Neither good nor healthy

The smell of paint fills my nose when I walk through the door of Bueno Y Sano, the new Mexican restaurant on College Street. This is not quite the smell you would expect upon entering a restaurant of any kind, particularly Mexican. It’s obvious that the paint has just dried on the walls of this casual little eatery, and the cleanliness, not always typical of Burlington dining spots, makes me feel as if I’m at a chain, something else not-too-characteristic of the Burlington scene. I walk to the counter at the far end of the restaurant to order and a few workers look up, seemingly bored with the lack of customers at the store’s shiny new tables. The menu, displayed prominently on the wall, catches my eye and I’m dis?appointed to find that it is exactly what I expected. Burritos, soft shells, beef, chicken or tofu, pico de gallo – you get it. You’ve been to New World, just picture that.I get a bit more excited when I see that they offer grilled seitan, a less popular substitute to meat with a lot more punch than tofu. Typical to Vermont I suppose, I am still surprised to see a variety of veggie and vegan options on menus. I opt for the veggie burrito with grilled red peppers and a fountain drink which comes to $7 all together. I put my bag down and grab some napkins, and my burrito is already made. I’m surprised to see it’s not a cylinder shape like those so many of us chow down on from New World, but a round shape, like a ball. Just something interesting, I don’t know.The burrito didn’t disappoint me; it was actually pretty satisfying. My two friends agreed, and we sat around for a bit longer, enjoying the Jurassic 5 playing on the speakers and finishing up our fountain sodas. Bueno y Sano had neither intriguing ambience, great service nor a diverse menu. They hardly hold a candle to New World Tortilla, let alone the mind-boggling number of other spots to dine at downtown Burlington. It’s a tough world down there for restaurant owners. You’ve got to find your niche, and find your regulars. We are creatures of habit, and probably all tend to hang around the same eateries time and time again. Bueno y Sano also needs some serious wear and tear for its patrons to feel comfortable sitting and eating. A little writing on the bathroom walls and some mismatched furniture could do this restaurant some good. Give it a try if you’d like, it’s located across from The North Face and could use your patronage.