El Burrito

Two days after going to Chipotle, I was due for a contact-lens check-up on Tottenham Court Road. I’m nothing if not timid, so I focussed my early burrito-finding efforts close to home.  But this was a great opportunity to try some burrito joints on the other end of Oxford Street. “Goodness,” I thought. “What a great opportunity to try some burrito joints on the other end of Oxford Street.”

Googling ‘Burrito, Tottenham Court Road’ bought El Burrito to my attention, along with Benito’s Hat*, but the less said about that the better.

Heading to a restaurant so small the woman who lived in a shoe would have been disappointed, I decided to go off-piste and order chicken mole instead of the usual grilled chicken. I was tempted by the description of mole sauce, which boasted ‘23 ingredients, including chocolate.’ Oh, foolish blogger.

As the lovely woman behind the counter spooned brown goop into a tortilla, I started to get scared. I added jalapenos and chipotle sauce to my usual order in a vain, panic-sweat-soaked attempt to make everything alright. But when it was served without foil in a polystyrene box, I knew all was lost.

I headed to a table at the back of the restaurant, which was not very pretty. Biting into my burrito, my first thought was, ‘hmm.’ Then, ‘umm…’ Then, ‘urgh!’ In short, chicken mole isn’t very nice. And it tastes of chocolate! They could have warned me. Plus it looked a bit like…well, you know what it looks like. Look.

A burrito only a mother could love, yesterday.

This was going to be my Mount Everest of burritos, one that would defeat me before I could defeat it. It was a big sloppy mess filled with conflicting flavours. But in the interest of fairness, I pulled it apart before throwing it in the bin, to see where I went wrong. Nibbling various bits told me the rice and beans were fine – it was the chicken that was the culprit. Maybe mole is always horrible. Or maybe only El Burrito’s mole is horrible. Who knows.

I couldn’t remember how much I’d paid for it, so I called the restaurant, feeling a bit guilty that instead of phoning for a nice chat, they were unwittingly facilitating the publication of a damning, if thinly-read, blog post. I discovered that ‘mole’ is pronounced ‘mow-lay,’ which I’d been getting right all along –hooray! – and that my burrito cost £5.50.

If enough people tell me El Burrito is actually great if you don’t choose choco-chicken, I might go back. If not, this is definitely one place I won’t be going back to. Even if I do need another eye test.

 *Benito’s Hat now instantly makes me think of these books, featuring Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat and Jennifer Yellow Hat. Can’t think why.

Mood before: Very hungry

Mood after: Still pretty hungry

Rating: Food 4/10, Ambience 5/10, Staff 7/10, Value: 5/10

Where: 5 Charlotte Place, Fitzrovia. Open Monday-Saturday.

Closest Tube: Goodge Street

Web: Here / Not on Twitter

Recommended?: Not really. Arguments to the contrary welcome.

Eye test: I had to go up from 3.25 to 3.75 in my left eye. Annoying.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by whiteavenger on August 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I’m afraid I must agree. I recently went to El Burrito, and was as sorely disappointed as you were – no foil on a burrito and the box it came in made me feel like I’d just taken out a kebap from a burger van. The Carnitas was okay, but somewhat flavourless, and the whole burrito just lacked “punch” – it tasted qutie plain. All in all, not a place I shall frequent again.


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