I went to the Boloco in Cleveland Circle once, probably about a year ago. I had ignored it for awhile because I don't like burritos, but when I actually took a look at the menu one day, I realized that it had a bunch of burrito-style wraps, not all of them Tex-Mex. I tried out one of the Asian-style ones and found it to be on the bland side, so I never went back.
A couple weeks ago, though, I received an invite to a blogger event at the newest Boloco location, which is right near Berklee. I figured I might as well give it another try, as I'm a fan of small local chains in general. (Since there are multiple locations, it probably means they're doing something right, but they're not yet obnoxiously big so there's probably a level of quality control and enthusiasm that larger national chains tend to lack.)
Boloco's CEO, John Pepper, talked to us about recent menu changes, plans for expansion, new beer pairings coming soon at some non-Massachusetts locations (liquor licenses are unfortunately very expensive here), and the general philosophy of Boloco: for one thing, "putting great food into a very portable product," said Pepper. Meanwhile, we tried out the new mini sizes ("disturbingly small," says the menu) of burritos and smoothies. I had a Bangkok Thai tofu burrito (Thai-style peanut sauce, Asian slaw, cucumbers, and brown rice in a flour tortilla). I enjoyed it, but like my previous experience, I thought it could have a bit more flavor. I'd order it again, but I'd request some hot sauce on it. The smoothie - a Jimmy Carter with peanut butter, banana, milk, and frozen yogurt - was perfect, but I doubt I could have more than a mini size; it's just so rich. (For those of you in my age group that don't understand why it's called the Jimmy Carter, Pepper enlightened us: Carter grew up on a peanut farm.) We also sampled new gluten-free brownies, and I think we were all pretty impressed that they tasted good - and like normal brownies!
Even though I'm still not completely won over by the burritos in terms of flavor, I'm really enthusiastic about the introduction of the mini sizes. You could realistically get a mini burrito ($3.95) and mini smoothie ($2.95) without using up all your recommended calories for the day and feeling overwhelmingly full. Also, there's a "goloco" option on the menu where you can design your own burrito, so before I give up entirely on the burritos and just go for the smoothies, I'll try out a few different combinations to see if I can find something I like.
I was impressed by the ambiance of the restaurant as well. I was expecting just a take-out joint with some boring tables, but the space was airy and clean with a bunch of people sitting around comfortably, using their laptops. It seemed more like a coffee shop than a fast food place.
And, in addition to the food, it was great to see some other Boston food bloggers: Pam (Cave Cibum), Katie (Small Boston Kitchen), Will (Boston Foodie), Fiona (Boston Food Diary), Natalie (a vegetarian blog on her campus), Lingbo (Lingbo Li), Lena (The Chicktionary), and Athena (Forays of a Finance Foodie).