Thursday, December 5, 2013
From staff reports
Despite the name, Bebe's Burritos & Cantina in Biddeford is a little hard to describe.
Amanda Johnson shows off a dish of spicy baked haddock with house-made pineapple mango salsa, sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
BEBE'S BURRITOS & CANTINA
WHERE: 140 Main St., Biddeford. 283-4222.
HOURS: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
CHEAPEST GRUB: Corn tortilla chips and homemade salsa, $3.99
WAIT: Five to 10 minutes.
PARKING: On street.
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes
Based on a five-star scale
Yes, it specializes in Mexican food, as the name would indicate. But to call it simply a Mexican place is not quite right.
It's more like a cozy, friendly neighborhood pub combined with an eatery whose chefs come up with some pretty creative fare. And the food's Mexican.
When I went there for dinner recently, slightly ahead of the dinner crowd, my server was also the bartender. He came over from the bar as soon as he saw us, explained some menu items that seemed exotic to me (esquites -- more on those later), and even walked us around the place so we could see where we wanted to sit.
First he showed us around the main dining room, which is large and colorful, with fanciful Mexican-themed murals, banners hanging overhead and a stage area for live music. Then he showed us the spacious back deck.
We chose a cozy table nestled into one of the two storefront windows facing Main Street. No two of the four chairs at our table were the same, which added to the funkiness of the place.
We started with corn tortilla chips and homemade salsa ($3.99). The salsa was maybe the best I've had. It was not too spicy, and tasted incredibly fresh. The veggies had a nice crunch to them, and the texture was just right.
I don't like salsa that's too much like sauce from a jar -- all gloppy. And I don't like salsa that is basically vegetables in a lot of liquid. This salsa was neither of those things, and it really hit the spot.
For dinner, one of the things I sampled was a "Mucho Grande Burrito" with esquites ($7.99). What is esquites? It was explained to me as a seasoned corn filling. Very different, and very good. The burrito was also stuffed with Mexican rice, Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, scallions, sour cream and a mixture of beans.
Other burrito fillings include beef, chicken, sweet potato, veggie, roasted veggies, guacamole and Buffalo chicken. Prices range from $6.99 to $7.99.
I also sampled some enchiladas (two for $9.99). The two corn tortillas had bell peppers, Spanish onions, mushrooms and chicken baked in a mole sauce. Some enchilada dishes come out too hot, like they've been blasted in a microwave or baked too long. But these were done just right, so that the flavors weren't overpowered by spice -- or by the sauce or the cheese.
The enchiladas came with beans and Mexican rice. You can also get them with beef and beef chili.
Other dishes on the menu include chili, quesadillas, taco salad bowls, tostadas, chimichangas, wraps and tacos. Prices range from about $5.99 for bean and cheese tacos to $9.99 for enchiladas and tostadas.
The latter item comes with two deep-fried corn tortillas layered with refried beans and Jack cheese and served with a choice of beef, chicken or guacamole on a bed of fresh lettuce, homemade guacamole, pineapple mango salsa, red salsa and tomatoes, all topped with sour cream and scallions.
The children's menu includes cheese nachos, a cheese quesadilla, a bean and cheese burrito or a beef or chicken taco for $4.95. They all come with tortilla chips.
The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $7.