Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Best Burrito in London

Yesterday's shopping pit stop was a trip to Tortilla Mexican Grill for a burrito. Burrito's are literally one of my favourite foods. There is however a massive quality range between a really good one that blows your mind and makes you groan with pleasure and a really soggy limp one.

Before giving a run down of the best of the best here are a couple of key things on burrito etiquette.

1) It comes in foil for a reason. Leave it in the foil, tear strips off as you eat. Keeps it nice and tidy (ish) and let's face it, it's fun.

2) Do not even think about getting a knife and fork out. This is dirty food and should be treated that way.

3) If there is a choice between small/medium/large, don't even think about kidding yourself that you're going to have anything other than large. Burrito's should be a two hand job.

Since it was the most recent - Tortilla Mexican Grill. There is a choice of three styles, straight up burrito with rice and beans, a fajita burrito with peppers and onions or a naked burrito. My first choice is always rice and beans. It's just the way it should be.

Filling wise there is chicken, pork, steak or veggie. I'm generally a chicken kind of girl. I am always tempted by pork thinking it will be tender and pulled pork heaven, inevitably it doesn't live up to expectations. The chicken is blackened and chargrilled so really delicious. (The image above is of the Tortilla offering).
My hand is supposed to be helping with scale...does it?!
Topping wise you have the choice between cheese and sour cream. The answer is BOTH! Always both. Guacamole is extra - usually I steer clear as much as I love avocado and guacamole it can make it a bit soggy. Jalapenos can also be added as well as lettuce. Personally I chose the former and avoided the lettuce - it can make it quite messy to eat if it comes out in strips.

Overall it was damn good. The chicken made it. The tortilla held together well and the coriander rice was nicer than just regular.

Get your Tortilla Mexican Grill on in these locations

Next up; Poncho Number 8. I first came across this when working in the Liverpool Street area. The opening was pretty hyped up and generally when you walk by at lunch time there is a queue outside. The same applies for the St Paul's Branch.

Slightly more expensive than TMG, you're looking around £6.50 for a meat variety. Here you can also have a wholemeal tortilla wrap which is a bit healthier. They also do a box sans any wrap. I'm pretty sure you can guess how I feel about that.

For the filling again you can have beans or peppers. The beans here pack a spicy punch. Meat wise there is your standard chicken, steak or pork  as well as their special Barbacoa mix - not to be confused with the Adam Perry Lang restaurant around the corner, this Barcacoa burrito is 21-35 day-aged British beef, marinated in dry roasted guajillo chillis for 48 hours, then slow-cooked before being gently shredded. Sounds pretty good hey?

You can have mild, medium or hot salsa. Generally I go for half and half on the mild / medium. This is because I love my spicy food, but the mild salsa is fresh chopped tomato, rather than just a sauce. I like to think I'm contributing to my 5 a day. Poncho Number 8 is comparable in quality to Tortilla Mexican Grill. Definitely messy though. If you're eating in I quite like the fact they have hand sanitiser on the tables as well as chili sauce. This is a messy job.

The Evening Standard voted Poncho No8 London's best burrito. Clearly they haven't been to Daddy Donkey.

Daddy Donkey is the mother of all burrito's. Parked on Leather Lane market this cult burrito van is 'Kick-Ass'. Literally.

Daddy Donkey is a Friday treat. You will queue for a while before you get your DD fix, but trust me it will be worth it. Your choice is a Daddy D Burrito, Fajita or Naked. There is a small option (ignore this) you're going to paying around £6 for a regular size.

In this you can have chicken, steak, carnitas (pulled pork shoulder), shredded beef, or picadillo (ground beef with onions and garlic). On top you can choose from 4 salsa's, mild (again fresh 1 of your 5 a day type), medium which is pretty hot, HOT - which is 'my mouth is on fire' or extra hot, which is quite frankly ridiculous.

The size of it is obscene, it's heavy and messy and the best burrito in London. There is a new Daddy Donkey Truck coming to some lucky people somewhere! The location of the new truck is not yet known, but when it comes I have no doubt it will be incredible.

A close contender for Daddy Donkey is Benito's Hat. They have a very special post all of their own here. This is the one so far on the list that has BEER and Margaritas. Serious in size, flavour and sass the Benito's Hat guy's are awesome. You can get your fix here

A mention for a really bad burrito now and it has to go to Burrito Bros. Soul-less outlet's serving out mediocre soggy wraps. Expensive and poor meat. If you're in the Clerkenwell area - make the extra walk and go to Daddy Donkey. It'll be worth it.

One final thing that really made me laugh - I'm clearly a part of the Urban Dictionary meaning of Burrito...

Do you agree? Let me know if you have had a better Burrito and I will try it!
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