A long time since I’ve posted any sort of restaurant review. I wish this could be a positive one.
I wanted something different for dinner tonight and since my gf was on HK island, I figured I’d go meet her and we’d try a new place that I’ve been hearing about, Little Burro. They’re saying they’re doing San Francisco Mission-style burritos and since I lived in San Francisco for 2-1/2 years (and lived on burritos while I was there), I wanted to see if they at least came close to my memory of the great burritos to be found all over SF.
First of all, you have to want to go there to go there, because the location really isn’t convenient to very much. They’re towards the northern end of Leighton Road in Causeway Bay, a very long walk from the MTR.
While they offer other things on the menu, I was there for the burrito, and the burrito I miss the most is carnitas – pork. So that’s what I ordered. My gf went for the “smoked chipotle bbq chicken.”
To make a long story short, it will probably be a long time before we go back there. I found a review on Open Rice that for a change exactly echoes my feelings so let me grab a few quotes from that:
To my very surprise, I heard a familar sound when the staff was preparing my burrito, then I knew they microwaved my burrito!
The beautiful foil packaging could not deceive us from the fact that the burrito was microwaved as it was partially cold and partially hot.
The tortilla was quite thick and rough in texture and very sadly with some parts of it harden. The beef was extremely hot as it was being microwaved. The texture was alright but the taste was weak. The rice tasted flat and a bit too dry to me. The black beans were okay, but was not as fat and juicy as the ones I used to have in Chipotle. The salsa verde which the waitress describe as ‘hot’, was very bland in taste and not spicy at all! The burrito overall tasted pretty dry and I could not taste any sour cream in it. I ended up adding a lot of the spicy salsa sauce to it to give taste.
Now I hate to give a bad review to an actual independent shop (rather than a part of a restaurant chain) that’s trying to do something vaguely different. But I felt really let down by this meal. Keep in mind that I came to Causeway Bay all the way from Tai Po just for dinner. I wanted a dinner that was going to be worth that long trip. This one wasn’t it. I think I might have been better served heading to Central to try new American bbq place 85 South (well, next time).
My gf and I were so busy talking that I wasn’t watching them prepare the burritos at the counter, so I never noticed a microwave. What I did notice was:
The taste of the rice and beans seemed vaguely authentic. The pork behind the counter was in some liquid and there were no crispy, carmelized bits of pork, which I always thought was the best part. Some of the chunks of pork within the burrito were way too large. The tortilla was exactly as described in the review above – dry and some parts beginning to harden. I couldn’t taste either the salsa or the sour cream at all, not even a tiny bit. Cheese was not on offer. Guacamole was only available as a “side”, a tiny cup for $25 – this tasted fresh and was really good. But getting the guac in the burrito itself was not an option so I had to dab little forkfuls on top for each bite, along with some hot sauce. But overall I found it dry and lacking in the distinct strong flavors I associate with a real burrito.
So that’s me. What about my gf, who never had a real burrito in her life? Since she’s going crazy dieting for the wedding, she’s off rice. She took a couple of bites, thought it tasted okay, but as soon as she realized there was rice inside she asked for a plate, unwrapped the thing and started playing a game of Find the Chicken. She also couldn’t taste – and we couldn’t see – any salsa or sour cream and eventually said that without the side of guacamole it would have been inedible.
Neither of us finished our food (although I got at least 80% through mine). In the end I was full but the only good thing was that 2 burritos, a side order of guac and 1 soda came out to under HK$170 – cheap for HK but double what this would cost in SF (at least a dozen years ago, anyway).
I think Hong Kong is really crying out for a decent burrito. I’m convinced that a stall doing burritos (or maybe banh mi) near the bars in Wanchai or Lan Kwai Fong that stays open all night would really clean up – a real alternative to Ebeneezer’s, something you can hold in your hands and smush in your face as you’re standing there in the street. Someone should give it a shot.