Rico Pan: On Speedwell Avenue, this one is split between sweet and savory foods. The shell is on the crispy cornmeal side of the spectrum, though it’s a little thicker than Raul’s and thus a little juicier, which helps a lot in soaking up flavors from the filling. Beef was actually beef pureed into a chunky potato filling, which was well-seasoned and really tasty; the potatoes add a complementary smoothness and heft to the beef flavor. Chicken was pretty blah, with enough salt but otherwise it was basically shredded chicken, no additional seasoning. The hot sauce appeared to be tabasco-based with a lot of onion chunks in it, medium-spicy with basically just a strong onion flavor, and wasn’t one of my favorites.
Entropyenator: Definitely a lot better than Raul’s, due to the filling and the shell as Justtwomorethings describes above. Surprisingly, I did like the beef better this time–usually I like the chicken ones, but chicken really does need some sort of sauce or seasoning–it was too blah otherwise to carry the emapanda on its own.
Cafeteria: Speedwell Avenue again, across from the CVS. The shell is a happy medium between bready and crispy; it’s cornmeal but it’s thick enough so that the crunchy outside gives way to a nice, not too thick, pillowy inside. They had chicken (not shown) only once out of the four times I’ve been there, and it tasted exactly like the beef, which was shredded and mixed into potato chunks. Filling holds together well, is keep-eating-it savory but is definitely heavy on the salt. I like salt but it’s borderline for me, much more junk-food tasting. Hot sauce was very vinegar and onion (and barely any heat), which did a good job of cutting through the salt, but overall this one is probably an occasional treat rather than something you could eat all day. Very strong flavors.