just a bar!)

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  10. OMG, It was so wonderful to come across this!! I lived in Grand Rapids in 1977 - 1980. We use to go to the Belt Line Bar at least once every 2 weeks. We moved back to Maine. I craved "wet burritos"!!! I am one of those people that can generally guess what is in something and make it up without the recipe. I know mine are not as good as Belt Line but it has soothed the cravings. I have made them for so many people. People always ask me if I can make them a "Wet Burritos"! Now my son is making them!! Anyway I would love to get back to Grand Rapids Mi. just for the burrito. BUT the chips they served was also the greatest. Wondering if an order of the chips and the salsa could get sent out?? I have talked about this place for years to people. So glad to see Belt Line Bar is still going strong! Although making something that excellent who would ever grow tired of it? Need to freeze them and start shipping out!!!!

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  11. Out of Kalamazoo, I had a wet burrito today and it was great.

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  12. Another great place for a wet burrito would be at the Fredric Inn,This is in Fredric Michigan and the best I have had,I have yet to make it to Beltline but do plan on it soon seeing how I have been past the place over a dozen times

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  13. This is amazing. I am from Grand Rapids, however I moved away from home when I was 18yrs old...I live in Virginia now. My wife is from New Jersey. She do not understand my desire to have a wet burrito like the ones I use to get from home. Whenever we go out, I am constantly trying to explain how I want my burrito.. Please, please, please franchise..I love those burritoes.

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  14. Oh, the Beltline Bar. A Grand Rapidian staple since I was a little girl. :D I've been there SO many times, being a native of the area, and OMG. Just. OMG. They have hands down the best Tex-Mex anywhere in the Grand Rapids area. And one of their famous wet burritos sounds so good about now. But for the best authentic Mexican, you really have to try El Granajero down in Grand Rapids' Heartside district. Real, authentic Mexican burritos as big as your freaking head. Can't say either have the spiciest food, but damn if we don't have a good thing with Mexican and Tex-Mex in Grand Rapids.

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