The following *coughs* article first appeared on the 7th September 2010
Oh dear. It would appear that my first experience of a burrito chain was unusual as Chilango really does appear to be head and shoulders above the rest. Following a decidedly average experience in Chipotle on Charing Cross Road a couple of weeks ago (after a delightful trip to the pop-up maze on Trafalgar Sq) we decided it was time to try Tortilla. Or Tortilla: Mexican Grill to be more precise.
I’ve been meaning to try this chain for ages since spotting it by the DLR platform at Canary Wharf but had been advised by a trusted Burrito expert that it really ‘wasn’t all that’.
We’d just been to see the swishy haired Richard Herring talking about his moustache. It was the third time I’d seen him do it but it was still really funny and this put me in a good mood so I suggested that my companion join me for a quick burrito before heading off home. So off we toddled to Market Place (behind Oxford Circus) in the drizzle.
We both opted for a beef one (50p extra we were advised, although this was clear from the menu anyway). I chose guacamole (also 50p extra) and my friend chose lettuce (not quite sure why) and sour cream (I was not offered sour cream). I went for the black beans and he went for the baked beans (well, they were pinto beans really but they looked like insipid baked beans. I nearly went for them as, going by the colour, I thought they were going to be refried beans). We both went for cheese and the lemon and coriander rice.
The tortilla was briefly (blink and you’d miss it) griddled and the burrito was assembled. This man was no Chilango Miyagi but he was streets ahead of the Chipotle Clouseau
My first impression was that the tortilla was a bit doughy and undercooked. My second impression was that the whole thing was a bit bland. A bit blah. A bit meh. Nothing leapt out at me. The beef was surprisingly nice on its own but everything else was a bit lacking in oomph. I couldn’t find any evidence of lemon OR coriander in my rice. My guacamole (50p extra blah blah) didn’t really have much going on. I thought it might have been because I went for the mild salsa (I love chillis and I love heat and I have been known to competitively eat jalapenos but I don’t like it when the heat masks the flavour) so I tried my companions as he’d gone for a more punchy salsa but sadly his was also lacking in oomph.
The hunt goes on – I’ve tackled the chains so now it’s time to brave the small independent places. I’ve actually got HIGH hopes for this adventure, it promises to be a good one.