I was planning to cook dinner for J last night, but a tiring afternoon at work combined with an uninspired peek inside the supermarket left me thinking “takeout.” Call it laziness or call it luck, but Olecito is irresistably close. Since the first night I moved here and had a fantastic meal at its more upscale sister restaurant, Ole, Olecito has been at the top of my takeout list. For a smidgen under $6, you leave this joint with complimentary chips and salsa, both homemade, and an ample, high-quality burrito impregnated with rice (I refrained), creamy black beans, and the usual fixings (including a killer pico de gallo), along with your choice of steak, pork, chicken, or grilled vegetables. For dinner in Cambridge, that is an absolute steal. The burrito tortilla was smooth, chewy and pliant, no doubt made in-house; the meat tender with welcomed nibbles of flavorful fat; the pico de gallo valiantly standing up against the richness of the other ingredients, a curmudgeon cutting through a sea of philanthropists, with great effect. I also emphasize the fresh, crisp tortilla chips and drinkably delicious salsa that are clearly several cuts above your everyday Tostitos and Garden of Eden variety, and manifest the restaurant’s commitment to getting even the small things right. To me, that reflects devotion both to one’s craft and customer, and I am more than happy to reward them with my continued patronage. I am adding Olecito to my “bang for buck” list of worthy neighborhood takeout joints, alongside Pinocchio’s and Oggi’s $5 Monday night pizzas.
12 Springfield Street
Cambridge, MA 02139