An Illinois-based chain of 18 quick burrito shops, La Bamba tends to implant itself near college campuses as an alternative to the plenty of other burrito choices you’ll find around them. Burritos are a huge business, and with popular places like Chipotle, it must be difficult for a new burrito place to establish itself. Still, La Bamba seems to be faring pretty well on a fairly straightforward menu of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and “burritos as big as your head.” Ohio State University happens to be host to one of La Bamba’s numerous tex-mex hangouts.
The place serves up burritos first and foremost, as the most popular items on the menu. I absolutely love what I tasted. The burritos have a juicy, heavily seasoned meat and overflowing vegetables. The burritos are grilled just enough to be deliciously hot. Best of all, they come in multiple sizes for different appetites; something I don’t think burrito places do enough. It’s commendable just how tasty and delicious the overall product is, and I would certainly recommend it worth a sampling.
Since the core ingredients are the same, this means the food is great across the board; the portions are generous, the meat is tasty and well-cooked, and it all just comes together irresistibly well. Certainly some of the better tex-mex I’ve tasted around a college campus. The unique homemade hot sauce ties things all together well. According to their website, this stuff is good enough that they don’t want to bottle it and sell it commercially. Always a plus.
Some of the little details make a big difference, unfortunately, I think. The biggest and most egregious: I bit into a bone the first time I tried this dish. We’re not talking about ground beef either, these are hand cut steak tips which should have been cared for more carefully than this. The items take a long time to make, and though this is understandable it also means lines can get notably long, cutting down on the convenience factor. The environment is occasionally dirty.
The website for this place is particularly effective. It’s got the typical menu posting but also a way to find nutrition information for the food, as well as a way to fax in an order and a mailing list for daily coupons. Restaurants often take advantage of the basics of communication in the digital age, but this is a move I commend as unusually interactive.
So, it’s an interesting little business and it’s got friendly employees for sure. Nonetheless, La Bamba is perfect for the college kid crowd, and I even like it as a newlygrad myself. Hope the successful formula takes this place far.
- The dishes are served in different sizes, and there is a value menu option available for penny pinchers.
- The restaurant opens for the late-morning lunch crowd and typically stays open late for the studious and the socialites.
- Another place I’d suggest coming in at odd hours to avoid long lines, but at least the seating is spacious.