Several years ago I made the comment that the biggest culinary trend in the U.S. was burrito bars. That trend finally hit Searcy, Arkansas, last year with the re-branding of Mi Ranchito. The burrito scene expanded even further earlier this semester with the opening of Burrito Day Café (BDC).
Located on Center Avenue in downtown Searcy, BDC offers an inviting atmosphere, with warm colors accenting the clean, gray walls. Both times I visited, the music selection consisted of contemporary artists including Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens, which created a relaxed, comfortable environment. The staff was friendly and helpful, which was good because the menu offers a lot of options.
I originally visited this burrito bar for breakfast. They loaded up my breakfast burrito with so much bacon, potatoes, onions and cheese that it would not fully close. A range of salsa options added a nice flare to top it off. To be honest, I haven’t had very many breakfast burritos in my life, so take my judgment with a grain of salt, but this was probably the best breakfast burrito I’ve had, and I’d like to make it a more regular breakfast option for myself. The ingredients were fresh, and the veggies had a rich, seasoned taste. At $5 before tax for the 10-inch burrito, it wasn’t a bad deal, either.
I returned shortly after for the true test: the lunch burrito. As with most burrito bars, there were several options of meats, including chicken, steak and pulled pork. The bar offered a host of additional ingredients, such as rice, beans, corn and cucumbers. I ordered a 12-inch steak burrito, which is $8 before tax, customized with my preferred sides and with a cup of queso on the side. The burrito had a strong taste, particularly the meat. It was fresh, juicy, and seasoned very well. The toppings balanced well to add to the taste of the meat without overpowering it. It was a great burrito, and once again, the house-made salsa added a nice kick. The queso was also good, with a slight salty undertone and a distinct taste that I very much enjoyed.
Unfortunately, reactionary as we are in nature, I couldn’t help but compare the new burrito bar with Mi Ranchito. My meals were good, but they didn’t convince me to choose BDC over Mi Ranchito. All in all, I think the newcomer’s burritos had a better, richer taste. However, they don’t offer the same value. With no sides included with BDC’s burrito, a large burrito with chips and salsa from Mi Ranchito for $5 seems like a better deal.
When it comes down to it, though, I don’t think BDC is directly competing with Mi Ranchito. The two burrito bars offer different experiences, and I think BDC is a great addition to Searcy’s dining options. Open from 7 am to 2 pm, there isn’t much overlap with Mi Ranchito’s schedule, which is a plus for BDC. In a town lacking of real dine-in breakfast options, BDC is the only non-fast food joint where you’ll find a breakfast burrito, and the relaxed environment makes BDC a great breakfast option in general. House-made cookies and pastries and local coffees offer tempting dessert options you won’t find at Mi Ranchito. While the difference in value means I may not visit BDC as regularly as I do Mi Ranchito, I will definitely go back.