Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fast Food “Artistry” shifts from sandwich to taco

Eating on the go can be challenging, especially if you lead a healthy lifestyle. The easiest thing for me has always been Subway, a quick service restaurant built on the little-known mandate at the time (in Canada they opened in the glorious 80s) of fresh ingredients. Now, after years of eating there and after a few so-called sandwich “artists” have ruined my veggie patty, it’s time for a change.

A niche market for Mexican food lovers has recently emerged in Canada, where burrito eating has become a bit of a sensation.  In the GTA we have places like Big Fat Burrito in Kensington Market and a number of Burrito Boys in the areas of Port Credit and downtown Toronto, to name a few. They represent a revolution of healthy-minded individuals who love the fresh ingredients and spicy flavours of Mexican food, but have been searching for something better than the sad tortillas from Taco Bell.

On the west coast of Vancouver, healthier options include Burrito Bros. Taco Company in Kitsilano. They make all of their food in-house, and their ingredients come in fresh on a daily basis. Homemade tortilla chips and salsa, both roja (red) and verde (green) are included with every meal, a crispy complement to the juicy burritos. Each one is packed to the brim with veggies, rice and beans, and your choice of protein: beef, chicken or Baja fish.  Impressively, they even have veggie “ground round”, a simulated ground meat that most vegetarians are familiar with, but something I have never seen on any restaurant menu. All of these fresh ingredients are topped with zesty pico de gallo, and burrito sauce, but you can also add your own heat with a variety of hot sauces that are the real Mexican deal.

This place is excellent if you’re on a budget, since most of the dishes range from $7-8, and you can get Red Truck on draft for $4.50 and double Margaritas for $6.25. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a 2 oz. drink anywhere in the city at this price! The atmosphere is casual but colourful in its vibrant Mexican décor, and the wait time for your food is usually only 10 minutes, depending on how busy it is. When the weather permits, they have a great sun-facing patio: a perfect place to enjoy a Corona or Pacifico while chomping down on a spicy burrito.

One of the most impressive things about Burrito Bros. is that they have a Buy 10 Get 1 Free card! They even keep it on file for you (don’t worry, it won’t be too hard to find as they are organized by letter and gender). I haven’t seen something like that on offer since the days of Subway stamps, which was discontinued with no clear explanation. I mean, if privately-owned Burrito Bros. can do it, why can’t they?

Burritos Bros. is located at 2209 West 4th Ave. in Kitsilano, Vancouver. Visit their website at


  1. Mmmm... this place sounds amazing! I have definately jumped onto the burrito bandwagon. Hopefully we'll make it out to Van again sometime and Burrito Bros will be on the top of my list of things to do!