Cinco

1 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
614.754.1451
website

Cinco Burritos, Tacos & Salads is a lunch spot for Downtown Columbus, essentially a to-go burrito place with an upscale twist. Whenever a burrito place comes out, I’ve noticed people just compare it to a certain chain of burrito places. Including me, sometimes. Well, I don’t think that’s fair. Burritos are just as diverse and interesting as hamburgers, and I don’t think it’s fair to hold all of the businesses selling them to the same (low) standard. I’m not comparing this place to anything but its own merits. Unfortunately, that’s not easy to do.


You see, Cinco is based almost entirely on the burrito and taco salad to-go business. It’s got a basic, customizable build-a-burrito assembly line which lets you take your pick of proteins, rice, vegetables, then cheese and sauces. Sound familiar? Anyway, the options are a well-rounded bunch, and the burritos can get as fat as you want them to, overloading them with vegetables and delicious meats is recommended. I like what you have to choose from, but not all of it tastes that great.

The meats are good but they really don’t have a very strong seasoning, which is strange…Mexican dishes traditionally season their meats heavily with very iconic flavors, and it’s a shame that those flavors are lost. They would contribute quite a bit. The vegetables are good, but they look and taste like they came from a bag or a can. White rice seems a little formulaic, and it has no seasoning or additional flavors added to it, leading me to believe it’s the basic type of rice you buy by the bag at the store.

There are good things on the menu, though. The salsas are house made and good, though the vegetables could be more fresh. The sauces and guacamole are good, too, and I definitely like the specialty burritos, like the barbecue pork or the barbacoa varieties. Where the regular menu could go for some flare, the specialized items have it. Most importantly, the burritos are huge and they’ll fill you up. There’s only one size, though, and it’s about $6.00 so don’t expect a huge amount of variety in the concept.

The environment is clean and pleasant and the people are good, which makes this an attractive place to grab a breakfast or lunch burrito (it’s not open for lunch, like most downtown Columbus places.) In all, I would argue it’s not an especially creative concept which is marketing a burritos which is also not especially creative. It’s incredibly convenient, and a safe bet for a meal that will fill you up, but I think it lacks a certain inspiration that makes a restaurant really shine.

Recommendations

  • The place has ample seating and seems built for foot traffic. Definitely suggest it for lunch.
  • The burritos on the regular menu are about average, but specialty burritos are especially good.
  • Come hungry. The burritos only come in one size (huge) and they’re packaged to-go but without good accommodations for keeping until the next meal.

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