Mexican Gas stations

by Marisa Olsen


Imagine a Beacon Hill gas station, now look for the convenience store, go in and walk past the candy and power bars, and now discover the best burrito you’ve ever tasted. Burritos? Gas stations? Oxymoron, right? Wrong. Villa Mexico’s is Beacon Hill’s best kept secret, located in the back of a gas station convenience store. As you approach the counter, you will be greeted by this one-woman-shop owner; Julie King, proprietor, chef and producer of VM. Julia is just lovely, and tacks on her trademark phrase “my friend,” to all customers. “No sorry, my friend you cannot pay in credit card,” or “Yes, my friend, thank you thank you.”

The menu is basic; tostadas, burritos, tacos and some side items like traditional salsa and guacamole, and prices cheap ($4.50- $10.50), but don’t expect run of the mill Mexican. Everything is fresh and lively. The salsa is brown, almost like a mole sauce and has found fans in PA and NY who order it directly from Julie in bulk (only $6 for 16 oz). It was a toss up between the veggie burrito and mole poblano, so like an avid food appreciator (terrified of making a wrong decision), I inquired with Julie, who immediately claimed her favorites were the mole poblano and carnitas burrito. Perfect, we were all set because my counter part chose the carnitas. This is a perfect situations of why all foodies should stick together, especially in desperate times like this.

Since Julie is the only representative, a take out order can take up to 15 minutes, but it seemed worth it. As we peered over the counter top to watch Julie’s magic, we were mesmerized. You could tell Julie took diligent time and care to create the best possible outcome. Julie methodically spread guacamole, sauce, veggies, rice and meat onto the rounded cream colored canvas. She had her burrito roll perfected (a skill I have yet to master) and placed the stuffed burrito on a warming plate to crisp without any disastrous overflows. As a result of our patience, Julie even threw in complimentary chips and salsa, which I couldn’t wait to break into.

As we scattered to unwrap our dinner, a beautiful work of art unfolded; a mammoth, perfectly wrapped, overstuffed burrito. The first bite; orgasmic. The mole sauce was surprisingly sweet and flavorful. A lovely find! I devoured the entire thing (think 3 lbs. worth of food), while stuffing chips and salsa down my throat during quick respites. The carnitas burrito was a bit more basic and traditional, but still fresh and spicy. Twelve hours later, I am still craving my mole poblano; sweet, savory and rich in spice and tang. I can’t wait to return and savor the same dish; often a rare occurrence, even for me.