Tortilla: The California-Mexican experience – plus giveaway!

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.

California-Mexican denotes a fresher and lighter approach to food which, true to American habits, is also perfect for take-away.

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!


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 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

Good Luck!

Thanks to Tortilla for inviting me as their guest


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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74 Responses to Tortilla: The California-Mexican experience – plus giveaway!

  1. kim mayhead says:

    My favourite thing to put in a burrito is chilli con carne ( Quite Hot ! ) Cheese and salad Yum ! Follow you on twitter @kimmy2849 and have tweeted the competition

  2. lucy vassallo says:

    in my burrito i like guacamole,salad and chicken.

  3. lucy vassallo says:

    Have tweeted Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt @lucythebaker

  4. lucy vassallo says:

    Following you already @cookingkt on twitter @lucythebaker

  5. Sarah Cooper says:

    I love chilli con carne

  6. Silvia says:

    I love cheese burritos 🙂

  7. Nancy Bradford says:

    Refried beans and cheese with a little pico de gallo.

  8. dawnyj says:

    My favourite thing to have in a burrito is refried beans, jalepenos and lots of cheese with a big dollop of sour cream on the side!

  9. dawnyj says:

    I’ve tweeted “Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt‘ I’m @dawny_cupcake

  10. dawnyj says:

    And I’m also following you – looking forward to lots of foodie tweets!

  11. rominicole says:

    Hey I did follow both of the accounts and sent the twitt needed!

    I like my burrito veggie- LOADS of guacamole, cheese, cream, loads of veggies!


    My twitter name is rominicole.

  12. Wendy Mann says:

    I love pork mince cheese gucamole and sourcream with some jalepenos…what i don’t get is people putting Chilli into Burritos the 2 things are completly different???

  13. Tom Whitaker says:

    Definitely the steak/black beans/rice with cheese and guac (not bothered about the sour cream). Mild salsa for freshness plus loads of Cholula for a kick.

  14. Tom Whitaker says:

    Following you too – @bommy.

  15. Neasan says:

    I love a steak burrito with pinto beans, cilantro rice, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce (hotter the better) and a bottle of Cholula on the side.

  16. Neasan says:

    @neasan just tweeted “Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt

  17. Neasan says:

    Following you as well (@neasan)

  18. Emily M says:

    Tequila chicken!! mmmmm 🙂

  19. Emily M says:

    Am off to tweet and am already following you on twitter

    Thanks for making me very hungry!! x

  20. Theresa Driscoll says:

    my favourite is pork.
    i’ve done the lot now, retweeted, commented and sent you message on twitter, can almost taste my free pork burrito

  21. Victoria Corney-Young says:

    My favourite burrito is stuffed full of crispy skinned duck and all the usual sides….yumm!!

  22. Victoria Corney-Young says:

    Have tweeted your message ( @VickysKitchen )

  23. Victoria Corney-Young says:

    Already following you.

  24. Carolynn Woodland says:

    Chicken, onion, garlic, lime, coriander, ginger

  25. Laura Pritchard says:

    Chile con carne is my favourite filling!

  26. Laura Pritchard says:

    Re-tweeted the message @Isis1981uk

  27. Laura Pritchard says:

    Following you on Twitter @Isis1981uk

  28. claire woods says:


  29. claire woods says:

    For a second chance to win please tweet this post Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt – DONE @clairew137

  30. claire woods says:

    For a third chance please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter – done

  31. Emma L Clarke says:

    Strips of chilli beef, mayo, tomato salsa and mozzarella cheese. Yum!

  32. Emma L Clarke says:

    For a second chance to win I have tweeted the message (User ID @emma1111111)

  33. Emma L Clarke says:

    For a third chance I already follow @cookingkt on Twitter (User ID: @emma1111111)

  34. anthony says:

    i like my burrito with pork or steak, refried beans, rice, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and hot sauce… and a beer of course

  35. Ellie says:

    Gorge bit of fresh avocado and pulled pork. NOM.

  36. Fiona Maclean says:

    sorry, I am a dreadful meateatarian;) I like lots of chilli con carne, guacamole, sour cream, and just little salad for crunch!

  37. Fiona Maclean says:

    I’ve tweeted Win free burrito and beer at @tortillauk with @cookingkt @fionamaclean

  38. Fiona Maclean says:

    and I am following you on twitter;)

  39. Aaron says:

    I like my burrito with chilli con carne, jalapeños and loads and loads of yummy, sticky cheese.

  40. G L says:

    My burrito is totally vegetarian, no cheese , no cream but lots of tomato salad and coriander.

  41. James Spicer says:

    following you and loving the vibe!

  42. Kim says:

    This may sound sad, but I’ve never had a burrito, so I wouldn’t know what filling to have. But if I was lucky enough to win, I’d love to try chilli con carne, refried beans…ohh, they all sound soo delicious.

  43. peter says:

    steak burrito – delicious!!

  44. Melanie Thomas says:

    Grilled fish, coriander, lime juice, and sour cream, yummy for my tummy :}

  45. Joanna Sawka says:

    I like burrito with cheese

  46. Joanna Sawka says:

    tweeted @joanna_kow

  47. Joanna Sawka says:

    Following @joanna_kow

  48. Kellie says:

    Cheese spread, steak, cheese & maltesers for that little bit of crunch and sweetness. (Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it-AMAZING!)

  49. Susan Spires says:

    I love them all to be honest but my fave has to be the melted chesse, pasta (so unhealthy, but worth it!) and fresh salad an a yougurt dressing!

  50. Leonie Sanford says:

    I tweeted @blogatwit

  51. Leonie Sanford says:

    i follow cooking kt on twitter @blogatwit

  52. Dej Pygott says:

    I love a chicken burrito with black beans and rice. Yum!

  53. Dej Pygott says:

    I tweeted about the comp-@dejanestpas

  54. Dej Pygott says:

    I already follow you on twitter @dejanestpas

  55. Erica Price says:

    Tweeted @ericahughes

  56. Erica Price says:

    Following you @ericahughes

  57. susan willshee says:

    my fave thing is soya mince, reconstituted using passata to give it a tomatoey flavour, plus lots of onions and mushrooms

  58. susan willshee says:

    have tweeted as @susanwillshee

  59. susan willshee says:

    following you on twitter too, @susanwillshee

  60. Victoria Wilson says:

    Got to have some sweet potato in there somewhere!

  61. Nickie C says:

    I prefer beef mince – but not many places seem to do that, so I usually get carnitas. Yum!


  62. Nickie C says:

    I follow you on twitter too, @nickiem xx

  63. Danny says:

    A mix of pinto and black beans, lettuce, lots of mild salsa and cheese. The more coriander in the salsa, the better.

    I tweeted as well. xdrquinnx on twitter..

  64. Leanne Bucknall says:

    I like my burrito filled with a really tasty chilli beef, topped with a nice spicy tomato sauce.

  65. Leanne Bucknall says:

    Tweeted – @lebeeuk

  66. Leanne Bucknall says:

    Following on twitter – @lebeeuk

  67. Lauren says:

    steak and cheese!

  68. Rob Clayton says:

    Feta Cheese, Lettuce, Red Peppers

  69. kim corke says:

    Juicy steak, fried onions, grated cheese and garlic mayo yum yum

  70. Charlotte Hoskins says:

    I like chilli beef, cheese, sour cream and salad…. oh and a bit of salsa and a few jalapenoes – yum!!!

  71. Charlotte Hoskins says:

    I’ve tweeted for you @charbarcrazy

  72. Charlotte Hoskins says:

    I already follow you :o) @charbarcrazy

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