The Rosa Maria's Burrito: A Delectable California Treat
Every once in a while a mom and pop shop delivers something so delicious that it attracts an international clientele. Its exposure is usually limited to those customers that used to live in the area and have fond memories of lunch breaks and casual dinners. In California, mom and pop places are typically hamburger joints, but Rosa Maria’s has struck it rich for their famous burritos. Their name can be seen at one of their four locations (San Bernardino, Highland, Redlands, and Fontana; all in Southern California), on t-shirts, and even on drag race cars.
Rosa Maria’s offers relatively simple fare in a to-go format: burritos, tacos, rellenos, quesadillas, taquitos, enchiladas, and the ever-famous XL Garbage Burrito (featured on the t-shirts as a monster eating out of a garbage can). It sounds like nothing special, but what gets you is how good it is! The authentic frijoles (refried beans) are my favorite ingredient, but the entire fusion of spices, cheese, and seasoned rice make a Rosa Maria’s burrito a rare treat!
The story for me began where the original story began: at the first location in San Bernardino, where Rosa Maria’s was opened on January 16, 1975 by Jose and Guadalupe Robles. I was born exactly 12 years later on January 16, 1987. I don’t remember when I had my first Rosa Maria’s burrito, but I’m sure it was some time not too long after that. Since then, the Rosa Maria’s recipes have not changed one iota. I still remember the concrete picnic style tables outside of the San Bernardino to-go joint and how the undersides were covered in old gum. I have no doubt that the tables were original to the location, and they are probably still there! I also remember the “BRC” (bean rice and cheese) inscribed in bold permanent black marker on the outside of the foil wrapper (it’s still done the same way).
When I was 6, we moved out of California, and eventually ended up in Georgia. For a long time, my parents would order huge amounts of burritos and have them flash frozen and shipped via UPS. When they kept spoiling somewhere in Texas, Rosa Maria’s put a stop to the shipments, so we had to grab some whenever we paid a visit to California. I am now enjoying another load of burritos as a combination birthday and Christmas present, and they disappear rapidly! I highly recommend the Bean, Rice, and Cheese; it’s a wonderful classic!
If you are ever in Southern California, plug Rosa Maria’s into your GPS and try my favorite burrito shop!
4202 N. Sierra Way San Bernardino, CA 92407
7275 Boulder Ave, Suite 3D Highland, CA 92346
1154 Brookside Ave. Suite AA Redlands, CA 92373
13451 Base Line, Unit G Fontana, CA 92335