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Pedro and Vinny's Burritos - John Rider's Vegetarian Burritos at Metro Center and McPherson Square - Closed May 19, 2017


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What's the word on this place? Read a blurb about it in Washingtonian - anyone a regular? How do you order your burrito (heard there was a special way, kinda like In-N-Out Double Double Animal Style)? How does it compare to Mixtec (which, IMHO, is the best take-out burrito in the city)?

Apologies if there is a post about this somewhere, didn't find one... Thanks!

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What's the word on this place? Read a blurb about it in Washingtonian - anyone a regular? How do you order your burrito (heard there was a special way, kinda like In-N-Out Double Double Animal Style)? How does it compare to Mixtec (which, IMHO, is the best take-out burrito in the city)?

Apologies if there is a post about this somewhere, didn't find one... Thanks!

My boss is OBSESSED with Pedro and Vinny's and goes as often as he can manage. I've only tried them once, and I thought the burritos were good but not out of this world. The guy (who is named neither Pedro nor Vinny) offers a range of sauces -- rated from 1 to 10 for heat -- as well as a special mango sauce in a Grey Goose bottle, which is very tasty. I haven't been in a while, so I forget the ordering procedure, but it goes something like: order your tortilla while still in line, along with what size, then when you get to the window you say what else you want (black and tan beans, guac, sour cream, etc etc etc). But I'm rusty. Anyone else remember?

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I've only gone a couple times, but I have liked it when I have been. The guy is super-nice. The process is a bit intimidating, but the line is usually long enough for you to figure it out while you are there. Oh, and it is vegetarian, so if you are in the mood for meat, this would be the wrong place to be.

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What's the word on this place? Read a blurb about it in Washingtonian - anyone a regular? How do you order your burrito (heard there was a special way, kinda like In-N-Out Double Double Animal Style)? How does it compare to Mixtec (which, IMHO, is the best take-out burrito in the city)?

Apologies if there is a post about this somewhere, didn't find one... Thanks!

Not quite a regular, but my experience was pretty decent. Basically you choose from a few different flavors of tortilla. You have options of cheese or no cheese. Type of bean - pinto or black or you can half and half. Different types of salsa and hot sauce. It's not transcendent, and you can only do so much with beans. There's a review from burrito folks here http://www.burritoblog.com/washington_dc/pedro_vinnys/ There's also another cart on K St. closer to Connecticut Ave.

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While in line, you have to be prepared to say what kind of tortilla you want, and whether you want cheese. The "small" burrito comes without any rice, which can get messy to eat, especially if you opt for black beans. The complaint that I've heard is that there isn't any meat available, but (not caring about that factor) I like this place, especially since lunch options around McPherson Square are fairly limited.

I've never tried Mixtec, so I'm no help in the comparison department.

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My friend and I stopped by here this afternoon. It's the perfect place to get something and then sit in the square and enjoy the weather.

I got a black and tan with cheese on whole wheat, no rice with guac, sour cream, salsa, the mango sauce and hot sauce. If you combine the slightly vegetal fruityness with hot sauce (I got my favorite, Nando's Peri-Peri) it's much better than just the mango sauce. And the way I sort of see burritos is that there has gotta be a strong goosh factor. This definitely had it going on. No undercooked beans, no overcooked beans. Moist and tasty.

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BURRITO CART!!! ;) It is truly the best thing ever. It puts McMexican like Shitpolte, and even smaller spots like the Well Dressed Burrito to shame, IMO.

I haven't seen it open on the weekends. In fact, the whole MacPherson/Golden Triangle area is pretty dead on Sat/Sun.

As for the Mixtec comparison, I'd say that they are both good, but in different ways. A burrito cart burrito is fressssh and grease-free, and the rito-innards are more squishy than at Mixtec, if that makes sense. Also, it is worth mentioning that I have avoided my beloved Mixtec since I saw this.

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Finally made my way to Pedro & Vinny's. Initial impression? above average.

Ingredients are solid - but the refried beans are a little sweet for my tastes, and there were too many of them on the burrito (I got a medium black & tan on tomato/chili w/ cheese). Plus, for me, I like my burrito to be tight and easy to take bites out of - it can be huge, but I generally appreciate it more when it isn't oozing out from all sides - I like it to have some shape. And this was a messy burrito. Definitely a sitting-down-at-table-to-eat varietal (for me at least).

So, too much moosh/beans to rice, and it wasn't proportionate - if possible, I like to have a little of everything on each bite. Now, I know this is coming across critical and picky, but I do think it is a burrito worth trying (definitely better than Chipotle), and it was tasty, and it is a great deal for $5 - it's huge! The mango hot sauce is delish as is my all time favorite Cholula. The fresh salsa was good, the cheese and tortilla's are good. I'll be back, and the next time I might ask for light on the tan and see if that helps the over-stuffed situation.

Thanks to everyone who posted! For me, Mixtec is still the best burrito in town... ;)

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I'm not usually a self-promoter, but our editor wants more traffic... Pedro and Vinny's chef change and move. I hope this doesn't make the lines at the little yellow Korean cart longer, but then again I'd be happy to see them get more business.

Given the article in today's Post, that deal must haven fallen through. He's retiring but without a buyer for the cart.

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I managed to create a really ugly flavor combination today: Black & Tan (black beans and spiced refried pintos) on a large flour tortilla, with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and a mixture of the mango-based "Goose" sauce and hot green-chile sauce.

This burrito was all over the map, and kitchen-sinking it was a bad idea. Next time, I'll stick with simple black beans, medium-hot green sauce, and hopefully something resembling jack cheese (I still don't know if the cheese today was yellow or orange). As much as I want to like the Goose sauce, it works for me only on paper.

A word of caution about Pedro and Vinny's: John Rider works like an octopus on cocaine, but he still manages to crank out only about one burrito per minute. During prime time, the line can easily stretch to 30-40 customers. At 11:40 today, I waited 30 minutes for my burrito, and the line was longer still when I left. Budget one minute per customer, and you'll know approximately how long the wait is.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Next time, I'll stick with simple black beans, medium-hot green sauce, and hopefully something resembling jack cheese (I still don't know if the cheese today was yellow or orange). As much as I want to like the Goose sauce, it works for me only on paper.

Today I had the black blean burrito in a chili tortilla with fresh salsa and the goose sauce at level 8. I agree that the guacamole and sour cream can be too much, but I really like the sweetness the goose sauce provides. Maybe have him try a different hot sauce with the goose sauce next time. And man, Rider works hard.

Anybody go later in the afternoon and see a smaller line (15 people or less)? Just trying to time it right so that the wait isn't 45 min to an hour.

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Anyone been recently? I want to go today but it didn't look like he was there the other day.

ETA I walked over to 15th and K today and P&V's is no longer there. Not sure if he has moved, but I have been working in this area for about 3 months and I have not seen him once.

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Anyone been recently? I want to go today but it didn't look like he was there the other day.

ETA I walked over to 15th and K today and P&V's is no longer there. Not sure if he has moved, but I have been working in this area for about 3 months and I have not seen him once.

He was there last Friday and, amazingly, there was no line around 12:30. I've been there a few times in the last few months.

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He was there last Friday and, amazingly, there was no line around 12:30. I've been there a few times in the last few months.

I checked the website and it announced that he was open yesterday, so either he closed up shop before 1PM or the site hasn't been updated.

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ETA I walked over to 15th and K today and P&V's is no longer there. Not sure if he has moved, but I have been working in this area for about 3 months and I have not seen him once.
I checked the website and it announced that he was open yesterday, so either he closed up shop before 1PM or the site hasn't been updated.

Stopped by at 1:58pm at the cart in front of CVS at 15th & K and John was most certainly there with 2 people ahead of me and a few more people streaming up. Now that the weather's warmer, perhaps he'll stay open later or will be more frequent.... I don't know why, but I found the new shading umbrella kind of cute and quaint; I'm sure John would not want to hear that. A small black & tan with cheese on a flour tortilla, no salsa, but with the special mango sauce was a nice welcome back to town.

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Didn't see anymore punch cards, but John has an official sign and a larger umbrella.

It was a weird walk down K Street today with the Fojol Bros. truck, Sauca truck and then here.

Longish line, but as always, efficient. And satisfying.

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If anyone's out there, this is what you get back when you try to put yourself on their email list:

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its

recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

<with the "caffejohn" email address noted as having no recipient.>

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I'm very lucky in that my work is located right between Metro Center and Franklin Square park so there is never a lack of lunch options.  Food trucks of every variety line up each weekday to dispense their grub.  The one downside is that my best friend in the office can only eat specific things.  In addition to only eating kosher, he has a gluten allergy and is lactose intolerant, meaning that there are very few places that he and I can go together to get food.  Usually he would go to one food truck and I would go to another.  All of this changed a few months back when discovered that Pedro and Vinny's   has a second cart located on the corner of 12th and F streets NW.  Run by the daughter of the owner of the original cart located at 15th and K, Chris, the cart has all of the same great ingredients and hot sauces that people have come to love at the original.  They also offer burrito bowls at Chris' cart and there's never any line.  I'm not sure if there's no line because of the plethora of other offerings from the trucks or people just haven't discovered how great the cart is.  Either way, I can't complain.  I get to go to the same place as my friend for lunch, don't have to wait in line for great food at a good price and get to have a nice conversation with Chris.  Make sure to pick up a loyalty card when you're there so you can get your tenth burrito for free, get your free peppermint patty for dessert and bring cash.  They do not accept cards.  Unlike what I've read above, Chris tweets out every day she is out so all you have to do is check one of the food truck tracking sites to see if she's there for the day.  

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A couple weeks ago, I drove by the Pedro & Vinny's on Columbia Pike in South Arlington, and noticed that there was activity going on; yesterday, I drove by again, and saw people eating outside at a couple of tables.

I rolled down my window and asked if this was still Pedro & Vinny's (yes), it it's under the same ownership (we don't know), and if they're serving the same thing they always have (a girl held up a burrito with a thumbs-up).

All this to say that Pedro & Vinny's is open anew in South Arlington. I don't know if John Rider still owns it, but it's open and serving burritos. I don't know when the last time the website was updated, but it says the South Arlington outlet is open until 3 AM on Fri-Sat.

post-2-0-21480000-1443019935_thumb.png

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Does anyone know the current status of Pedro & Vinny's Burritos?

* Their old Twitter account, @PedroandVinnys1, hasn't been updated since 2012, and they have a new one, @PedroVinnys, which is very active. This is easily chalked up to it being a better name.

* Google says their website, pedroandvinnys.com, "may be hacked" (i.e., don't go there unless you know it's safe).

* Their new Twitter account implies there are only two locations, and I can't find any mention of the word "Arlington" on their feed, at least not recently. Their Jun 13, 2016 tweet seems to support this.

* I can't remember what is going on at their Columbia Pike location, although for awhile there, it was definitely closed.

* I could swear the last time I went to the Columbia Pike location - sometime in 2015, I believe - there were options to get meat, which they never used to have at McPherson Square (the only other location I've been to).

Any information would be much appreciated by a lot of people.

 

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Just drove by the Columbia Pike location on my way home Friday evening and they're still going strong.  I've only been once, about a year ago, so I'm sorry i don't remember the meat options.

Just looked back at my review from a year ago - I had chicken and my husband had pork.

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They were at Prequel serving lunch on weekdays for the last month or so, but now the website has no mention of them.  I stopped by for the poke pop-up a couple of weeks ago but ended up with a Pedro and Vinny burrito instead.  Meat was definitely available, but I was happy that both bean options were vegetarian.  

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They still exist over by Farragut Square and on 12th Street NW, between F and G. They were at Prequel for a short period of time during which they closed both of their carts, but the carts are back out there again. In talking to them at Prequel they indicated that they were trying to open a brick and mortar location, and were using the Prequel space to try out that concept (which appeared to be an expanded version of their food trucks. They also indicated that they would be back at Prequel later this summer (not sure when) for a full month. 

Also, not sure if this is new, but he also had four of his own varieties of sauces available for sample at Prequel. 

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2 hours ago, Mark Dedrick said:

They still exist over by Farragut Square and on 12th Street NW, between F and G. They were at Prequel for a short period of time during which they closed both of their carts, but the carts are back out there again. In talking to them at Prequel they indicated that they were trying to open a brick and mortar location, and were using the Prequel space to try out that concept (which appeared to be an expanded version of their food trucks. They also indicated that they would be back at Prequel later this summer (not sure when) for a full month. 

Also, not sure if this is new, but he also had four of his own varieties of sauces available for sample at Prequel. 

John has always had several of his own sauces - his mango salsa used to be (years ago) his most popular, and it may still be; I actually prefer the others more, as I don't think mango goes very well with burritos.

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12 hours ago, pras said:

Is Ollie's as good as Shack Shack or Five Guys? --Credit, Washington Post.

As a side note, get the fries if you check it out.  Great memories!

By the way, that article mentions that one of the remaining trolleys is a Pedro & Vinny's in South Arlington on Columbia Pike. I drove by there last Thursday evening, and I'm nearly 100% certain that *all* signage was down (it was dark out, but I crept by it in the parking lot in my car). I'm not convinced this place is still a Pedro & Vinny's - it seemed like it might have been open; I just didn't see any signs at all.

---

ETA: Click

Screenshot 2017-01-12 at 19.52.35.png

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On 1/12/2017 at 10:13 PM, DonRocks said:

By the way, that article mentions that one of the remaining trolleys is a Pedro & Vinny's in South Arlington on Columbia Pike. I drove by there last Thursday evening, and I'm nearly 100% certain that *all* signage was down (it was dark out, but I crept by it in the parking lot in my car). I'm not convinced this place is still a Pedro & Vinny's - it seemed like it might have been open; I just didn't see any signs at all.

Is now Burrito Bros.  No, not Burrito Brothers the once popular chain.

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On 1/12/2017 at 11:26 PM, stupidusername said:

Is now Burrito Bros.  No, not Burrito Brothers the once popular chain.

You are correct: Pedro & Vinny's in South Arlington is now called "Burritos Bro's."

IMG_3178.JPG

Doesn't this place look like one of those PODS storage units?

Or maybe the mobile meth lab in "Breaking Bad?"

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Sucks. I worked across the corner there for five years and was a regular, but that was four years ago and now I'm in Alexandria. I'm sure the proliferation of food trucks at Franklin Square played a big role. For a long while, Pedro & Vinny's and the Yellow Food Truck (Korean) were the only options in that area and they were both superior to what came afterwards. But now they're both gone. Such is progress I guess, but I wish we could have better supported the stalwarts while enjoying the new ones. 

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11 hours ago, funkyfood said:

Hate to say it, but this place just wasn't that great. It wasn't bad either, and had a good run.

Did you try it in the early-mid 2000s? I thought it was really good - a lot of people really went hard on the sauces (especially the mango), which I thought was overkill.

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Did you try it in the early-mid 2000s? I thought it was really good - a lot of people really went hard on the sauces (especially the mango), which I thought was overkill.

nope, starting in 2012. was it good back then or just good compared to other options?

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1 hour ago, funkyfood said:

nope, starting in 2012. was it good back then or just good compared to other options?

I think it wasn't quite as good once he opened more than one place, but in 2005-or-so, the vegan burrito was really good. The only one I've been to in the past few years was the one in Arlington, and that was never very good. Ten years ago, there really were about fifty people in line each lunch.

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23 hours ago, funkyfood said:

Why do so many people insist on calling the chain "Potbelly's" (as wapo did here) instead of "Potbelly", its proper name?

It's not just Potbelly. It's all stores. Stores are all possessive.

I always thought it was a western NY thing and I have some Czech friends who make stores possessive too. So... maybe it's a central European thing?

But I've heard people who don't fit either of those categories do it, so I've decided it's just an oddity that a lot of us do.

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1 minute ago, saf said:

It's not just Potbelly. It's all stores. Stores are all possessive.

I always thought it was a western NY thing and I have some Czech friends who make stores possessive too. So... maybe it's a central European thing?

But I've heard people who don't fit either of those categories do it, so I've decided it's just an oddity that a lot of us do.

But the writer lists other stores in the same sentence (e.g Chipotle) without possessives

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1 minute ago, funkyfood said:

But the writer lists other stores in the same sentence (e.g Chipotle) without possessives

Huh. 

So I just went back and looked at it. The article does not have Potbelly's anymore. It's Potbelly now.

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On 5/18/2017 at 11:19 PM, saf said:

It's not just Potbelly. It's all stores. Stores are all possessive.

I always thought it was a western NY thing and I have some Czech friends who make stores possessive too. So... maybe it's a central European thing?

But I've heard people who don't fit either of those categories do it, so I've decided it's just an oddity that a lot of us do.

Very common in RI too.

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