**Disclosure: My husband and I were invited to eat at Olecito and received our meals at no charge in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.
This past weekend, my husband Chris and I had the chance to check out a new “Fast Food” Mexican restaurant in New Bedford. We are big fans of Mexican food, but frankly good Mexican has always been pretty hard to come by in my neck of the woods. Until now.
Erwin Ramos, owner of Ole, which is a fine dining Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, opened his first Mexican “fast food” restaurant, Olecito in Brookline and because it was such a hit, he opened a second one down on the South Coast in New Bedford this past December. Living on the south shore, I was excited to hear about a location that was close by to where I live. Not that I won’t drive for great food, because I totally will, but it’s always nicer when you don’t have to drive so far.
When we pulled up to Olecito, we were a bit surprised to find that the restaurant was located inside a former gas station. Yes, you read that right.
But the second you step inside, you see what a great job they did renovating the place.
The menu is up on the wall, so it’s easily viewable as soon as you walk in the door.
I loved that I was able to choose from steak, pork or chicken in the burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas. Read on to hear about what I got.
Once you decide what you want, you place order here:
The food is then cooked to order and since it all comes packaged to-go, you can either grab a table if you want to eat there (don’t worry, they provide plastic silverware and napkins) or take it with you.
While we were waiting for our food, I had a chance to chat with Master Chef George Karousos. We talked about how the owner, Erwin, used to work for him before he went to Johnson & Wales as well as Chef Karousos’s background as a restaurateur in Newport, RI for 20 years.
We also talked about how the food at Olecito is fresh. They pride themselves in only serving the best to their customers. Just because it’s fast food, doesn’t mean it still can’t be great food. They get a lot of their ingredients locally and nothing ever comes out of a can at Olecito. The salsa and guacamole are made from scratch several times daily.
After a short wait, our food was ready and we could not wait to dig in.
Chris got the burrito bowl with chicken. It had rice, black beans, guac, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream in addition to the chicken. Once he finished, he said he wished he had 5 more, so needless to say, he loved it.
We shared an order of the chips & guac. Again, everything comes packaged to-go, so the chips were in a brown paper bag & the guacamole came in the little container you see here.
It has already been decided by Chris and myself that when we go back, we are getting two orders of chips & guac. Each. In all honesty, it was the best guacamole I’ve ever had in my entire life. I eat as much guac as possible, so you can trust me on this – it was phenomenal.
For my meal, I went with a chicken quesadilla. It was a flour tortilla that was filled with cheese, grilled veggies, chicken and pico de gallo. It was delicious and I wolfed the entire thing down in record time.
One of my favorite things about Olecito was that you could see into the kitchen because it was all open. I think it says a lot about a restaurant when they are not afraid to let their customers see how their food is being made instead of hiding the cooks behind a wall.
Do you want to check it out for yourself? Olecito is located at 336 Hathaway Road in New Bedford. It’s right next to Captain Frank’s seafood store and their hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
If you are looking for great Mexican food that’s made fresh on the spot, look no further than Olecito. My husband and I can’t wait to get back.