Last month, I spoke to several sophomore English classes at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury. The students there are working on a food-writing project, for which they are composing culinary memoirs and reviews. (See some of their reviews here. They have pretty good taste in restaurants.) During the classes, teacher Ian Doreian and I had them taste different kinds of cheese and write descriptions of each. The two best descriptions would win a prize: attending a review dinner with me and their teacher.
All of the students were amazing, but two descriptions clearly stood out, written by Brysen A. Greene and Gabriela Maldonado. The four of us shared a dinner at the Painted Burro, which I reviewed this week. I asked them to offer their takes, as well. Here they are:
Photos/Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
By Brysen A. Greene
Over my Spring Break, I had the pleasure of dining with Devra First, my English teacher, Mr. Doreian, and one of my peers, Gabriela. We went to The Painted Burro, a unique Mexican restaurant. The paintings, lightly placed on each wall, caught my attention the most. Through the dim lighting, and loud conversation, I managed to focus on the artwork throughout my entire experience. The food, which was not much my taste, was okay. The spicy corn appetizer, however, stands out the most. Corn is not one of my favorite vegetables, but this was a dish I had to remember. Dessert, as always, was my absolute favorite. The avocado coconut ice cream and tres leches were probably the best part of my whole night.
I may not go to the Painted Burro for a meal, but I will definitely be dragging my Dad there for dessert in the next month!
By Gabriela Maldonado
The Painted Burro was indisputably surprising; I didn't expect there
to be a bar directly across from me, loud chatter, and waitresses who
insisted on taking away my salad. It was a dimly lit rectangle with
hardly anywhere to move. The waitresses had about them a flirty feel,
with a pound of makeup on their faces and serious expressions. What
were very acceptable to me about this restaurant were the waiters
constantly walking up and down the aisles to refill my glass of water.
It was unnecessary to ask or take the pitcher up myself; they did it
all. As I took a look at the menu, I became appalled by the strange
dishes and the even stranger names given to them. I read "Chupacabra
tacos" (which by the way were delicious), and I panicked a bit. The
only thing recognizable to me was the word "Salad" and I picked it. I
received a huge mountain of green salad with old cheese sprinkled on
top. I would've liked it more without the old cheese, but it was
pretty good. Above from the unusual names, the feel of a Friday night,
and the shouting, there was the taste of the food in general. Let me
say I congratulate their guacamole for being so creamy and soft. It
went well with the chips that were set on the table in small buckets.
I found the buckets to be rather creative. The tacos, as I mentioned,
had the most tender, juicy meat my teeth had every ripped apart. My
entree followed the chips, and I chose the Street Cart Chicken. They
gave me half of a chicken with fried plantains. Accompanying the dish
was a very large knife to cut it with. I thought this was very cute,
and liked it very much. The meat of the chicken was sweet and easy to
bite into. The plantains were more than I could ask for. They were
delectable. The dessert was next, and I admit, I became excited. I
applaud their tres leches because it did not fall apart like others
I've had; it remained intact the whole time I was attacking it. The
chocolate mousse was rich. However, the only addition to the dessert
that ruined it was the overflowing, bitter taste of the cranberry
sauce on top. It was hard to get past it to the mousse. Overall, the
desserts were incredible. I believe that the restaurant has a talent
for making the food erupt with taste and flavor. Perhaps, if it wasn't
a Friday night, it would be a lot quieter. Nevertheless, the
restaurant was an enjoyable place to talk and eat.
What's cooking in the world of food.
ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.