The new kid on the block, Big Ten Burrito, has won over the burrito-loving hearts of students in Ann Arbor. After its opening last year, the small restaurant lost last year’s title of “Best Burrito” to the larger Panchero’s, located on South University Avenue. This year, Big Ten has stolen the title, as well as the hearts and stomachs of Ann Arborites.
The cheap prices, homemade tortillas and the fresh-tasting chicken make Big Ten Burrito the ultimate spot to fulfill those lunchtime and late-night hunger pains. And with taxes already figured, in, you don’t need to carry around those extra pennies.
“We are so happy that readers voted us best burrito. Next, we want best late-night place, once we have that, I’ll be satisfied,” said owner Adam Lowenstein.
The love affair that students are having with Big Ten Burrito “comes back to the food,” manager Brent Hegwood said.
“People like the fact that items are rounded to the dollar, the speed, convenience and that we make everything fresh,” Hegwood said.
LSA senior Bernie Liu expressed similar views, saying, “The price is right, that’s for sure.”
The burrito is convenient as well — you can have it on the go and at all hours of the day.
“The one problem is that Big Ten Burrito is only open until 4 a.m., so if you come home at 5 a.m., you are screwed” said Engineer senior Megan Stricker. Luckily, the restaurant reopens at 11 a.m.
Since its opening last year, Big Ten Burrito is not only offered on State Street. The burrito joint now sells selections at the Michigan League’s Beanster’s Café, Café ConXion in South Quad Residence Hall and Pierpont Commons on North Campus.
Kinesiology sophomore Caroline Sweet, a former participant of the Greek Week burrito eating contest hosted by Big Ten Burrito, said “they are delicious, hearty and a full well-balanced meal. They have fresh tasting ingredients, high-quality rice and beans.”
Vegetarians can even indulge in burritos. In fact, Hegwood said the vegetarian burrito is the most popular at Big Ten Burrito. Even with all the elements of a burrito, it sells for the reasonable price of $3.
“Good protein sources for vegetarians can be really hard to find at many restaurants, so the beans at places like Panchero’s and Big Ten are a fabulous option for us,” said LSA junior and vegetarian Megan Ouellet.
Although Big Ten Burrito is currently the “it” spot for burrito lovers, Ann Arbor offers several other options as well. The hot spot for bar stars after a long night of drinks and dancing in the South University area is Panchero’s. Runner-up Panchero’s location is prime for late night burrito noshing.
Students on campus are very passionate about their burritos and where they choose to dine, said Ouellet.
“I’ve seen arguments over Big Ten Burrito and Panchero’s — it gets pretty heated,” said Ouellet. “Some of my friends have even made report cards comparing each establishment on various burrito characteristics ranging from tortilla to best value,” Ouellet said.
But Lowenstein is confident in Big Ten Burrito’s reign over the rest of Ann Arbor’s offerings.
“Me and the other owner always went to Panchero’s and Qdoba before we opened, and now I’m convinced we have the best burrito,” he said.