johny banana burrito
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Johny Banana

Johny Banana is a brightly coloured, pleasant little eatery on the corner of Queen and Bathurst. Decked out in lime green and orange, and covered in paintings of Mexican wrestlers and surfers, this bright little resto specializes in "burritos that taste authentically Mexican". But don't worry, Northerners, they'll also appeal to diners who favour the familiar comfort of Tex Mex flavours.

My friend and I met at Johnny Banana one day for lunch in their sun-drenched dining room, and I asked my server to recommend a burrito. He suggested pork or chicken, so I went for the standard chicken while my friend ordered the mole version. We both received our burritos quickly.

johny banana toronto

The first thing I noticed upon biting into my generous burrito was the absence of spice. According to my friend, I was supposed to ask for it: but my server didn't mention it, so I just figured that being a Mexican place, I'd get some. I figured wrong. I'm sure this all could've been remedied with a trip back to the serving counter, but I was too lazy and too hungry, and even without hot pepper sauce, my burrito provided sufficient flavour to keep me seated.

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Dominated by the limey zest of lime-rice, my burrito's citrus top notes were piquant compliments to earthy beans, green vegetables and sweet, tender chicken. Although not as spicy as I'd have liked it, my burrito was definitely fresh and flavourful.

Trading bites with my dining companion, I expected to be driven to jealousy by his mole-drizzled version, but was sad to learn that his burrito was just like mine, only blander. I could see the mole sauce, but I couldn't taste it. We're both mole fans, and were saddened by our loss.

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My meal at Johny Banana wasn't making me scream "Aye Curumba!", but it was tasty, fresh and reasonably priced. I won't go out of my way to grab a burrito here, but I will stop by when I'm in the neighbhourhood--and next time, I'll ask for hot sauce.

Large burritos: $6.95/each


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