Last visit: July 2013
Other DFW location: Ft. Worth (Alliance - opening soon)
We were reviewing new restaurants in the area, when I saw that they planned on opening a new Costa Vida in Fort Worth. I had totally forgotten about this place, and that reminded me of the one in Colleyville, which is closer than the new one will be to us. Surprisingly this is our first visit here.
Costa Vida is a chain from Utah (Lehi - in the row of towns between Provo and Salt Lake City) that originally came up during the burrito craze of the last couple of decades as lead by Chipotle, Baja Fresh, and Qdoba's. Other than a proliferation of stores throughout the Beehive State, you will find a smattering of Costa Vida's in most of the West and Southwest states.
I zoomed in on the Baja Bowl, which is their variation of the Naked Burrito or Burrito Bowl, and filled it with grilled chicken, pinto beans, rice, red enchilada sauce, and cheese. Now the distinguishing characteristic of Costa Vida is they then push the bowl through the heated conveyor belt (like Quizno's) for a nicely toasted dish with melted cheese. On the back end they'll toss on top lettuce, pico, and a salsa of your choice (in this case I grabbed a container of the honey habanero). Mrs. RJG did similar but she asked for half grilled chicken and half sweet pork, which is their signature dish. I also had a frozen margarita, because it's that time of year, right?
We both were satisfied. Their grilled chicken is slightly better than Chipotle's, and I've always been a fan of Chipotle's chicken. The toasting concept is fantastic, as the melted yellow cheese is excellent in this setting. The rice is also a major winner, besting the other chains. The beans are... well, beans. They're fine. On the downside, the sweet pork was indeed sweet. Too sweet, and too greasy according to the Missus. The honey habanero, while packing a little bit of heat, was also too sweet, and definitely pales compared to better salsas found at the three chains mentioned in the prologue. I need to try their other salsa next time. And finally, while on the topic of sweet, the margarita was more like a sugar Kool-Aid. So it's obvious the chain has a bit of a sweet tooth, which doesn't quite appeal to us.
Will we be back? Oh definitely. In total, an excellent experience. And we want to try their tacos, quesadillas, and maybe even the enchiladas. And I'll grab a beer next time. A good place for sure. I can't believe it took us this long to try it.