And the winner of Splash of Flavor 2014 is …

Readers crown Chiptole's Burrito Bowls in fourth annual Watertown Splash food poll

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The votes are in!

The Burrito Bowls from Chipotle won over the voters in the 2014 Splash of Flavor competition.

The nationwide Mexican chain, with a restaurant in the Arsenal Mall, joins the Red Velvet Cupcakes from Yum Bunnies in Belmont (2013), the Coffee Coolatta from Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street in Watertown (2012), and the Chicken Parmesan from The Talk in Watertown (2011) as winners in the annual contest organized by the Watertown Splash, the official newspaper of Watertown Middle School.

Coming in second this year was the Eggs Whites Bagel Sandwich from Au Bon Pain in Cambridge, followed by the Coffee Oreo Ice Cream from Cabot’s in Newton.

Congratulations! 

To read reviews of the year’s 16 finalists, as well as coverage of previous contests, go to the Food Section of the Watertown Splash online at https://watertownsplash.com.

Here are the reviews of this year’s dishes with the most votes:

SPLASH OF FLAVOR 2014: Burrito Bowls at Chipotle 

Lots of Mexican food lovers have heard of the restaurant Chipotle. Chipotle is a Mexican grill that serves burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads, and chips with guacamole. Any customer can pick what they want to be in it.

Chipotle all started with a guy named Steve Ells. He is the founder and CEO of Chipotle. Steve started out as a chef who could make a mean guacamole batch. So Steve decided that he should start a restaurant. It took time but it finally happened.

The first Chipotle opened at a former Dolly Madison ice cream shop in 1993 in Denver, with a second location opening in 1995. By the end of 2013, there were 1,539 Chipotles spread across America, Germany, France, England, and Canada.

The Burrito Bowl at Chipotle is exactly what it is: a bowl filled with things you would put in a burrito. There are choices laid out in front customers to choose.

This is where the magic happens.

Each ingredient is there to make the greatest meal. There is a choice of cilantro-lime rice or white or brown rice. They all include organic ingredients like bay leaf, cilantro, kosher salt, rich bran oil, and citrus juices. Yum! There is also the option of pinto or black beans. They include delicious things like cumin, garlic, black pepper, yellow onion, bay leaf, and salt.

Now let’s get into the bestest part of the burrito itself. The main ingredient. The meat.

What’s a burrito bowl without meat? Now I hear that they add a drizzle of honey to their chicken marinade, which makes the meat taste so delicious.

What’s a burrito bowl without salsa? There are three kinds of salsas served at Chipotle: mild, medium, or hot. The salsa adds a bit of flavor to the whole thing.

The finishing touch to the bowl is the addition of cheese, guacamole, lettuce, and a dollop of sour cream.

One of the greatest experiences of visiting Chipotle is being able to make the perfect burrito bowl. For example, white cilantro rice, no beans, juicy chicken, mild salsa, corn,and lettuce. (Or maybe add some beans and no chicken or a dollop of sour cream.)

This is what consumers enjoy about going to Chipotle: They can make their own burrito bowl any which way they want.

So come on, vamanos. Chipotle burrito bowls are for any time of the day. any day of the week. So pop in, say hi. and dive right in to a yummy burrito bowl. It will be quite the experience.

(Chipotle Mexican Grille, 485 Arsenal St, Watertown, 617-612-8253, www.chipolte.com)

— NEILA M.

 

SECOND PLACE: Egg Whites Bagel Sandwich at Au Bon Pain

“Ravenous?” “Yes!”

“In the mood for something . . . crispy?” “For sure!”

“How about cheesy?” “Definitely!”

“I think I know what you are looking for! “Great . . . what is it?”

“Hey! Here’s an idea, let’s go get some…!”

Au Bon Pain has a widely great selection of “On the Go” foods, but there is one that is more than perfect. It’s the egg whites, cheddar, and bacon on a skinny wheat bagel breakfast sandwich. Of course, you can choose different types of bread, but my preference is wheat because it is crunchy and delicious.

Now, about that cheese. It is a perfect cheese that goes with anything, honestly. The moment you bite in, you want another piece right away. The orange cheese oozes yummily out of the sandwich. When you take that first bite, the warmth makes it even better!

I understand if you don’t like eggs. I used to dislike them, but now I will try them with anything thanks to this sandwich. You might think, “Oh, how can a sandwich change someone’s preference about eggs?” But it really did change mine! It is well cooked, and the yolk is cooked, too, so for all you yolk dislikers, it’s made for you!

Who doesn’t love bacon? It adds a nice crispiness. Bacon goes with anything, but it goes significantly well with this breakfast sandwich! I believe that the bacon is the most flavorful part of the sandwich. It gives out the most taste and is the best part of it.

As for the skinny wheat bagel, the name says it all. It is not a normal-shaped bagel, although the size is somewhat the same. It is a thinner sliced and cut bagel, with wheat on the top. If you don’t like wheat, or are allergic to it, then you can choose a different type of bread, but I feel healthier and better when I take this bread.

As for the aroma, it is a mixture of the bacon and bagel. You might think, “Ughh! Bagel?” But it’s true!

Delicious. Enjoyable. Healthy. Eggs and cheese are a good source of protein, and you need protein in your body to help it grow. With only 370 calories, and a lot of protein (25 grams) you will enjoy this “On the Go” sandwich.

“Satisfied?” “Yes!”

“Want more?” “Of course I do!”

“Is it healthy?” “Yup!”

“Wanna go and get some more?” “Sure, let’s go!”

(Allergen information: contains egg, milk, soy, wheat.)

(Au Bon Pain, 1360 Mass Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-497-9797, http://aubonpain.com/)

— MELANNE G.

 

THIRD PLACE: Coffee Oreo Ice Cream

The waitress came and she placed three ice creams on our table. One for my mom, one for my sister, and one for me. In front of me sat a medium-sized Coffee Oreo ice cream in a bowl. It was overflowing with chocolate crunchies, my favorite topping on my ice cream.

The waitress handed us really long spoons to eat with. I just dug right into my ice cream, ready for the mouth-watering journey I was about to go on. Everything tasted so good that even after I was full I wanted more. The flavors all filled my mouth with every single bite.

Over February break, I went to eat ice cream at Cabot’s in Newton. Cabot’s is my favorite ice cream place, by far.

Cabot’s is not your ordinary ice cream place. It looks just like an old-fashioned diner right out of a movie, it is black, white, and red. It has been that way ever since it opened in 1969. Whenever I go, I love sitting in the old-fashioned booths that fit at least four people comfortably. Cabot’s has fast service and the food and ice cream is great, too.

When I was little, my cousin took me to Cabot’s. It was my first time going there. Right then my cousin told me to get Coffee Oreo ice cream with chocolate crunchies. I immediately fell in love with this ice cream and, until this day, I still love it.

Cabot’s has a wide selection of ice cream flavors, such as Cookie Dough, Mocha Chip, Moose Tracks, and Strawberry. They also sell frozen yogurt.

Besides the chocolate crunchies, Cabot’s has other toppings, like hot fudge, walnuts, and sprinkles.

Cabot’s is a restaurant, so you can have a full meal before you eat ice cream. Cabot’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cabot’s also makes cakes, including ice cream cakes, if there is a special occasion coming up.

So if you want to have this mouth-watering, fun, and tasty experience like I had, be sure to go to Cabot’s.

(Cabot’s Ice Cream & Restaurant, 743 Washington St., Newton, 617-964-9200, www.cabots.com)

— BANDNA K.

 

–April 5, 2014–

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