Don't let Sonya Thomas's small frame fool you. The five-foot-five, 100-pound woman is the nation's top competitive eater. Thomas, 39, lives in Alexandria and has set national and world records by downing, among other things, more than 57 miniburgers in eight minutes and 48 soft chicken tacos in 11 minutes.
How many burritos could she eat in a sitting? "Probably 20," Thomas says.
Our requirement wasn't nearly so daunting: We asked her to compare takeout chicken burritos–and a bite or two of each would suffice. Here are the winners and losers.
1. California Tortilla (locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia; californiatortilla.com). To Thomas, this local chain's Fajita Burrito ($5.69)–with chicken, rice, peppers, onions, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce–tasted "healthy."
2. Well Dressed Burrito (1220 19th St., NW; 202-293-0516; cffolks.com). Thomas said the marinated-chicken burrito ($5.15) at this shop–owned by nearby C.F. Folks restaurant–tasted authentic. "This is good," she said of the burrito filled with chicken, black beans, cheese, rice, sour cream, and tomatoes. "It has more of a Mexican flavor."
3. Baja Fresh (locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia; bajafresh.com). "One of the best," she said of the Burrito Ultimo with chicken, rice, sour cream, and grilled vegetables ($5.85). It came in third because Thomas thought it needed more salt.
In fourth place was the burrito with chicken ($6.05) from Chipotle (locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia; chipotle.com). Coming in last was the Super Chicken Burrito ($6.20) from Burrito Brothers (locations in DC and Virginia).
Washingtonian staffers contributing to this section were Cristina Abello, Susan Baer, Susan Davidson, Ken DeCell, Rebecca Dreilinger, Kim Isaac Eisler, Mary Clare Fleury, Kimberly Forrest, Brooke Lea Foster, Garrett M. Graff, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, Aparna Nancherla, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Chris Wilson. Also contributing were Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Matthew Graham.