Hi, my name is Jeremy and I am a burrito addict. I’ve been addicted to burritos for quite some time now…
The first throes of my burrito addiction began on an innocent trip a few years ago to San Francisco. Ever since that first bite of a Mission burrito the world has been permanently tilted on its axis.
The Mission district in San Francisco is an area famous for its burritos, but its hard to know which is the best Taqueria to visit as there’s so many. This was a huge deal, we had to get this right, our first Mission burrito experience could not fail. We decided the best tactic was to find a dive bar and over an Anchor Steam beer ask some of the local hipsters for some advice. Little did we realise that this would lead to a very heated discussion between said group of hipsters and also an invitation to a local cemetery for a hipster shindig?! Gotta love those San Fran hipsters!
We declined on the bizarre cemetery shindig. We had no time for such hipster frivolity, we were here on a very ominous assignment with overtones of extreme personal danger! OK so maybe there wasn’t any personal danger, but we had to make sure we weren’t walking into to some half arsed faux burrito joint, ready to dash our burrito dreams and take our money, so we settled on a recommendation of Pancho Villa on 16th.
Once inside we were presented with a dazzling array of the freshest, tastiest Mexican food we’ve ever had the luck to witness. Nothing prepares you for it as a massive brigade of staff are all individually preparing meals like a beautiful conveyor belt of delicious Mexican treats. There’s about 10 different types of meat to choose from, whilst the burritos are about the size of a small child’s arm, tightly wrapped in tin foil served with nachos and of course we had to order two Tecate beers. The salsa bar is free, so you just fill up a little carton of nachos then decide out of the six salsas which one to go for.
Aine had the smokey chicken burrito and I had the shredded pork, both with extra cheese, sour cream and guacamole. It was everything we had dreamed of – smokey, meaty, satisfying, a good hit of chillies, the guacamole added a cool creamy richness and the salsas provided the necessary freshness and zing.
As a newbie to the world of burritos I watched other diners closely, studying their habits to see how they ate their burrito and there was a definite knack on display. The locals tackled their burritos by peeling away a small strip of tin foil after every bite, but the real key give away of a true burrito afficianado is adding a little dollop of salsa onto the burrito just before you take a bite, that way you get a nice hit of fresh salsa with each mouthful.
All types of people were eating in here, it was packed, old, young, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, everyone was loving this place, it felt like we had reached the beating heart of San Francisco. The icing on the cake was when a guy came in wearing a sombrero and serenaded the room with some Mexican flamenco.
After you taste your first burrito, there’s no going back. The chemical make up of your taste buds changes forever, then the cravings come and you must satisfy the cravings! You must feed!
Fortunately I get to feed my burrito habit at least once a week, sometimes more, thanks to Belfast’s best culinary cheap eat. I am of course talking about the brilliant Boojum.
Let’s be honest, the pickings are slim for good quality, value lunchtime options in and around Belfast city centre. There are way too many crap sandwich places, cardboard paninis, greasy filled sodas, burgers, wraps etc and not enough places like Boojum. You only have to walk past Boojum on Chichester Street between the hours of 12-2pm, any day of the week and you’ll witness the phenomenon I like to call the ‘Boojum effect.’ Wave upon wave of Belfast’s starved workers flocking to Boojum for their burrito fix.
A Boojum burrito never lets me down, it always tastes good. They are consistently the tastiest cheap eat Belfast has to offer, made in-house with the freshest ingredients. They’re good on a Monday, or on a Tuesday, particularly tasty on a Friday for the weekend warm-up buzz, or any day of the week, for lunch or dinner, when you’re hungover, or before a session, they’re great fuel if you want to run a marathon, or recovery food after the marathon. Whenever you get that craving, nothing else will do than a stonking big burrito filled to the brim, bursting at the seams!
Boojum is what fast food should be – created in front of you, in real quick time, using the best of fresh ingredients and packed full of flavour.
My perfect burrito from Boojum is on a soft wheat tortilla, filled with chicken, which is best when it’s a little bit caramelised and chewey round the edges, satisfying pinto beans and savoury Mexican rice. I usually go for the salsa verde or the hot salsa, smokey chipotle is good too, with cheese, sour cream and extra guacamole. In my opinion there should always be guacamole added to the burrito, always! Boojum guacamole is particularly good as its flecked with diced red onion, an authentic touch which adds a nice fresh sweet onion tang! I like to keep a bottle of hot sauce beside me to splash on to the mother load as I eat, but a word of warning, be careful of the habanero hot sauce, that stuff actually makes my cheeks sweat!
Washed down with a cold Brooklyn lager or an Anchor Steam beer. This combination never fails to bring a smile to my face. A burrito and beer for less than £9, such excellent quality for such amazing value. Can it be beaten? I’m not sure.
Now I’m not going to bang on about how to eat your burrito, this is after all a free country, you live how you want to live, but I will say this. A big no no is to unwrap all the tinfoil and then desecrate the beautiful burrito with a knife and fork. My heart breaks a little each time I see somebody doing this, you know who you are! Burrito in one hand, beer in the other, this is how it should be!
To conclude, in answer to my initial question, I think there is a strong case for the burrito as a super food. When you consider the burrito it covers all the basic food groups and it’s engineered in such a way that it is handy to eat, it really is a well rounded convenient meal. You get protein from the meat, carbs from the rice and tortilla, fibre and protein from the beans, lots of good vitamins from the fresh salsas and good healthy fats from the guacamole. It is a culinary invention of pure genius.
Boojum is the real deal, you can taste the passion and love in each bite. Thank you Boojum for bringing authentic Mission style burritos to Ireland, thank you for giving me a little taste of San Francisco every time I visit. Fellow burrito addicts, we are truly blessed that we have access to such delicious eats.
Boojum, my fellow burrito addicts and I salute you!
I’ll see you in the queue on Botanic Avenue or Chichester Street.