Toronto has a great number of restaurants representing a large number of cuisines. To my disappointment, one cuisine that I find Toronto is lacking in is one of my favorites, Mexican cuisine. There just aren’t all that many Mexican restaurants in Toronto so when I noticed a new one opening on my walk home from work I took note. The new restaurant was a Chipotles and it was billing itself as a ‘gourmet’ burrito joint. I was pretty curious to find out exactly what a ‘gourmet’ burrito was so I had to stop by. The Chipotles gourmet burrito turned out to be a pretty normal burrito with rice, beans, meat, salsa, sour cream and cheese (they charged extra for the guacamole). The burrito was pretty good but it was also pretty expensive and I figured that I could do better at home and for a lot less. Shortly after visiting Chipotles I came across a z-Teca which was also billing itself as a gourmet burrito joint and their advertising campaign seemed to revolve around the size of their burritos. I tried their burritos as well and they were really big and they were good, but, once again I felt that I could do better at home. Thus, the burrito quest started.
A burrito is a tortilla that is wrapped around a filling and with such a simple definition the possibilities are almost endless! The tortilla wrapping makes burritos nice and convenient and portable so you can grab one while on the run. Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with and really enjoying various burritos and fillings. What follows is a list of what I have tried and ideas that I would like to try.
Carnitas: Slow braised moist and tender pork fried until slightly crispy on the outside.
Salsa Verde Carnitas: Carnitas that were braised in salsa verde and then the salsa verde is mixed back in with he pork after frying it until it is crispy.
Pork al Pastor Style: Pork marinated in a chili and pineapple sauce and then slow roasted until it is falling apart tender.
Tinga: Pork stewed in a tomato and chipotle sauce.
7 Chili Chili: Tender beef braised in a spicy chili sauce. (After reheating the pot of chili a few nights in a row, most of the liquid had evaporated and I used it in a burrito and it was really good.)
Taco Seasoned Meat: Taco seasoned meats such as Texmex seasoned ground beef or Texmex seasoned shredded chicken.
Crab: I have not tried this one yet but I imagine that using the crab from these crab quesadillas would make for a great burrito filling.
Shimp: I also want to try using the shrimp from these shrimp quesadillas or these shrimp tacos in a burrito.
Fish: The spicy texmex seasoned flaked fish from these fish tacos would also make a great burrito filling.
Cilantro and Lime Rice: Rice is a pretty standard burrito filling and I like to liven it up a bit with some chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest. I also like to use brown rice rather that white rice whenever possible.
Refried beans: Beans are also a common burrito filling whether plain or seasoned with cumin, chili powder and oregano or even refried.
Onion and Cilantro Relish: A simple condiment of chopped sweet onions with a pungent kick along with some chopped cilantro for added freshness.
Pico de Gallo: Fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers and cilantro.
Salsa Verde: A really tasty salsa made from tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and cilantro with just the right amount of heat.
Guacamole: This cool and creamy avocado salsa provides a nice balance to the sources of heat in your burrito.
Carnitas burrito with cilantro and lime brown rice, seasoned black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese in a whole grain tortilla.
7 chili chili burrito with cilantro and lime brown rice, seasoned black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheddar cheese.
These sweet potato and black bean enchiladas also make a tasty burrito.
Chorizo and Egg Burritos
Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken and Egg Burritos
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tostadas
Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Who needs burrito boyz when you’ve got Kevin 😉
BURRITOS!!!!! Ultimate stuffed comfort food 🙂
I can’t imagine not having a huge variety of hispanic restaurants near me. I grew up in Florida where there are at least 15 different Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, etc. restaurant within a mile radius of your house.
And those burritos look delicious, can’t wait to try makin one myself.
Kevin, I would eat your burritos over restaurant ones!
Kevin I really love burritos, an these look amazing and delicious, good stuffed. Gloria
Oh yummy!! Great post Kevin!
YUM! Thanks for the filling suggestions – often I get lazy and use the same old beef or chicken, completely forgetting about all of the other (delicious) options for burritos.
Christina Kim says
Burritos, yum. My local Whole Foods makes great burritos and decent prices. I’ve never tried making them at home, but yours look so tasty!!
Oh, Dude, if it is Chipotle as in the chain restaurant-that is my favorite. The three soft carnitas tacos with chips and guac, oh my belly is in heaven. Yep, they are more expensive then Taco Bell or Taco John’s but so much better and everything is made fresh.
Of course, your photos look awesome, so you must have filled the Mexican hankering you had!
How in the heck do you find the time to make all of this stuff!?!? Most days, I can barely find the time to feed my family dinner!
All of your burritos look fab, as usual!
A valuble post Kevin..truly meaningful dish.
oooo, that breakfast burrito is calling my name! YUM.
How thorough! What an amazing post! I have a burrito-loving boyfriend who actually ate lunch at Qdoba today (another “gourmet” burrito joint). Maybe one day I could make a burrito that looks as good as some of yours!
Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says
They look delicious Kevin. I think the vegetarian ones look particularly luscious!
Wah, those pockets are so well-stuffed!
Nina Timm says
Are there any healthy burritos available…these all look so sinful!!! Tempting though!!!
Rosa's Yummy Yums says
I love that scrumptious speciality! All Burritos look appetizing! Yummy!
Ah, it all comes together now. I think my favorite is the carnitas.
totally love this post … everythin looks soo delicious … its a must try for me … Laila .. http://limeandlemon.wordpress.com/
I am loving all of these mexican recipes. I am going to do your carnitas in the slow cooker for some burrito heaven!
I hate to disagree with you Kevin, but Chipotle is pretty awesome and I don’t know that I could make better. And here in the US, a burrito is $5.60 and gigantic enough for two meals. I think that’s pretty cheap.
Although the calorie counts on those things are insane, so I’m interested in homemade. But I still stick up for Chipotle!
Foodie with Little Thyme! says
I love all the different combinations. Around here they put fritios in them too.
We have Chipotle here and I think that they are owned by McDonalds.
Happy cook says
Wow i love the veg and the ham and egg one.
Looks so yumm.
MMMMMMMMMMMMM…..Kevin!! They all look so yummie! I made a salmon & ricotta wrap lately!!
yes, and you know your burritos have way more stuff in them than any burrito joint. we are seriously lacking a good quality burrito joint around here as well. there is one place called B2 Burrito that is pretty good, but they keep raising their prices, so I’m with you on the whole make it at home.
The pumpkin black bean burrito is calling my name!
Laura P. says
yay carnitas! Stuffed in a burrito…MMMMMMM!
Sweet Bird says
This just gave me the biggest burrito craving…
The breakfast burrito looks amazing! Mine always fall apart because I over stuff them – yours look perfect!
yum! i love burritos. this is a very thorough compilation of burrito options!!! mmm.
Wow, your burritos look great! So many great ideas and recipes for fillings as well.
Nice… but I never understand what’s the difference between burrito, fajita, taco…
Carolyn Jung says
I love burritos. In fact, it’s my true cure-all. Whenever I feel like I’m getting a cold or flu, I eat a giant burrito with tons of salsa. And darned if it doesn’t do the trick. The next day I am as good as new. I once wrote a story for my former newspaper about all of this, and even a nutritionist said I might have something here, since a burrito is full of protein and Vitamin C. 😉
Those burritos looks wonderful! I bet my husband would love the chorizo and egg one. Thanks for sharing!
Another Chipolte fan here. You are so creative & share amazing recipes…how do you make the cilantro & lime rice? Also, do you have a good corn salsa recipe that would be similar to Chipolte's?
Zesty Cook says
These rock Kevin! These look better than any restaurant I have seen.
You have gone buritto crazy here Kevin they look so good I wish you could share some out right now yum!
i’ll take one of each, and an extra vegetarian. i love chipotle and i love burritos. great post, kevin!
That pumpkin and black bean one looks amazing. I love burritos, and you’ve given us so many options. Thanks Kevin!
I actually can’t remember the last time I had burritos, but I sure am craving them now! They’re so versatile, there’s a burrito out there for just about everyone.
I never realized they don’t have Chipotles in Canada, but who needs them? They are overpriced and not very healthy – your burritos all look amazing! I love the idea of grilling them on the outside (I’m assuming on a grill pan) to get htem extra hot.
Burritos are probably my favorite food – like last meal kind of food. Your burrito roundup looks amazing!
Elizabeth: Yes I grilled them on a grill pan. I like to place the cheese is on one side in the burrito so that it melts when the burrito is grilled.
It’s wonderful that you can find inspiration in a restaurant. I love it when that happens. A burrito is a great quick meal, too.
Oh my, this post if perfect for a starving mexican food lover! You had me drooling at each pic. Fantastic post.
You’d think there’d be millions of great Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, but most we’ve tried are dreadful. Surprisingly, the best one for burritos is a chain, Poquito Mas–I love their shrimp burritos, but you have to tell them to make it crispy. I absolutely love the idea of black bean and pumpkin…
Absolutely FANTASTIC post, Kevin! I LOVE Burritos, and your post has made me really hungry for Mexican food now.
yum! this looks so good. love the blog and your photos.
E. Lee says
Can I come eat at your house (closet?) I am totally digging your cheese to filling ratio in all these burritos!
Love all the filling ideas. We have a Chipotle nearby and it’s okay, but I would agree that homemade is better.
The pumpkin and black bean version would do me nicely! I always start to wrap quite well, but once I get, to say, my third one, it is seriously going wrong and all over the place.
What a fantastic post! I love a good burrito (and I’ve never thought of toasting one)!
I bought burritos, but I no had stuffed ideas . Than you so much for those amazing and delicious stuffed. I bookmarked this page
I have bookmarked this! What a wonderful post, it’s more like a tutorial on burrito making!
Hi Kevin, I am a fan of your blog-your food always (well, almost, I don’t eat pork)looks delicious and totally do-able.
Your burritos are gorgeous, the veggie one especially.
I haven’t tried Chipotle yet, but I’ve had Big Fat Burrito in Kensington (not bad!) and I’ve also had one at Mission in the mall across from OCAD, very delish! It took a few minutes to get used to the sort of sticky tortilla, but I loved how it kept it from getting overly messy. And the filling was very tasty, indeed.
There are more Mexican places opening in Toronto that probably need to be tried, although after a Christmas vacation on the Baja, it’s hard to imagine anything as good as what I ate there.
They all look fantastic but the pumpkin and black bean burrito is my favorite.
That’s one thing we aren’t short of around here, Mexican restaurants, but there’s only one of them worth eating at. All the rest are basically fast food joints, like the one you mentioned, even if they do want to pass themselves off as “gourmet.”
We love burritos, these look fab Kevin.
gosh i wish i lived with you. everything that you make seriously is mouth watering. AND you’re a boy who cooks! amazing!
pastry studio says
As someone who grew up on Mexican food, this spread is VERY impressive! I love all the different elements you worked into your post and the way you included both classic and novel ingredients.
It looks like you pressed these in a panini press – what a great idea!
Wow, this is the ultimate burrito posting. Nice work, Kevin! I love how detailed this is with all the stuffing options. I’m going to stumble this now. Thanks!
Not Another Omnivore says
Between this and maple, we are seriously on the same page!
I’m linking to you…
Adam Urquhart says
Have you tried El Jacal? Rebozo’s? There are good Mexican restaurants here…
Culinary Cory says
Chipotle is all over the US and becoming a pretty popular stable around college towns. It started in Denver, CO. I’ve been to the original, which of course, tasted a little better than all the others. Did you know McDonald’s used to own Chipolte? Who would have thought the burger maker would have any interest in burritos.
[email protected] says
The first pic looks like the burrito is smiling. =) All of them look delicious!
He maybe you could set up your own burrito cart in your lunch hour….
good-looking burritos! yum!
Those look delicious! I hate the fact that Chipotle charges extra for guacamole. It’s ridiculous.
i LOVE burritos 🙂 so yummy and filling!! although making my own seems like the better option!
What a great post… I also love Mexican food, luckily, we have an over-abundance of restaurants here!
YUM.. you’ve officially given me a burrito craving. What a great way to use up the leftovers from your other Mexican recipes. I have tried Chipotles since it’s across the street from where i work, and i found it tasty, but was disappointed they didn’t grill the tortilla. My favourite burrito join in the tdot is still Burrito Boyz. You MUST try the halibut burrito. It’s out of this world and they don’t charge you extra for guacamole. There’s ONE fairly authentic Mexican restaurant that I know of called Jalapeno at King and Tecumseth, where they make their own corn tortillas. HAven’t been in a while, but last time i was there, it was good.
i think there is a lack of good Mexican food in Canada. Burritos are definitely best home made. Your pumpkin one looks so good!
This is an awesome post Kevin – love all the variations you have given us!
Mrs Ergül says
What a burriots collection! Ever since I started making our meals, I stop ordering things I can make, by myself, in restaurants!
bébé de sucre says
i am not a fan of mexican food mainly because there are no mexican restaurants here but all of a sudden i’m craving burritos!
You can’t go wrong with a good burrito – great post! Thanks for all the helpful hints and recipes!
What a beautifully grilled burrito. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Great info!
Very nicely done and awesome on showing so many different combinations.
Have you ever tried making the wrapper yourself?
How do you take your pictures? They look really good, keyboard-drooling awesome!
nice! the grilled stuffed burrito look from taco bell. Kevin, make a super banging hot sauce!
Those look really delicious !! They made my mouth water !
Ohhh Mr. Closet Cook you make everything look so tasty… pumpkin burrito who would have thunk it!
I want a burrito!! Now!!! Specially the vegetarian one, never a vegetarian dish look so so yummy!!!
Organic Baby says
Guess I’m starving haha! who won’t after looking all those yummy photos.
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Man! All the burritos look awesome!
Hello! I actually love Chipotle’s salads, and you inspired me! I created my own version of their chicken salad, substituting kidney beans for black (even though I do love black beans, I had the kidney beans in my cabinet)…absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much for the inspiration!
come visit me in Cambridge – we'll go to El Rinconsito Mexicano:(http://www.restaurantica.com/on/cambridge/el-rinconsito-mexicano/23005638/)
But there are several semi-local to choose from:
I know I'm way behind, but I just found your blog! Your burritos look yummy (gonna try the black bean/pumpkin this weekend).
I adore Chipotle, and did even before I worked there. I worked grill, prep, and a little bit on the line. One of the things I love about it is that almost every bit of the food is made there, and they use local and/or organic foods whenever possible (like beans, cilantro and other produce, and even meats sometimes). Oh, and it's super-delicious–the free employee meal was my favorite part of the job!
BTW, they no longer have anything to do with McDonald's, which was merely an investor, not an owner.