May 2, 2022

Review: El Pollo Loco - Birria Stuffed Quesadilla

El Pollo Loco's Shredded Beef Birria Stuffed Quesadilla features new Mexican Shredded Beef Birria, Jack cheese, fresh avocado, diced onions, and cilantro folded in a flour tortilla and grilled. It comes with birria consome for dipping. The consome is described as a "savory beef broth with garlic, chili, and lime."

I went and bought one for $7 with a coupon (it's normally $8.69). It also came with tortilla chips.

The box that the Birria Stuffed Quesadilla came in was pretty interesting as it had a cut out/fold out section in one corner where the cup of consome slotted in. It's a nice look but I would worry a bit of sloshing in transit if the cup was overfilled or the lid wasn't properly secured. I didn't suffer any such mishaps however.

There was a surprisingly huge mass of shredded beef in the center of my quesadilla but it was packed together in a bit of a puck that left the edges pretty empty. The beef was moist and tender with a lightly seasoned flavor. I was expecting more of a punch in terms of flavor but this was fairly mellow. There wasn't all that much cheese in comparison, which gave the whole experience more of a burrito feel.

The avocado ended all bunched up on one end of the quesadilla so that I was left eating the buttery fruit with tortilla and a bit of onion and cilantro.

The consome itself was a bit lackluster. It didn't really taste very savory or beefy. Instead, it slightly garlicky and slightly spicy with an interesting flavor that I would guess as guajillo chilies. It was a little tangy but not citrusy. Usually, the consome for birria is just the broth that the meat was cooked in and that didn't seem to be the case here as the beef didn't have any of that reddish tinge and the broth was pretty bland. They probably should have at least tossed a beef bouillon cube in.

At the end of the day, El Pollo Loco's Shredded Beef Birria Stuffed Quesadilla was a mixed bag for me. The beef was plentiful and enjoyable but was more like a generic braised beef rather than a bolder birria-type of flavor. The overall construction was poor with very unevenly divided ingredients and the general flavor was mild, which could have been saved by stronger consome but it too was mild.

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