On the heels of Torchy’s Tacos and Gourdough’s Public House, another Austin-based restaurant is testing the waters in the Alamo City. An employee has confirmed that burrito shop Cabo Bob’s debuted its first area outpost on June 18 at 847 N.E. Loop 410.
The surf-themed fast casual chain was founded in 2008 by owner Don Brinkman. The character of Cabo Bob is a combination of many colorful personalities he met while living in Baja California during the ’80s.
The restaurant provides a local alternative to build-your-own eateries like Freebirds World Burrito or Chipotle Mexican Grill. Guests order bowls, burritos, salads, or tacos, then customize their creations with the choice of proteins, sauces, beans, rice, and vegetables.
But Cabo Bob’s puts a Cal-Mex spin on the formula. While it offers standby fillings like steak, chicken, and shredded pork, the restaurant offers tons of unexpected proteins like shredded brisket and crispy, farm-raised tilapia. There are lighter options like poblano peppers, zucchini, diced fresh jalapeños, and mango pico de gallo — all of which can be dressed with one (or more) of the nine sauces.
The eatery is most known, however, for its freshly made tortillas. Instead of opening a package, Cabo Bob’s presses each tortilla to-order, then cooks them on a rotating comal. The process adds a few more seconds to the wait time, but the finished product is worth it.
Keeping with the chain's laid-back beachy branding, Cabo Bob’s extensively renovated the building’s interior, once a location of Tex-Mex chain Las Palapas. The walls have been painted sunny yellows and oranges, the ceiling mimics a cloudless sky, and giant seaside mural greets guests above the ordering counter.
Time will tell if Cabo Bob’s will become as ubiquitous as behemoths like Chipotle, but expansion plans are already on the way. The chain is also anticipating opening its first Houston store by the end of the year.