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Finding a wet burrito in Toronto?

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markml Jun 18, 2008 03:42 PM

So ok, I know there are a lot more burrito shops here than there were 5 years ago, some almost decent, but recently I've been having a craving for what's commonly called a "wet burrito" where I grew up in California.

Sometimes this is also called an "enchilada style" burrito, since it's essentially a burrito-enchilada hybrid. They're really delicious!

Does anyone know of places in the GTA, preferably downtown Toronto, that make these?

  1. Calipoutine Jun 28, 2008 09:15 AM

    I grew up in Cali too and I'm stuck in small town Exeter( near London). At least your in the GTA area. Last year we got a Taco Del Mar in London and I had such high hopes. It totally sucks though. My new motto is " If I want it, I make it myself".

    1. u
      USAAndreaB Jun 28, 2008 06:27 AM

      There isn't an authentic restaurant here that serves Mexican or Baja-Mex food, so no wet burritos. I'm from Colorado, so I know real Mexican and Toronto is sorely lacking. Not sure where Chipotle is going in, but it normally has great Tex-Mex food which is plentiful and good quality. Free range meats, freshly made salsas etc. Give it a try if you want a closer taste of home, because nothing else in Toronto will come close unfortunately. If I find another restaurant in town, I will let you know.

      1. c
        cheezy1 Jun 27, 2008 01:17 PM

        I know this is a bit of a hike from downtown but I was just at El Sombrero at Hurontario & Brunel in Mississauga (Brunel is just south of Eglinton and the 401 exit) and they have a wet burrito. I had a regular burrito and it was excellent and if you search through the board, El Sombrero has favourable reviews.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheezy1
          Kagemusha Jun 28, 2008 02:30 PM

          It's not worth the drive from TO. The food is edible but unremarkable. As for the burritos, there's better in American grocers' freezer cases. DIY and the fun of tracking down relatively available ingredients beats TO resto Mexican any day.

        2. j
          jrhughes Jun 27, 2008 06:11 AM

          I have eaten at Tequila Sunrise on Adelaide just west of University, the food was terrific, but can't say if they have wet burritos!

          1. foodyDudey Jun 20, 2008 05:36 PM

            A few weeks ago I saw a relatively new burrito place on the south side of Danforth, about a 1 minute walk east of Pape. I'll pick up a menu and report back what they have available.

            1. l
              Lipant Jun 20, 2008 01:55 PM

              Mucho Burrito has a version of these. I haven't tried it but everything else they do is great! they are a small chain and the ones we go to are either the Dixie Rd one in Mississauga, or the one on Hwy 7 in Vaughan at the Famous Players cinema.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Lipant
                m
                markml Jun 26, 2008 05:08 PM

                Hmm...that's interesting. Do you know if there's a Mucho Burrito closer to downtown?

                1. re: markml
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                  abigllama Jun 27, 2008 05:37 PM

                  A friend of mine works out by Mucho Burrito and went to check out the wet burrito. He spent 2 years in California for work, so also misses the joy of the WB.

                  His report back wasn't good, said there was undercooked rice, it all fell apart after a couple of fork fulls, and the wet sauce was like a tomato juice rather than the usual ranchero/enchilida sauce... yuck.

                  1. re: abigllama
                    m
                    markml Jun 28, 2008 08:08 PM

                    Sigh...that's dissapointing, although I'm not surprised after looking at the story on their website...looked like another gringo attempt to pass off as authentic Mexican to Canadians.

                    1. re: markml
                      b
                      befuggled Jul 6, 2008 10:58 AM

                      The problem isn't gringos per se. The problem is uninspired recipes, poor ingredients and poor execution--which the dining public lets them get away with.

                      Look at Rick Bayless. While I've only eaten at the Frontera Grill once, and I've read mixed things about his restaurants at Chowhound, Bayless has helped popularize high-quality Mexican food in the Chicago area. It does help that the Chicago area has a growing Mexican population.

              2. a
                abigllama Jun 18, 2008 07:06 PM

                I'm a big fan of the "wet burrito" and have yet to see anything like it in the GTA. I had a Rubio's near the office when I worked in Vallejo, CA and used to get one probably once a week. The only I've seen in Canada was a fast food chain place in Vancouver.

                11 Replies
                1. re: abigllama
                  m
                  markml Jun 19, 2008 01:33 AM

                  Yep, Rubio's and Baja Fresh are two good chains in California.

                  I just had a dry burrito today at Quesada on Wellington and it was pretty pathetic...

                  The "carne asada" was rubbery, not marinated or tender, not even grilled. The beans were watery and not properly strained. The hot sauce wasn't hot. The sour cream looked like some kind of salad dressing. The rice was even bland...I don't even know how it's possible to make bland rice, but they somehow did it!

                  In all honesty, if I had some time and money, I'd open my own burrito shop in Toronto. It's like the places around here aren't even trying to use good ingredients.

                  1. re: markml
                    TorontoJo Jun 19, 2008 05:36 AM

                    If you do a scan of this board, you'll quickly find that good Mexican or even Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex is nearly impossible to find here. There is a reason so many of us are excited that Chipotle is opening up. I've never seen a wet burrito here. My favourite in the Bay area was at Cocina Poblana. Yum.

                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      m
                      markml Jun 19, 2008 06:04 PM

                      Yeah, I already know how sad it is up here.

                      But c'mon, Mexican food has got to be one of the easiest cuisines to prepare (even the real stuff, not burritos). It's not supposed to be gourmet or anything fancy. It's based upon the principle of simplicity. Asian cuisines are far more complicated, and you find plenty of those. I don't know why Toronto can't pull this off.

                      But anyway, Chipotle won't be serving wet burritos. There must be somebody in Toronto who makes them!

                      1. re: markml
                        TorontoJo Jun 21, 2008 04:05 AM

                        That's painting Mexican cuisine with a pretty broad stroke. Moles are incredibly complex and time consuming to make. Ever had a bad tortilla? I have, and you'd think they'd be the easiest thing in the world since there are essentially two ingredients. And Rick Bayliss and Diana Kennedy have done a lovely job showcasing the complexities of regional Mexican cuisine.

                        Regardless, there are no wet burritos here that I'm aware of (except maybe Mucho Burrito, described below). And if you are really wondering why there is so little Mexican food in Toronto compared to Asian food, all you have do is look at the relative population of Mexicans to Asians.

                        I'm sure you could go to any of the Mexican/Latin American restaurants in town that serve enchiladas and burritos and ask them to make you what you're looking for. Jalapeno's, Mariachi's, Fiesta Azteca, La Mexicana, El Sol, El Trompo, Johny Banana are your best bets.

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          m
                          markml Jun 26, 2008 05:06 PM

                          Nah...I'm not that fussy. Not a huge fan of guacamole anyway. Mexican cuisine as we know it essentially originated from what the peasants eat, since the rich people in Mexico eat mostly European food. Simplicity is the key to getting it right, and good ingredients are the key to making it tasty. That, and don't screw it up by adding the wrong seasonings and flavors to the mix.

                          If you order a taco or even a burrito from a street vendor in LA, it's essentially just some meat wrapped in a tortilla. The meat is not very healthy for you, because I believe they cook it in lard, but it still taste good.

                          I prefer the slightly more embellished San Francisco style burrito with healthier ingredients, but you have to realize that this is something that white people invented.

                          And the meat is still the most important ingredient. No matter where you're from, you should be able to tell the difference between meat that tastes good and meat that doesn't. If you wouldn't use bad meat in an Asian dish, you shouldn't use it in a Mexican dish either. The hardest ingredient to get right might be the salsa, hot sauce, guacamole or other condiments, but these can be imported.

                          The problem in Toronto, I think, doesn't have so much to do with certain immigrant populations existing here or not existing here, but rather the attitude that Mexican food is still a novelty and so it's okay to use poor ingredients.

                      2. re: TorontoJo
                        t
                        The perfect bite Jun 27, 2008 07:40 AM

                        Isn't Chipotle a sister company or owned by Mc Donald's...maybe I'm wrong...can anyone verify?

                        1. re: The perfect bite
                          TorontoJo Jun 27, 2008 08:27 AM

                          They were owned by McDonald's, but I believe they were split off a few years ago. I didn't hold it against them. ;) Seriously, though, they are/were run completely independently of the big McD.

                          1. re: TorontoJo
                            t
                            The perfect bite Jun 27, 2008 10:47 AM

                            Thanks TorontoJo - I may give them a try now! - thanks again for the reassurance ;)

                        2. re: TorontoJo
                          Calipoutine Jun 28, 2008 09:17 AM

                          Let me guess, the Chipotle is in Toronto right? Figures, we get Nada in London.

                          When I go to MI to visit friends, I buy a few and chuck them in the freezer. Not as good as fresh, but better than the alternative( Taco Del Mar) in London. They make you pay if you want sour cream. I've never heard of such a thing. To me, S. cream is mandatory on a burrito.

                          1. re: Calipoutine
                            m
                            markml Jun 28, 2008 08:35 PM

                            A few days ago, I walked past where the Chipotle will be outside the Toronto Life Center, and peeked inside to see how the contruction workers were doing. From the looks of it, it's going to be a little while before they'll be ready for business...

                            Does anyone know if this is going to be a franchise or not? I assume (and hope) it won't be since Chipotle doesn't do franchising in the U.S. Almost every American restaurant chain that I've seen gets screwed up when it gets franchised in Canada. Even Burger King is worse in Canada than in the U.S. (ever notice that nothing you order in Canadian fast food places looks anything like it does in the picture?)

                        3. re: markml
                          a
                          abigllama Jun 20, 2008 12:23 AM

                          Quesada is pretty bad and was worse the last time I had a free coupon or something there. The gelatenous salsa was kinda freaky too.

                          For now give up on the wet burrito concept. But for a decent burrito go check out Johny Banana at Queen and Bathurst. The spiucing is unique, not like you're used to but blows away Quesada or Boyz etc.

                          If you're looking for decent dumbed down US chain Burrito Moe's Southwest Grill will fill a void. Get it to go because the "WELCOME TO MOE's" yelling every minute gets super old.

                          Moe's has a more traditional burrito, so I guess you could get one take out, pour some enchilada sauce over it with some grated cheddar and toss it in the oven for a few minutes..and you have a wet burrito.

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