The big burrito

Customer Shane C. Douglas watches kitchen manager Jerry Martinez make his favorite burrito at Kokopelli.

Customer Shane C. Douglas watches kitchen manager Jerry Martinez make his favorite burrito at Kokopelli.

Photo By David Robert

Kokopelli Fresh Mexican Grill

555 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89501

(775) 329-8811

I’m not sure about you, but burritos are a staple in my diet. When I’m starvin’ Marvin, nothing hits the spot like a big burrito. Don’t get me wrong, I like burgers and sandwiches. Still, I think burritos are a more healthful food, and I always feel better about myself when I eat a burrito rather than a greasy burger or some empty-calorie fried food.

Kokopelli is new to Reno, and as far as I’m concerned, they are a welcome addition—they have big burritos, and they serve them quickly. I don’t think there could ever be too many Mexican restaurants in one town—if anything, there aren’t ever enough.

Kokopelli, in the new strip mall on Virginia near California Avenue, is definitely a fast food restaurant. When I walked in during the lunch rush, there was a line of about 20 people, but it was moving quickly. Burritos aren’t the only thing to eat at Kokopelli. The menu is compact, making it easy to choose what you want. They have burritos, burrito bowls, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos, tacos, taco salads, dinner plates and kids’ meals. The burrito bowls include all the same ingredients as a burrito, but they come in a baked tortilla bowl.

The kids’ menu is nice, but I’m not too sure about bringing an infant to eat here. The tables and chairs are a very tall, and it’s a long way down for little ones if they were to fall.

All the menu selections come with a choice of steak, grilled chicken, spicy chicken, shredded pork, fish (mahi mahi), or vegetables (squash, bell peppers, onions). I ordered the grilled chicken burrito ($5.65). With a burrito, you get a choice of rice, black beans or pinto beans, and Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, hot or mild salsa and lettuce. If you want guacamole, it’s 75 cents extra. There’s also a salsa bar with a few choices of hot and mild salsas and lemons and limes. The chips are good, too. They make them on-site, which always taste so much better than the packaged ones. Kokopelli also has a margarita bar, beer and wine along with a soda machine. So, if you want to kick back and suck down a frosty tequila-lime beverage with your meal, it’s an option.

The staff behind the counter was busy, but I noticed they still took time to be friendly and make each customer feel welcome. I believe this one quality can make or break a restaurant. For me, if the food is good, and the service is lousy, I probably won’t come back.

I was pretty happy to see this restaurant pop up. It’s the perfect place to stop on your way downtown for a night out or on your lunch break. The new strip mall that it’s located in is part of the movement to spruce up the area. It’s a respectable place, and it looks much better than the old motels and liquor stores that were there. Four more Reno locations currently are being planned for this national chain.

As far as authenticity goes, Kokopelli doesn’t compete with Beto’s or some of the other traditional taquerias in Reno, but it isn’t trying to. Kokopelli offers good, healthful food for less than 10 bucks, and you can get in and out in under a half hour.