Healthier Menu Items at Anna’s Taqueria

A couple of weeks ago the folks over at Anna’s Taqueria contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in sampling some of their menu’s healthier options.  Tim has always raved about Anna’s so when they told me I could bring a guest, I knew he’d get really excited.  It ended up working out well because we went in for dinner at their Coolidge Corner location the Friday night before we moved.  This was perfect timing since all our kitchen stuff was packed and we wouldn’t be cooking for ourselves that night!

Anyways, when I first got this invitation my first thought was, “how healthy can these options be?”  I mean, I had only eaten at Anna’s once (years ago!) and I ordered a ginormous overflowing burrito.  However, during my visit, I learned that Anna’s offers a number of healthy options beyond their signature burritos.  I also learned that Anna’s is locally owned and operated, they have six greater Boston locations (the first of which opened in 1995), and that they pride themselves on only using the freshest ingredients, authentic recipes, and expert assembly while allowing customers to create the perfect customized meal.

Here’s a little rundown on what we got to try!

Tacos

We tried two different tacos which Anna’s promotes as being great for portion control.  They use corn tortillas, which are lower in fat and carbs than their flour counterparts, and they are also gluten-free.

First up were the “Tacos al Pastor” which were corn tortillas topped with shaved rotisserie-cooked pork, pineapple, red onion & cilantro, then drizzled with spicy guacamole and tomato-based, Mexican-spiced sauce.

I asked for my sauces on the side, and Anna’s was more than happy to oblige.  I didn’t want to dislike the taco because the sauces were too spicy!  While the Mexican sauce definitely wasn’t do-able for me, the guacamole wasn’t too spicy and I did use it in moderation.  Vegans also have the option of sliced avocado instead, as Anna’s does use sour cream to make their guacamole.  Tim and I both thought that the pineapple in this taco really highlighted the flavor of the pork.

We also sampled the veggie tacos, which were corn tortillas topped with fresh grilled vegetables (choice of lightly seasoned onions, broccoli, corn, zucchini, squash, eggplant, red onions, sweet potatoes and seasonally available vegetables like Brussels sprouts), handmade pico de gallo, and choice of beans (black, pinto, or refried).

We went with all veggies and the black beans.  Tim liked the first taco better (it had meat in it, of course he did), but I loved the veggie one.  I thought it was a great “summer” taco, it was light and refreshing!  Two words you probably wouldn’t use to describe tacos right?!

Mexican Plate

After our tacos we got to try the Mexican Plate.  The plates are typically beds of rice topped with a choice of filling, beans, corn tortillas, salsa, and hot sauce if desired.  The takeaway with the Mexican Plate is that there are SO many options.  Everyone will be able to find something they like!  For vegetarians, there’s veg-friendly rice not cooked in chicken broth, and tons of freshly grilled vegetable offerings.  This is true of all menu items, not just the Mexican Plate.

When we were deciding what to include in our platter, Anna’s really emphasized that ordering food with them is like an open conversation with their staff.  They repeatedly told us to let them know if we wanted a “little more of this” or a “little less of that.”

We ended up ordering a platter with the regular rice, the vegetarian rice (I couldn’t taste the difference!), black beans, pico de gallo, guac, avocado, steak, and carnitas.

Anna’s in action:

Finished product:

So good, and VERY filling.  We couldn’t finish the whole thing!

Drinks

During our sampling, we also got to try a few different authentic Mexican beverages.

The watermelon agua fresca was pretty much just freshly squeezed watermelon juice, available seasonally.  Tim liked this drink, but I didn’t.  Mainly because I’m not a huge watermelon person.  Not many people don’t love watermelon, but I am one of them!

The next drink I loved, which was the “Jamaica.”  This is a drink that Anna’s makes fresh daily from brewed hibiscus petals.  They told me that it’s the Mexican version of fruit punch.  If that’s the case, it’s way better than American fruit punch because I think fruit punch is gross!  The Jamaica had a unique taste and was refreshing.  Not fruit punchy at all!

Finally, the last drink we tried was the “Horchata” which is another drink made fresh daily.  This one is made from ground almonds, rice milk, and cinnamon.  I thought this drink was awesome, but felt it was more appropriate as a dessert drink or a shake.  It didn’t really go well with the tacos and Mexican Plate we ate.  I’d probably stop in and order that separately if I was walking by instead.

Burritos

I cannot rave enough about how hospitable everyone at Anna’s was because even after all the items I mentioned above, they also let us take something to go!  While trying the tacos, we learned that the restaurant also offers whole wheat tortillas for burritos and quesadillas, so we decided to each order a burrito to go.  Again, these are completely customizable to the ingredients you prefer!

I ordered grilled chicken with lots of veggies — I knew I’d need something substantial to eat during moving day!

I was right, and that DEFINITELY hit the spot after a tiring day of moving boxes.

I’d like to thank Anna’s Taqueria for hosting us with such friendly service and allowing me to discover their healthier menu items!  All the factors I mentioned, plus the portability of the food, make Anna’s a great go to choice for dining in or grabbing something on the run.  I do have a suggestion though — open a seventh location in Belmont!  :)

Have you tried any of the menu options at Anna’s Taqueria before?  If so, what’s your favorite item?  If not, which of the items that I described above sounds the best to you?

Disclaimer/Disclosure:  I did not receive any financial contributions for this review; however, I did receive free dinner and drinks from the company so that I could tell you my thoughts.  All opinions are my own.

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