If you like your burritos big — and who doesn’t??? — get your butt down Rue de Courcelle where it hits Notre Dame and pop into Tejano BBQ Burrito. The recently opened burrito-ery brings scrummy good tex-mex to St. Henri’s foodie happenings.
The team behind Tejano is the same as the folks behind Verdun’s Blackstrap BBQ + Rustique Pie Kitchen. I drive/metro/jog for Blackstrap with a certain regularity and have seen its menu and line grow since inception. This second option for meat in the Sud-Ouest might relieve some of the pressure on the Verdun joint, but… probably not. Already, it’s hard to snag a seat at Tejano’s tight-n-tidy window-set counter top and stools.
The food is, as expected, super. I suppose I was expecting something closer to M4 Burritos, the Chipotle chain knock off. M4 Burrito is okay, but nothing special. The meat can be watery or dry, as can any of the toppings. But let’s get back to the burrito joint in question…
A fast moving line to the counter of Tejano allows a choice of four different “meats” if you include the vegetarian option: beans, pork, chicken, or beef. But let’s clarify: it’s not just pork. It’s chorizo spiced pulled pork. The beef, ancho cumin bbq. The chicken, smoked tinga. Veggie is beans — black with hominy, pinto refried, spanish rice. The black beans are a perfect slightly stewy mix of buttery/firm beans spiked with the studs of chewy hominy. Take your pick. Which of these should you go with? All of them. Go back four (or five or six) times and try them all. Each one is notably different from the rest and each one hits great spice and herby notes. I’m a sucker for ancho chilis, so the moister-and-tastier-than-I-thought-it-would-be ancho cumin bbq beef has become my personal pick. I taste the BBQ sweetness, the elegance and pungency of the cumin and ancho in every bite.
So, after the meat, there are bases. Base #1) A Trojan condom-sized tortilla. And by Trojan condom-sized tortilla, I mean you can pick extra-large or jumbo (10″ or 12″). The burritos are massive. Many get it split in two and share. Whole wheat or flour are the options here. ($7/10 veg; $9/12 meat) Base #2) Tostada bowl. For those who prefer the crunch of corn, the tostada is probably ideal. ($9 veg/$1 2meat) Base #3) Straight up lettuce. Healthier and gluten free, I guess. The homemade buttermilk dressing is so tangy good, so perfect in its viscosity, that I’ve gotten it every time and have yet to taste the greener alternative. The dressing comes on the side, so add at will and bring home the rest ($9 veg/11 meat).
I actually opt for salad mainly, as you can see from these photos from several different meals there:
Except for an extra $1 for buttery (avocado-ey) guacamole, all toppings are free and to order. You can have either a spicy or not-so-spicy sauce shot on top. I rather like the squirt of thinned sour cream to offset the spice and heat. Pico de Galo adds some pleasant heat and fresh tomatoes with fresh coriander and lime. Pickled onions a tart crunch. The rest — cheddar, lettuce, radishes, peppers will be familiar. They were chopping tomatoes on my last visit and every vegetable is fresh and crisp. Of course, once it’s all together, it just tastes collectively as a chorus of sunny flavor.
No matter what you order, expect your meal to come in a size that is ample. Ask for a lime, squirt, and enjoy. Then get your ass out of that seat so the next person doesn’t have to stand.
Tejano BBQ Burrito is at 211 Rue de Courcelle. Open: Sun. Tues. Wed. 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Thurs. Fri. Sat. 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Mon. – Closed