Having ventured all the way to the other side of Oxford Street to visit El Burrito, I felt I’d done my bit for the exploring community. I was like a modern-day Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, or Paddington Bear.

Exhausted by my impressive exertions, I decided to stick closer to home for the next burrito. Both @sophierobehmed and @hyperbolicgoat had recommended Tortilla, and after some top-level investigating that would make the late Columbo proud (Google), I discovered there was a branch down my end of Oxford Street, on Market Place. Phew.

Inside, the restaurant has gone for the same, ‘Oooh look, we’ve made a chandelier out of BEER BOTTLES,’ hipster-type vibe that they’re so keen on in Shoreditch. Personally, I prefer the cheesy, faux-Mexican pictures-of-cacti-type décor that screams ‘ARRRRIBA!’ at you when you walk in the door, but it was pleasant enough. They were playing modern poppity-hop music, which was fine.

A light drinker? *Chortles*

For the first time, I was faced with a choice of a medium (£4.95) or large (£5.95) burrito. Which is ostensibly Tortilla catering for the smaller appetite, but is in fact obliquely passive-aggressive. Of course I want large burrito. But I am a lady, which means I have to ask for medium in order to appear dainty, then feel cheated for the rest of the night. Sneaky Tortilla!

Their chicken is barn-reared, then marinated in a ‘mellow adobo,’ which sounds more like a hippy retreat than a sauce. As well as the usual lime and coriander rice, they offer Mexican rice, too. I don’t know what makes it Mexican. But it’s red. So, tomatoes, probably. They’re red, aren’t they?

I was briefly horrified when the person behind the counter put my chilled Diet Coke (£1.10) in the same basket as my hot burrito, but decided, in the spirit of international relations, to overlook it.

The only free table was draped in coats and luggage, so I stood next to it and coughed politely in a way that I hoped said, ‘Would you be so kind as to remove your bags before I go a bit Falling Down, dear chap?’ As a nearby group of tourists moved their things for me, I realised they were American, so I gave them a knowing smile and waggled my eyebrows.

‘I have been to New York,’ my smile said, mysteriously. ‘I, too, am wise in the Way of the Burrito,’ my eyebrows added. At least that’s what they were meant to say. The tourists probably ran home and told all their friends, ‘Damn, those Brit chicks are freaky, dude.’ (This is how people talk in America. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve been there. Yeah, I have).

Anyway, back to the burrito. After tracking down a bottle of Cholula sauce, I was able to employ my favoured drizzle-chomp-drizzle-chomp style of consumption. And very nice it was, too. Great balance of ingredients, very tasty chicken, lots of flavour. The hot sauce had real bite, but even without it there was plenty of heat, and for a medium it was pretty hefty. And the black beans weren’t too dry or too sloppy, but just right.

Hot stuff, coming through! *Sniggers*

At the end, I encountered a horrible gristly bit I had to spit out, which made me regard the rest of my burrito with wary suspicion. I silently thanked the Burrito Gods that I’d picked the right end to start at, otherwise I would have spent most of the meal waiting for a nasty surprise. Gristle Bomb Russian Burrito Roulette isnt my favourite game, to be honest, being more of a Scrabble kinda girl. Despite that one hiccup, it was one of the better burritos I’ve encountered so far.

A medium burrito, yesterday

Sadly, outside it was raining, making Oxford Street damper than an El Burrito chicken mole mess. I left Tortilla behind with a soon-to-be-soggy sigh, and a small gap in my stomach which made me yearn for simpler times, when only large burritos roamed the earth.

Mood before: Soggy and cold and hungry 

Mood after: Quietly satisfied. And soggy and cold. 

Rating: Food 7/10, Ambience 6/10, Staff 7/10, Value 7/10

Where: Islington, Southwark, Oxford Circus, Canary Wharf, Leadenhall Market and Hammersmith, seven days a week

Closest tube: Depends. You do the math.

Web: Find them here / @tortillauk

Recommended?: Yes. But make it a large one.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Aunt Selly on June 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I never understand how there can be a medium when there isn’t a small.


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