Eating Mexican food in the UK has historically been a disappointingly naff Tex Mex experience that cost a fortune.
But the arrival of places like Wahaca on the scene has seen a marked improvement in authentic cuisine. And now Tortilla – the Californian take on Mexican grub – has pitched up in London. A chain of five (soon to be six) grab and go burrito joints.
I was invited along to Tortilla’s Market Place store in Oxford Circus for a masterclass in Burrito rolling and was instantly charmed by the beaming team of staff.
Founder Brandon talked us through his vision of bringing a bit of California to London, and his passion for only using the best ingredients. He spent six weeks on his quest to find THE perfect cut of steak – this is one burrito-obsessed guy!
Getting stuck in
Our first challenge was to mash up our own versions of guacamole to be tasted by chef Bruno from a selection of ingredients. Avocado, onion, garlic, tomato, coriander, chilli and lime were all on offer. Rather than follow a recipe we were encouraged to taste as we went along.
I went heavy on the lime juice for a zingy and fresh finish, texture wise I mashed it pretty vigourously as I’m not a huge avocado fan and like it to be smooth rather than chunky. It was interesting how different everyone’s efforts looked and tasted.
Next up it was Burrito rolling time – it was quite nerve-wracking getting behind the counter, but the staff were like a gang of cheerleaders as we all stepped up to have a go. The poor customers looked a bit bemused, but we were having fun! (I’ll point out here that we weren’t actually serving any customers)
It was tempting to try and cram ALL of the ingredients into my burrito, but I held back for fear of failing to be able to wrap it up. There was juicy steak, grilled chicken and braised pork, two different types of rice, guac, cheese, sour cream, pinto and black beans, peppers and onions, and three salsas – hot, medium and mild.
I went with the tender and juicy pulled pork and then a little bit of everything bar the hot salsa. The rolling was successful with a little guidance…
We then sat down to devour our burritos with some really lush beers – I opted for Pacifico.
Fancy trying for yourself?
Well the lovely folks at Tortilla are offering fans of Feeding Boys and a Firefigher the chance to win a free meal for two people consisting of a burrito and a drink per person – either a soft drink or bottle of Corona. And there are two prizes up for grabs!
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED!!!!
There is one main way to enter and a couple of ways to get bonus entries. You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry otherwise they will not be counted.
1. For your first chance to win please tell me what you like in your burrito by commenting on this post.
2. For a second chance to win please tweet this post Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt http://wp.me/pU5T8-GU and comment telling me you have done so along with your twitter username
3. For a third chance please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter and comment to tell me you have done so.
This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 with a UK mailing address. Be aware that Tortilla only has branches in London. The winner will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post.
As I am allowing multiple entries the randomiser may choose the same person twice, in this case I shall pick another winner until there are two separate winners. You need to leave your e-mail address in order to comment, I am the only person that can see it. Please do NOT include it in the comment.
Closing date: 10pm Saturday 28th May 2011
Thanks to Tortilla for inviting me as their guest