Flaming Amy’s ****

411190120_m Without a doubt this place crushes just about all similar competition out there. If you need a gigantic burrito, and you’re in the Wilmington, NC area then there’s really only one choice. Flaming Amy’s is hot, fast, cheap, and easy (that’s their motto). They definitely live-up to that, and it’s all delicious to boot.  Not that this is a big thing, but it also seems like one of the “hip” places in town to grab a bite.  Geez, I think I sounded kind like my Mom there.  No lie, it seems like 60% of the clientel and staff there have very visable, and multiple tatoos.  Rock is always kicking in the background, sometimes there’s a skating video on one of the tvs, and in general it seems to have the vibe of a club.  It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a band set-up in the corner and start throwing-down.  But if I were them I’d eat the burritos after the set…

 

Not to be mean; but Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Moe’s, or Qdoba can’t hold a candle to Flaming Amy’s.  Put the whole menu aside for a moment and just take burritos.  FA’s just has better variety, and every different choice is truly unique when it comes to taste.  At those other joints, they say they have different burrito selections but it’s all basically the same thing.  Choose your meat, beans, cheese, etc.  But at Flaming Amy’s they stand-out and above with ingredients as well as sauces.  The other day I hit these guys up and got ‘the Bayou’ (cajun spices, with a spicy Veggie Jambalaya sauce, along with the normal stuff like meat and beans) but it was a close call between that and a big favorite of mine when I lived here, ‘Thai Me Up’ (roasted red peppers, carrots, Thai peanut sauce, normal stuff).  They have 15 other unique burritos to choose from, with ‘the Big Jerk’ being a stand-out.  Do you get that at the chains?  Nope, not from what I’ve seen.  They’ve got a ton of grilled fillings to stuff in there, and they do have other options as well even though I normally skip right over those.  I’m sure the nachos, quesadillas, tacos, salads, etc are good so somebody let me know!  The Black Bean Cheese Dip is good though, I do know that. 

 

Service, cleanliness, and presentation have always been good.  I wouldn’t say they bowl-over the competition in these areas but it’s in line with all the chains.  It’s a very laid-back atmosphere so the service is generally reflective of that.  I’ve never had anyone go above and beyond the call-of-duty with customer service but I’ve never had a bad experience either.  The joint is fairly clean with no major plusses or minuses, just a good job.  As far as presentation goes the menu is laid-out pretty well.  I personally dig the vibe of the place, but I could see a decent section of the over 50 crowd being a little intimidated or turned-off to going in.  I don’t think FA’s is worried about that though, and to that crowd I say, “C’mon, be a little adventurous!!”

 

Like I stated up-front, Flaming Amy’s crushes the competition.  Now as burrito joints go I wouldn’t put them in the same vein as Taco Bell or Taco Time.  Places like this and Chipotle are in a different group.  So I wouldn’t necessarily measure the two up to each other.  But if you need a monster burrito without a fast food feel this is the place to go, hands-down.  the Fast Food Addict is giving 4 stars here.  An extra ½ could definitely be given with maybe a great customer-service experience thrown in one day.  Overall though, they rock.  We’re hundreds of miles from these guys and that sucks.                                                                                                                                                                         DT

 

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