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Original Anna's Taqueria closes

BostonTweet reports the end of the first Anna's, which opened in 1995 on Beacon Street at Summit Avenue in Brookline. Other locations remain open.

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Comments

I feel this one more than I have most of the other closures, I think. I've been going to Anna's for at least 21 years.
Still, if things are tight for them that they'd consider closing any location, closing this location may be the way to go, It's walking distance to their Harvard St location, so they still have most of that market covered. Their other locations are spread out. The Beacon St location is smaller than Harvard St (even after they more than doubled seating at Beacon by getting the adjoining shopfront). The other consideration would be what the situation was there for mortgage or rent.
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I will add that if they want to boost their business, they would do well to go back to their old salsa recipe. 15, 20 years ago, it was very nice - for quite a while now just ordinary.
Also back to their old quesadillas. Yeah, I like their hearty-sized quesedilla these days, but they're a little too round and rolled - they fall open when you're trying to eat them. Would gladly give up a little filling for them to fold them to an overlapped seal like they used to.

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Voting closed 45

I lived at the corner of Summit and Beacon when they opened, and have been a huge fan ever since. I really hope they reopen their Prudential location.

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I might have had my first burrito there in 2000. A friend recommended the place with the line, "You can get a burrito and coke for under $5!" I would subsequently go several times a week for years.

Later I switched to Boca Grande but that particular Anna's still held a special place in my heart.

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Same with me. I was a struggling 20 something living around there when i happened to stumble in there. I was hooked instantly. They were either my dinner or lunch 2-3 days a week for a while. So delicious and affordable. Thankfully i was young enough where my metabolism was very high. Not sure how much weight i'd gain eating 2-3 of these a week now. Now i'm an adult way out in the burbs, i still make an annual pilgrimage to Anna's.

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for many.

I never understood the draw of Ana's. Its just not very good, and never was very good. Meh comes to mind.

Its the Olive Garden of "mexican"

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15 years ago you could get a $4 burrito with quality chicken meat. It’s now a $10 burrito with average chicken meat.

Also I think this location has been closed since the spring.

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A regular burrito is $7.49, or $6.99 if you don't include meat. I guess you could reach $10 including tax if you get a super with a lot of add-ons.

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Still, every so often an Anna's burrito hits the spot. They are fast food, meaning it's generally pretty quick to get in and out. They tend to be longer and skinner than other burritos and tightly wrapped like a spring roll so they are easy to eat on the go without making too big of a mess. The rice tends to be moist and flavorful, although it depends on the day.

They are far from the best burrito in the city (and not as good as before they expanded) but they make for a quick and filling snack if you happen to be passing by.

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There were NO taquerias in Boston.

Zero. Not until the 1990s.

You couldn't even find the ingredients to make your own stuff. No refritos. No jalepenos. No tortillas. No sauces. I brought containers of masa from the west coast in my luggage until Maria and Ricardo's filled the tortilla void.

That was the appeal - along with Boca Grande (which they spun off from), their very existence was a shining beacon for those of us raised on taco truck fare.

I will agree that time has eroded their quality ... I go to Tenoch now. But I am grateful that they were there to feed my ravening boys during their adolescence and college years from their convenient Davis and Porter locations. Going to Lesley U, my son never needed a meal plan.

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I used to eat there all the time when I worked down the street at Lotus. (But that was Cambridge, not Boston.)

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It was the first and only for quite some time.

And still not the same as hitting up the taco truck at the gas station or down the road from the high school between track practice and the sports bus home.

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"No jalepenos. No tortillas. No sauces"

Oh come on, I lived in Maine and NH during the 90s and had no problems procuring these items.

Or are you saying you couldn't get high quality/authentic products? Cause that I'd probably agree with.

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I remember at the end of my college sting at BU having Anna's and really enjoying it. My kids and I used to get burritos there every Thursday after Kumon in Coolidge Corner. However in the last 4-5 years, the prices went up and the quality was not the same.

I have only been to Anna's once in the last year, and I have to say that Los Amigos is much much better. Their grilled fajita veggies are awesome

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"Then again, most people who contract the virus don't die from it. Whether they suffer long-term problems is another question." adamg on UHub, Aug 25, 2020

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Another Baker casualty. In case readers missed it, most people who contract the virus don't die from it. That's quite an understatement. In fact, 99.96% of Americans will NOT die from Covid. Will anyone ask Baker the reason why he has chosen to decimate the restaurant industry in MA for an illness with an average age of death now hovering around 84? This is beyond ridiculous at this point and it will only get worse.

I'm told that Baker's ABCC is demanding that all outstanding beer/liquor bills from last spring be paid by September 1 after all extensions have been exhausted. Most locally owned, small restaurants don't have that kind of money. Restaurants are forbidden from buying booze at the liquor store and must go through ABCC regulated distributors. Watch for even more "mom and pops" to be targeted if they continue to serve beer/wine/liquor after Tuesday. With most states mostly open, what is Baker's endgame amid the nation's HIGHEST unemployment rate?

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This is an Anna's.

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This was an Anna's.

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This is IronyDeficientTown.

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Reflexively trashing Fish that you failed to notice that he's right. Baker is picking winners at this point, not stopping the spread of disease. End the ABCC.

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Did this Anna's ever have a liquor license? Are they in debt to pay for outstanding beer/wine/liquor purchases? I don't see the relevance between this and what's quoted in the above links (much less the random quote from Adam, who is a great guy but as far as I know, not an epidemiologist or a medical expert and probably would not want to be quoted as such).

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I'm just responding to the sentient points raised by Fishy. Yes, he does that sometimes.

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Certainly less than states that just opened everything. Massachusetts was one of the biggest cases at first and has now dropped to like 13th, which is the right direction and pretty damn good for a place that was dealt a hand with a bunch of cases. If only there was a graph that showed something like that and it was easy to find, let's say on a service called Google:

www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases.amp....

Look how much it's gone down.

And if government isn't to "pick winners", than what is your solution? Just reopen everything without restriction? That worked soooooo well for Florida and Arizona (which is now one of the biggest). And we heard your ideas in other threads, btw. They completely ignore CDC guidelines and would spread the virus way more. The government isn't perfect but has done 1000x better than anything you've suggested.

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Is to reopen things with common sense. Bars have to serve food now? What, I won't get the 'rona if I have a (expletive) burger in front of me with my beer?

That's either stupidity or willful sabotage.

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Again, we have seen your other posts. Completely against what the CDC recommends. It's not common sense, it's nonsense.

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The reasons for the food service requirements are incredibly obvious, and have been explained many times by public officials.

The point of requiring bars to serve food is to increase the distance between groups of customers (people tend not to want to eat shoulder-to-shoulder), decrease mingling between unrelated groups (people tend not to want to eat a meal in front of strangers), and reduce the effective capacity of the venue (eating takes more room than drinking) while increasing the amount of money each customer spends (a drink and a meal is more expensive than a drink by itself) which can hopefully help the business offset at least some of its losses. These are well-established strategies for limiting the spread of a contagious disease.

It's also necessary to draw a line between restaurants, which it seems can be operated relatively safely, and bars, which have been responsible for dozens of large outbreaks across the country over just the last month or two. Bars are not allowed to open if they serve food; bars are not allowed to be open, period. A business that traditionally functions as a bar can only be open if it can now function as a restaurant, not a bar.

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Someone call FISHY a cab, please.

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The stat is not that 99.96% of Americans will not die from Covid. It's that only 0.04% of Americans have died from Covid. What percentage of Americans have been infected, and how does that extrapolate to the point where we have herd immunity?

It's lazy math. It's a shame that you never learned math when you were in school.

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If death rate were the only thing that mattered when evaluating disease impact, then we should quit researching the causes of blindness and deafness. We should stop worrying about debilitating arthritis or any of a number of other diseases that produce chronic misery and disability.

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I probably ate burritos from there, or another Anna's, at least once a week between about 1996 and 2017. Loved every bite for most of that time. Waited for years for the Cambridge Street location to finally open and dreamed of having one in Back Bay. But by the time the Pru location opened, we were less enthused. We tried the burritos twice and thought they were awful.

In the previous century, you got a big, thick slice of cheese on your burrito, and ordering extra cheese got you a second one for about 75 cents. Then they began tearing the cheese slice in half, while you watched, so you had to order "extra" to get a full slice of cheese for the same price. That half slice grew thinner and thinner over the years.

We could always tell when the owner had made a site visit: for a few days, your beans and rice were carefully measured and your burrito was much smaller. In about a week, they'd revert to the usual quantity. Prices went up and up, of course. A few years ago, the burritos became consistently tasteless (cooking the beans without salt?) at most locations (Newton Highlands wasn't so bad.) We switched to Felipe and haven't looked back. But it's still sad to see the original Anna's go.

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I simply disagree with the complaints about quality. They're burritos, and they're great. The smaller locations (both Summit Ave. and Prudential emphatically included) are consistently more delicious than the more-spacious ones, but my hunch is whichever one is closest tastes the best.

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No great loss.

Let me know if El Pelon closes.

That would be a gastronomical atrocity.

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there was a two year stretch in the mid 2000's when one of my hardest daily decisions was which Anna's I would walk to that day, Beacon Street or Harvard Ave.

then i got food poisoning twice in one summer after going to Beacon Street location. They did me dirty, literally. Harvard Ave never did that to me.

Anna's Forever. Forever Anna's.

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It was always amazing that Anna's maintained two locations 1/4 mile apart. It's not a Dunk's (which you'd expect).

Some tidbits:

In the early days of Facebook, there was a group called "I get Pino's on the way home from Anna's" mostly for Newton kids. In high school (North) there were definitely times when someone with a car and a free block at lunch would make an Anna's run and bring back half a dozen burritos. Everyone in the next class who didn't have a burrito was jealous. Back then it was cash-only, and at one point I kept a log of how much a burrito cost, because despite ordering the same thing (super Carnitas) it always wound up costing something different. But for $3 for a burrito, I didn't complain.

Anna's, of course, is part of the sibling rivalry with Boca Grande (background here). Both are/were owned by a pair of Japanese-Americans from the West Coast who wanted a Mission-style burrito in Boston and couldn't find one. So basically Mexican food was brought to San Francisco and California-ized, then brought to Boston by Asian-Americans (some more genesis here). If that's not the American dream, I don't know what is. Sadly, Michael passed away last year. (Oh, and Anna's is fine; it was great in the '90s when it and Boca Grande were the only games in town. California is still better. But Chipotle is trash, don't @ me, they don't even melt their cheese and the fresh-chopped carnitas at Anna's are where it is at.)

Apparently, when MIT was looking for a new food vendor in 2004, they did a survey, and the majority of responses wanted Anna's. So in Anna's came, and it's as busy as ever 15 years later (or, it was before covid).

A personal story: when I ran the marathon in 2018, I raised money for Tufts Medical Center (because, you know). Anna's has a great program for people or organizations wanting to raise funds: a "celebrity roller." For two hours, you roll $10 burritos (with chips and salsa) and all the money goes to your cause. With some help: rolling the burritos is harder than it looks. It was great fun, by the end of the night I was doing a pretty good job rolling, and they even gave me an Anna's hat! Plus, Michael kicked in another $500 on top of burrito sales.

So, yeah, Anna's might not have changed in the past 25 years, but that's okay. Long live Anna's.

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