La Costeña Vs. La Bamba

A Burrito Showdown Like None Ever Before … within a 5-Mile Radius

Hector vs. Achilles. Yankees vs. Red Sox. La Bamba vs. La Costeña. Long have rivals disputed over their claim to greatness, and now two competing restaurants will contend to determine which truly delivers the more satisfying burrito.

Taqueria La Bamba and La Costeña Burrito, both located at the corner of Rengstorff and Old Middlefield Road, offer similar burrito choices at very reasonable prices. Yet both restaurants have their own unique style and flavor, stirring the heated debate over the sizzling meals.

La Costeña Burrito
La Costeña, which repeatedly wins the “Best Burrito in Mountain View” award and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest burrito, provides custom burritos for the patient customer. Choices for the main ingredient include carnitas and other other pork options, chicken and beef, along with a large variety of fillings such as rice, beans, cheese, salsa, guacamole and other standard ingredients. Service is slow because they make the burritos with whatever fillings the customer chooses, and the meat is cooked as the customer waits.

The result is worth it, however, with a huge, delicious and juicy burrito stuffed with fillings of one’s choice. Both the chicken and carnitas burritos have a blend of tasty meat and juicy sauces, along with very flavorful rice and other ingredients. In addition, the burritos are sold at $4.79 for the regular size (Which is in fact huge).

Entering La Costeña Market to go to the back burrito counter, one might first get the impression that the store is closed because of its old and almost deserted appearance. Also, La Costeña offers no real seating except a few roadside tables and benches outside, so it serves mainly the needs of to-go customers.

Taqueria La Bamba
La Bamba, located three doors down, does not customize burritos, but rather has a menu of select combinations. Meat options include carnitas, two additional kinds of pork, three types of beef and two chicken choices, as well as beef tongue for the adventurous eater. These meats can be put in a super burritos or a regular burrito, with a set list of other ingredients for each option. Here is also the option of a vegetarian burrito, along with other entrees besides burritos, such as tamales, pupusas and quesadillas.

The service is faster because the burritos are not custom-made, and the meat in the burritos is comparable to that in La Costeña’s. However, one problem a customer might encounter is the burrito leaking juice out of the bottom as one tries to eat it. La Bamba’s burrito contains more rice, which makes it seem drier and less flavorful. In addition, their regular burrito is slightly smaller than La Costeña’s for a higher price of $5.10.

Aside from taste , the ambiance in La Bamba is very inviting and colorful, compared to the dreary back-of-the-store counter of La Costeña. La Bamba also seems cleaner and friendlier, with a more restaurant-like feel to it and a larger variety of other meal options. Therefore, should an individual be seeking a sit-down meal in a casual atmosphere, their first choice would undoubtedly be La Bamba.

And the Winner Is …
La Costeña. Though La Bamba offers a much more comfortable atmosphere for a sit-down meal as well as speedy service, basing judgements solely on taste the edge goes to La Costeña, whose burrito will undoubtedly leave any customer more than satisfied.