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Restaurants

La Burrita

Posted by Anders Whist / Listed on May 14, 2013 / review policy

La Burrita TorontoLa Burrita recently opened its doors on the outskirts of Little Korea, its northern Mexican cuisine replacing the previous tenant's Ethiopian offerings. One of a few Mexican restaurants along this stretch of Bloor (think Tacos El Asador and Mexitaco), the restaurant's nondescript exterior belies the bustling scene inside, where music blares, the staff is friendly, and the food comes out quickly to meet the lunch rush.

La Burrita TorontoLa Burrita's menu offers a few staple northern Mexican dishes served in a dizzying array of configurations. Tacos, tostadas, burritos, tamales and quesadillas are dished out with up to 15 different meat, seafood, and vegetable options, from carnitas to chorizo to chilorio; a comprehensive sample would take several visits and be well worth it, as the food is rich and plentiful in addition to being inexpensive and delicious.

La Burrita TorontoTacos ($2.90) are the best way to sample the different menu options. Most come with similar underlying architecture: pico de gallo and salsa verde; onions, salsa verde and cilantro; or rice, beans, sour cream, salsa verde and salsa roja.

La Burrita TorontoTry starting with the chorizo: it's a bit greasy, but pleasantly spicy and delicious, stuffed to the point of overflowing. The chipotle pork is similarly bursting, both in terms of mass and flavour, as its spicy sauce combines with salsa and rice to form an almost open faced burrito. Fish, lightly battered, is tender and flaky, but its pairing with a salsa fresca (or pico de gallo, depending on your nomenclature preferences) is less effective on the whole.

La Burrita TorontoThe carnitas and beef cheek tacos, served with cilantro, onion and salsa verde, are also good; the beef cheek a little fattier and richer and the carnitas moister and tastier. The asada (flank steak) is a bit tough but makes up for it in flavour, which is more than one would expect from a simple and quickly cooked cut of steak. The veggie tacos in this case really mean olives and lettuce, and are a bit meagre compared to other options, but for the more adventurous, a type of cactus, is also available.

La Burrita TorontoTostadas ($4.99) and tamales ($3.30) are both also worth sampling, in particular the later. The corn husk steamed dough is slathered in beans, salsa verde and cream, and stuffed with (in this case) chicken. The meat is moist, the masa warm and the salsa is tangy with heat; it's a potent combination and at $3.30 an outright steal.

La Burrita TorontoThe tostadas are also jam packed, with rice, lettuce, salsa, and meat, in this case chilorio, slow cooked pork that's then fried in a chile sauce. The meat is tender and richly sauced, and studded with little mouthwatering chunks of fat. The iceberg lettuce isn't going to win any awards, but the other ingredients, combined with the crunchy tostada, more than make up for it.

La Burrita TorontoSomewhat ironically, the only misfire of our meal is the burrito, or burrita ($9.99) in this case. Burritos as we might know them here owe as much to California as anywhere else; the traditional northern Mexican ones usually offer one or two ingredients as opposed to the smorgasbord of toppings available further north. It's not a bad idea in principle, but the execution here leaves much to be desired.

The carnitas burrito is almost entirely rice and meat, and when freed from the company of vegetables, the pork's saltiness overpowers, almost to the point of inedibility. Even slugging back a Jarritos pop or beer (they are licensed) is barely enough to get the taste of salt out of the mouth.

This isn't enough to put a damper on the meal, though, which really is excellent through and through. The dishes aren't flashy, and there isn't a signature dish that really turns heads, but the great value, large portions and overall quality make La Burrita well worth a visit.

La Burrita TorontoPhotos Miranda Whist

Follow Anders on Twitter at @awhist

Discussion

12 Comments

Anna / May 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm
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Blah, this place is bland and not worth exploring. Just save yourself the time and effort and walk the extra block and go to Tacos El Asador! They even have a new AND delicious goat taco.
west of the junction / May 14, 2013 at 01:20 pm
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not sure the hype for el asador... seven lives is SO much better.

seven lives is the best tacos in toronto. closest thing to california (mission district and LA)
b replying to a comment from west of the junction / May 14, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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If you knew anything about the mission, SF is know for burritos, not tacos.

This does look good. I haven't been to El asador in a while due to the price increase for how much you get.
da / May 14, 2013 at 02:57 pm
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This place is OK - I would not travel for these tacos though for real. T.O. has enough options in that department....
BB / May 14, 2013 at 03:37 pm
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Oh my god, this is the worst mexican I've had in Toronto so far, everything is bland as hell and wet, tortillas just fall apart. want a wet mushy fish taco? this is the spot to go. I can see the owner's vision. Some white lady marries a latino, convinces him to open a taco spot cause it's "trendy" hires inexperienced cooks and staff. Recipe for a fail. This place is worse than that Asada place on St. Clair, same S**t different Address. BRUTAL.
Crap / May 14, 2013 at 05:08 pm
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I'm never picky about service at restaurants, but this place was shockingly bad. I visited with a few friends late in the evening, when the place wasn't busy at all, and was surprised to see the group ahead of us go up to complain to the owner that they hadn't received their food yet. It turns out that he hadn't even started on their orders, and had been standing around chatting the whole time.

The same pattern continued for our orders. The owner would make one of our dishes, send it out, then take a break for a few minutes before starting on the next one. Our group ate one at a time, while the rest of us waited for our orders. By the time he reached the me, he had completely forgotten the order, and I, too, had to go up and complain that my food hadn't come.

This was with only *FIVE* customers in the whole place. Unbelievable.

Also, the vegetarian taco is shit. It's basically rice in a taco shell, with a few sparse veggies and a splash of salsa on top.
SW / May 15, 2013 at 11:19 am
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With all the taco joints popping up all over the city, it's hard to decipher what's good and what warrants a miss.

Despite the bad reviews on this post, I actually had a great experience at La Burrita last weekend. I had the carnita tacos, which were so delicious - juicy and flavourful - that I'm already itching to get back there and try everything else.

In the past, I've really taken into consideration the bad comments/reviews people post on blogTO regarding restaurants in Toronto, and have probably missed out on a lot of great places because of it. This is a perfect example of hugely different opinions, so I urge you to give this little spot a chance.

Plus, they're open late (I went around 1am).
Mark / May 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm
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This place looks pretty awesome...!
Josh / May 20, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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I love this place. The Burrita's are amazing. The Taco's are awesome. And the nacho's are great too. I have taken many of my employees and at least 5 other friends here, and all but one person loved it, and the lone dissenter still liked it.

- Josh Rapport
patriot / May 22, 2013 at 06:12 pm
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Just don't get their hot chocolate... Taste was okay, but it was lumpy and microwaved from cold.
Bhoi Howdee replying to a comment from Crap / May 24, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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Looks like the "cook" needed to rest between each dish he made. Maybe the customers should rest after they eat for a few days before paying. Why do the filings in the taco shells looks like a singing lunch aftermath?
Alison / September 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm
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I went at 11:45am today. Despite the sign saying they are opened at 10am, they were not. Big disappointment. Super annoyed

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