My perfect summer-time afternoon goes something like this:
1. A table at Utopia's cozy back patio.
2. A pitcher of sangria.
3. Giant burritos that satisfy all my friends - carnivore and herbivore alike.
4. Christian Bale's anecdotes.
Ok. Well, maybe not the last one. But what sets Utopia apart from eat-the-food-with-your-hands sit down restaurants is the quality of the food. Every time I eat there, the thought always occurs - has eating elsewhere tricked my brain into accepting blandness? The veggies at Utopia, whether the tumble of baby greens in the side salad or sandwich filling, are always bright and crisp. The grilled items are seasoned and cooked to a texture that just can't be replicated at home. Aha, this is what flavour is! Not to mention little extras like: flavoured mayo, goat's cheese, and various types of soy for meat substitutions.
As far as soy types go, the veggie burger ($7.50) has become one of my favourites - forget Lick's. The thick, char fragrant patty served on a foccacia-esque bun is so big that I get full about halfway through, but so yummy, it always gets finished. Clearing the mound of accompanying fresh cut fries can too be a challenge. But along with a 75 cent splurge on wasabi mayo, it's a worthy attempt.
The meat-centric nosh is equally impressive. Unlike at other places that serve Tex Mex, I don't have to ask what kind of beef is in the burrito. The steak and cheddar burrito ($10.99) is actually made with steak; strips that are surprisingly tender and juicy for such leanness. It exudes a nice touch of smokiness. The bbq effect also permeates the chicken and shrimp burrito ($11.99).
Utopia has breakfast options as well, for brunch lovers. Their complete menu is on their web site.