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Oct 10, 2008 12:58 PM

San Francisco Style Burritos in Montreal

Tall, thin white woman with Cali flavor in new city seeks tradiitonal, San Francisco style burrito place in Montreal...

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  1. Sadly we have very very limited options in terms of burritos here in Montreal. I don't think you will have any luck finidng exactly what you're looking for.

    One of the better burritos in town is the Burrito Grande, available at La Chilenita, a restaurant specializing in Chilean and Tex-Mex style foods. However, we ordered it once from the location on St-Laurent Blvd and it was terrible (microwaved and charred into its styrofoam container)- though it's always been great at the rue Napoleon location.

    Another burrito alternative is Burrito Village, on Sherbrooke St. West in NDG (and a new location on Bishop that just opened). They serve vegetarian burritos and have very few menu options. I don't think this will satisfy your SF style burrito craving though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mainsqueeze

      Hey Mairead, welcome to Montreal! Funny, I just tried my first mission burrito 2 days ago in SF! (Tacqueria El Farolito, 2779 Mission @ 24th). I can understand why you're so addicted any why my husband's been raving about 'em for the last decade - these things are crazy good. Thus far I have not come across anything similar anywhere in Montreal...we are pretty weak in the Mexican food department, though.

      Mainsqueeze, can you describe what Chilenita's burrito is like? What kind of meat, what kind of beans, etc.

      1. re: anachemia

        You can get it with beef or chicken. It has black beans in it, if I remember correctly, as well as rice, cheese, and guacamole, and is served with their spicy red empanada sauce. It's wrapped in a large flour toritilla (not sure where they get them!).

        The empanadas are worth having too. My favourite is the chilena, which has beef, hard boiled egg and black olive in it.

      2. re: mainsqueeze

        Sorry, it's called Burritoville, not Burrito Vilage.

      3. MIssion style burritos are even hard to find outside of the Bay Area so you can imagine they're off the radar here in Montreal. As sorry as it sounds, Taco Bell might be the closest you'll come to it with the 7 layer burrito. I know, it's sad...

        8 Replies
        1. re: Campofiorin

          I can't believe someone started this thread, which I've been toying with doing for some time now.

          I lived in the bay area for six years and have constant Mission-burrito cravings. While there are lots of pretty good taquerias in town, and the number seems to be increasing weekly, you can't get a decent burrito. I would agree with the comment above about La Chilenita, at least the St. Laurent location - another in a string of disappointments. I've tried places out in NDG (bad vegetarian burrito) to the Village, to the various places in my neighbourhood around the market - no luck.

          I think the main problem here is that you can't get fresh tortillas in the size you need for Mission-style burritos.

          1. re: Campofiorin

            And since we're on the topic of Bay area foods, I would also love if it someone could recreate Zante's Indian pizza.

            1. re: FoodNovice

              Here, here! I too miss all the Cali goodies and one trip out west per year is a must; unfortunately there are no good substitutes.

                1. re: mainsqueeze

                  I looked it up yesterday because I was intrigued too - not sure if you've seen it yet, but their site explains a bit about what they do - basically, Indian toppings/flavours on a pizza base. A bit weird, but maybe it works!


                2. re: FoodNovice

                  At Sandhu they make a pizza called the Cachemire. It's got curry chicken, cheese, fresh tomatoes and coriander.

                  It's at 4548 Papineau (just north of Montreal.

                  1. re: mainsqueeze

                    Anyone taste it, to see if it's good? I know there's a pizzeria in Toronto, that uses Indian toppings(run by a Indian family).

                    1. re: BLM

                      Oh I forgot to reply, sorry. I had it one time. I thought it was really great for the first few bites but I soon got a bit overwhelmed by the rich, creamy curriness of it all. Maybe I wasn't hungry enough that day. It's worth a try, I'd say.

                      By the way it's 4548 Papineau, north of Mont-Royal. I made a mistake in my previous post about this.


              1. I just like stylish question.....

                1. I'm no burrito expert but my usual favourite is Taqueria Mex, on St. Laurent between Marie-Anne and Rachel. I like the burrito grande with either steak or chicken (the chicken tastes like they use Portuguese-style grilled chicken, not that nasty boiled shredded stuff) and rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream. I love the salsa bar, too. And as I recall, the one I had at Pancho Villa in San Fran was pretty similar.

                  1. should not have done this to me. I lived in the bay area about ten years, in the mission no less, on alabama for a while, and then on 24th street. El Farolito was my second home and the salsa at casa sanchez, killed. just killed. (and the Indian za was a good late night choice as well. i love to mention it to friends here for their reaction)

                    Ive been here for like 3 years now, and have an urge nearly everyday. Sorry folks, while Chilenita is OK, it aint nothin like the mission. The place on St. Laurent near Portugese Park is decent, might be close to a third tier place in SF that you might find somewhere near Union st. :)

                    There are two places though that might, just might be our saving grace however. A place is on Park Ave, between Fairmount and Laurier, west side of the street. Looks like a good hole in the wall, but every time i walk by there it is NEVER open. Stuff moves around inside, and things change, so there is life at some point, I just cant figure out when.

                    2. There is a place further up St. Laurent, below Jean Talon, west side of the street. Again, I have been nearby there on off times. Last sunday was there at 11:50am and there was a huge group of folks in there (well like 3 tables) watching mexican tv - soccer. I thought to myself 'oh my' I asked if they were serving lunch yet - and no one spoke english very well, and i started to salivate. But when we finally successfully communicated, they said they weren't ready to make lunch yet!! foiled. this place also sell mariachi cds too, I am hopeful, if anyone gets there b4 i do, please send in a report.

                    oh and while we're at it , if anyone knows where i can get a decent margarita, a la - oh no Ive been away too long - umm like the mission joint at 20th and valencia, the one that was in perpetual xmas, please pass it on....i would die for a little mariachi, margaritas and then to stumble up to 24th and mission....mmmm

                    all that said, Ive resorted to making my own salsa verde, ive manged to replicate the stuff at farolito fairly well, and anyone who knows, knows it varied pretty wildly from day to day....oh and the best, well, only place to get for real tortillas is now at the jean talon market, again, I forget what the place is called, but its the only mexican place there....

                    good luck on the hunt

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: delray

                      If the place on Parc you're talking about is Taco Loco. I would forget about it. The guy has no idea what he's doing. It's the kind of Mexican food you would expect to get at a German road stop.

                      1. re: delray

                        Tortillera Maya is the place. I'm happy to see tyhem there, it's a nice addition, but I've also found that the prices have increased from their original place on St-Laurent. Maybe it's because the price of corn has raised significantly lately, but I suspect that the rent at JTM is pretty steep.

                        1. re: Campofiorin

                          Tortilleria Maya moved to Jean Talon Market. I'm not sure this is the place delray is referring to. Besides, does Tortilleria Maya serve burritos?

                          1. re: mainsqueeze

                            Tortilleria Maya (JTM) do serve burritos. However, I cannot get over the idea that they reheat them in foam plates in the microwave...

                            1. re: mainsqueeze

                              They do have burritos. At least I've seen it on their menu, but I don't think they're anything like Mission burritos. They're more like actual Mexican burritos i.e. not the size of your arm and with less garnish.

                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                Delray: I lived at the other end of the Mission (16th and Albion, 18th and Shotwell), so although El Farolito was great, I tended to go to Cancun or La Cumbre. I remember the xmas place and a google search comes up with La Rondalla. How about Juan's in West Berkeley?

                                In my perpetual search, I tried the place on St. Laurent not long after it opened and it is Mexican-style, as SnackHappy points out.

                                Tacqueria Mex is the closest in spirit to a Mission tacqueria in MTL, sadly, and I think calling it 3rd-tier is a stretch as it lacks some of the basics, like decent refried beans and the assembly-line selection of ingredients. I like the idea of their salsa bar, just not any of the salsas they offer.

                                I'm also resorting to trying to recreate the tastes of the Mission at home. Tonight's carne asada wasn't too bad...

                                1. re: BernalKC

                                  I've had lots of Salvadoran & Mexican. Never seen Puerto Rican, have heard of one or two Cuban places but I don't think they're common.

                              2. re: mainsqueeze

                                This line is pretty explicit I think :

                                oh and the best, well, only place to get for real tortillas is now at the jean talon market, again, I forget what the place is called, but its the only mexican place there....

                                1. re: Campofiorin

                                  Sorry, I misread. I though you were referring to this: "There is a place further up St. Laurent, below Jean Talon, west side of the street."


                              3. re: Campofiorin

                                Does Tortilleria Maya make corn tortillas? Is there anywhere else I can find corn tortillas (say a supermarket) because I won't be able to make it to JTM anytime soon.

                                1. re: hungryann

                                  Tortilleria Maya makes corn tortillas and you can find them in all the latino shops in town plus some specialty/gouremt shops. The flour tortillas I've bought at Maya were from Aladdin bakers in Brooklyn NY. You can find those same flour tortillas at Aubut.

                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                    Good news, fellow Mission-burrito cravin' chowhounds! I just found some ginormous flour tortillas (frozen, imported from Chicago) at the Mexican market* on St. Laurent just north of Marianne. They are at least 12", easily the biggest I've ever seen in Montreal.

                                    The same store also sells tins of whole pinto beans in sauce, which are part of my evolving SF burrito arsenal. I am whippin up the rest of the fixins right now, and will report back on how well these tortillas perform. (The trick to Missionizing 'em is to micro-steam the empty tortilla in a wet paper towel for at least 1 min on high power, works like a charm!)

                                    One last thing - if you trek out to this place, be sure to try some of their Columbian empanadas, distinguishable by their yellow corn wrapper. They are really something special!

                                    * Note: The sign outside says Sabor Latino, the register receipt says Marche Andes, but evidently their real name is Marche Andes Gloria. Don't be fooled by Google - this place is on the east side of the Main, not Jean-Talon or Belanger.

                                    Supermarché Andes Gloria
                                    4387 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W, CA

                                    1. re: anachemia

                                      Marche Andes is a classic CH place. This is my go-to place for take-out tamales, very satisfying and cheap and a great mid-week meal. The fillings are tasty, and the outer corn layer is remarkably soothing. My biggest knock on this tamale is that the meat is occasionally tough and stringy, but this tamale is not about the meat, it is about the corn. And $3-5 for a meal that can be nuked in 1-2 minutes? Priceless...

                                      They have a daily selection of hot plates of food. They make the pupusa on site by hand, you can see them patting them out from time to time. The cheese pupusa is my personal favorite. Their lunch plates are a great deal, and are very tasty. They pay appropriate attention to the sides such as the rice and beans, which are excellent when fresh.

                                      They also have a small but nice selection of latin american groceries, although I wish they would expand their selection slightly (eg. more dried chiles so I can try to make my own Oaxacan mole: almost out of the tub I brought back!!!). We also ordered a pinata once - lots of fun, although they are surprisingly hard to break open.

                                      Cheap, fast, yummy food. Can't mess with that formula. I wouldn't go out of my way to get there to eat, but it is a great stop when in the neighbourhood. Well... perhaps I would go out of my way, it is one of those places that gets under your skin and reels you in.

                                      1. re: anachemia

                                        Meh - the imported gigantic tortillas were okay size-wise, but only so-so on texture & flavour: they tasted defrosted and were crumbly at the edges. Actually, I take it back - compared with authentic Mission burritos, they were still on the small side. Did I mention they were $4.79 for a pack of 10?

                                        Sorry guys, hope I didn't lead anyone else off this particular cliff with me. I guess we'll have to make do for now with the regular 10-inchers we can get around here. (but don't hold it against Marche Andes - moh was right on, that place absolutely rocks and is still worth the trip!)