Home » Livermore besties behind Chomp Chomp Bay Area food competition

Livermore besties behind Chomp Chomp Bay Area food competition

What happens when two Mexican food-loving best friends move from San Jose to Livermore?

They go through withdrawal for the South Bay’s Latino food scene. For a while, they actually make the drive south to eat at their favorite spots, from Milpitas’ Taqueria Las Vegas to Sunnyvale’s Mercado La Torre. It’s a lot of miles. And a lot of tortillas.

Then one day in February 2020, they say, “Enough” — no more sobbing over salsa — and launch a bracket-style burrito contest on Facebook to get to know their new East Bay community and find the Tri-Valley’s best burrito spots.

Why burritos?

“Because they’re the best food in the galaxy,” says Andrew Kutsenda, a self-proclaimed foodie who together with roommate Robbie Reign make up Chomp Chomp Bay Area. “I remember my very first breakfast burrito. I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.”

Kutsenda and Reign have been buddies for 12 years. The 30-somethings have traveled across four continents together, and when they’re not stuffing their faces with carnitas or asada, Kutsenda works as a real estate agent and Reign is a singer-songwriter.

Their Burrito Bowl — “El Bracket” — drew hundreds of comments and support for 16 Tri-Valley taquerias, including the victor, Livermore’s El Cerrito, which won for its flavor, authenticity and price point. Kutsenda and Reign envisioned a burrito celebration in a rowdy bar somewhere, with drink specials and too many people.

Then the pandemic hit. And suddenly, the indie food critics realized they could turn this “funny little thing” into a way to help struggling restaurants.