Nashville Restaurants and Food
El Burrito Mexicano
900 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Quality ingredients and a little care in the kitchen go a long way with Mexican food. It can help make old Americanized favorites seem fresh again, and on the simpler side, provide a great lunch. El Burrito Mexicano does all of that from a humble storefront in the Nashville Farmers’ Market.
The menu is barbecue and meat and three inspired. Pick a meat and a couple of sides and you have a meal. The corn tortillas are warmed up on the grill. Fresh and spicy pico de gallo, roasted jalapenos and several varieties of hot sauce await your choice just before check-out. Carnitas is a highlight: big chunks of shredded pork with enough bark and juice to give it excellent flavor. Combined with a side of roasted veggies and you can make your own, really awesome, tacos. Those roasted veggies are exceptional: marinated peppers, tomatoes and thick slices of onion; each bite pops with flavor and it’s hard to believe you’re eating this at a cafeteria line restaurant. The home fries also appear roasted and served with onions. They’re a pleasant alternative to the usual Mexican joint sides.
It’s the little touches that make all the difference at El Burrito: queso is tangy and savory, frijoles are creamy and the hot sauces have unique tastes and flavors. Nachos, chimichangas, tortas and burritos: all of the old favorites are here. El Burrito does shake things up a bit with fish tacos, catfish and whiting. In fact, when you see sweet potatoes, cabbage with basil and a fish sandwich on the menu it all seems like Southern soul is shining through. The mash up is welcome. It’s a nice change from the usual regimented ways of many Mexican-American menus.
Veggie Eater: I simply asked the person waiting on us what he would suggest for a vegetarian and he replied, “The burrito.” Now they bill their burrito as “as big as your head.” Eating food that is compared to body parts does not generally pique my interest, but when in Rome…I was then really surprised at how good it was. It was stuffed with beans, rice, lettuce and topped with a really good chile con queso. The beans were creamy, the rice fluffy. They have a condiment area where you can then accessorize to your hearts delight. I sampled each sauce (traditional barbecue, spicy barbecue, tomatillo, traditional hot sauce). The spicy barbecue got my attention; smoky and very hot. The tomatillo was vibrant. Then to the toppings; pico de gallo also has a kick; loaded with onion and cilantro. Whole roasted peppers have a nice afterburner. Onions in vinegar offer a soothing response. A standard burrito is not very interesting, but when made with really good ingredients and dressed up with an endless combination of accessories, it becomes a great quick lunch. Meat Eater commented that he thought it really was as big as my head (perhaps indicating I’m microcephalic?). Needless to say, plenty left over for another lunch on another day.
Meat Eater: No, my wife, your head size is quite average, it’s the burritos that are big. Let us hope that other couples don’t have this rather bizarre conversation over lunch. El Burrito has a breakfast menu of American classics, but I bet if you throw on a bit of that pico de gallo and some hot sauce and you’ll have something a bit more south of the border. We paid $17 with tax, a drink and tip.