Sunday, July 17, 2011

Toronto Style Burritos

As you may recall I decided to start voicing my opinion on the state of the burrito scene in my native Toronto. Often slogged for not having good burritos I was particularly miffed with a piece Iby a San Francisco writer (which I can no longer find). He cut a pretty wide swath of things he didn’t like which just makes me wonder what, if anything, he likes that isn’t from San Fran. The simple fact is, we must be doing something right if people regularly line up at 4am in February in Canada for a burrito.
No, we don’t make Mission style burritos. No, we don’t make California style burritos. We don’t even make traditional Mexican burritos either. Nope, we make Toronto style burritos. 
The grilled burritos we make here really took off in the middle of the last decade. That’s when Burrito Boyz opened its original location in the basement of a Vicotrian home on Peter St. in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment (club) district. When the bars let out people want to eat. BB stayed open ‘til the wee hours of the morning on weekends serving what co founder Joe Vassallo calls “Drunk Food.”
A second store around the corner in the tiny basement unit on Adelaide St would follow.  The new location, still in the entertainment district is close to the financial district and all it’s offices. The Rogers Center and it’s events and a growing number of condos. Location, location, location.
Co founder Ian Angus has since sold his stake in the business and the original Peter St. location was closed.
While larger than it’s original digs the Adelaide shop is still small. Most times the line up extends out the door and onto the street. 20 or so seats inside are constantly in use and the waiting area is full. The kitchen and prep staff work feverishly to keep up and do a fine job at it. They take pick up orders and even have premade chicken or beef burritos with everything (hot sauce on the side) for those in a rush.
Your choices are beef, chicken, bean and cheese, veggie soy, halibut, haddock and shrimp. The usual cast of characters are offered up as condiments (toppings, fillings, whatever you want to call them) and white or whole wheat tortillas in two different sizes wrap the whole thing up. All items are available as quesadillas as well.
So on to the food we go. I had steak and Mrs. Sippi had shrimp. Both burritos held together right up until the very last bite which is a sign of a good burrito. You can have medium or hot sauce if you choose. I sampled the hot and didn’t find it particularly spicy. It does however creep up on you so beware.

My steak burrito with everything (except green pepper) and hot sauce was excellent. The fruity hot sauce was right at the top end of the heat scale for what I’d like to see. Its heat didn’t overpower the other flavours but did pack a bit of a wallop. The steak had a good beef flavour and was very tender and plentiful.
Mrs. Sippi’s shrimp burrito was even better. She didn’t have hot sauce on her’s and it was equally good without it. The shrimp were very tasty, perfectly cooked and they didn’t cheap out on them either.
So all in all, Burrito Boyz is as good a burrito as you’ll get in Toronto. So popular they’ve now reached 9 locations in southern Ontario. Vassallo has been careful to keep as much control as possible. As is usually the case though, the (new) original location is still the best.

You can find Burrito Boyz entertainment district location at 218 Adelaide St. W. or one of their other locations here.

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You can also find them on facebook as well.
 Burrito Boyz - Entertainment District on Urbanspoon

That’s it for today people. Take care and happy eating.


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