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Pinto Beans vs. Black Beans: Whose Side Are You On?

You walk into a Café Rio. You stop and you take a big deep breath—can you smell the freshness of real Mexican restaurant recipes cooked from scratch? Can you feel the care that goes into every hand-scooped avocado and fresh-chopped bunch of cilantro?

You know what you want to eat, because you’ve been craving it all day: a vegetarian burrito, stuffed to the brim with cilantro-lime rice and beans. It’s deliciously packed with protein and filled with fiber and the best thing you’ll have this week.

Have you ever felt better about a decision you’ve made than this decision, right here, to hit Cafe Rio for lunch?

But then the question comes—and if you’re not expecting it, it’ll throw you: Pinto beans, amigo, or black beans? And suddenly you’re no less hungry and ready for a burrito, but you are filled with self-doubt.

It’s the worst kind of Sophie’s Choice there is, are we right? Black beans, they’re a little higher in protein. They may have more antioxidants, too (if that’s the kind of thing you’re worried about). But pinto beans have got plenty of protein, and some of us think they’re prettier (did you know “pinto” means “painted” in Spanish?).

And they’ve both got a whole lot of a long list of vital nutrients and the kind of exciting vitamins your madre always worries about you getting: molybdenum, manganese, iron, folate, vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorous, copper and potassium, and a partridge in a pear tree.

So which do you choose, compadre? How do you make the impossible choice? How can you possibly close one door forever and walk away from its promise of deliciousness?

The answer is that obviously you don’t. Because you’ll be back, and we’ll be here waiting with another hearty helping of our made-from-scratch, garlic-onion-cilantro-and-spices-seasoned beans. Whichever kind you choose.

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