A day off from work became my errand day, and I was finally able to finish my Christmas shopping (too late in the year for me, particularly because I am the type to stockpile presents throughout the year). At any rate, the weekday freedom meant I could meet Mack for lunch, so we decided to take the time to try out Mucho Burrito (10124 109 Street NW), a relatively new addition to the 109th Street complex.
I was expecting a similar meal experience to the one I had at Taco del Mar a few months back, a franchised chain that started popping up all over the city in the last two years. On the outset, the two eateries didn’t seem to be too different – a long ordering counter took up half of the space, while basic metal-framed tables meant not for lingering filled up the rest of the area. Mucho Burrito was decidedly less kitschy décor-wise (no tiki-bar or neon signs to be had here), but the playful posters (one featuring an oversized burrito on a forklift) reminded me very much of Famoso’s early wall coverings. Their overhead LCD screens, though notable, were unfortunately out of focus as they cycled through in-house advertisements.
We joined the line – which didn’t let-up through our brief stay, even though it was after 1pm – and were greeted by indifferent but amazingly efficient staff. They had their assembly line roles down pat, and whisked us through the ordering process in minutes.
This new breed of taco stand separates itself from their fast food cousins by offering choice at every turn – from the white or whole-wheat tortilla, to brown or black beans, to chicken, beef, or vegetarian filling, to supplementary sauces and toppings, the price reflects the approach to a custom order. My small burrito, Burrito Pequeno, was priced at $6.99, while Mack’s namesake Mucho Burrito was $10.99 – we were definitely out of value menu territory.
Down the assembly line we went – I chose a white tortilla, brown beans, beef and cilantro to accompany the lime rice, cheese and salsa base. We each ended up with a perfectly wrapped burrito in an aluminium pizza pan, a practical alternative to plastic trays, as Mack’s bottle of pop was better restricted from rolling off onto the floor.
Aluminium tray alternative
We sat down at a table and dug in. The combination of all flavours together – the smoky chipotle sauce, the tang of the lime rice, the juicy, savoury shards of braised beef, and the freshness of the cilantro – really sold the burrito for me. Mack could barely get his mouth around his burrito (easily double the size of mine), but gave it a thumbs up as well – he was full for hours afterwards. Of course, for $11, his hunger should have definitely been addressed.
Mack takes a bite out of his burrito
In all, Mucho Burrito provided a satisfying lunch, and a meal that was much better than one we had obtained at Taco del Mar. Ideal for take-out or a quick stop, while not inexpensive, Mucho Burrito was both fast and filling.
10124 109 Street NW (2 more locations in Edmonton coming soon)