I hate to post bad reviews, as this site is about promoting little-known gems, but sometimes I suppose it just needs to be done. Case in point: Burritoville.

The original Burritoville, in NDG

When I lived in NDG, I would often pass the doors of the original Burritoville restaurant on Sherbrooke, wondering whether it’d be worth it to peek inside and give their burritos a whirl. They never really looked open, so I didn’t bother to investigate. Now, however, they’ve set up shop just across the street from my usual Concordia haunt at the Co-op Bookstore, so I’ve got no excuse.

I finally had a chance to sample Burritoville’s goods on Wednesday, when the Co-op hosted its “Not In Our Office” office party there, and I’ve gotta say… I wasn’t much impressed.

There could be many reasons for my dissatisfaction. Granted, we did arrive fairly late in the evening, but it kind of seemed that they didn’t have much in stock. The menu is pretty slim, though they do offer an amazing variety of salsas as well as different kinds of chips (corn, chipotle and black bean, I believe). They’re also a vegetarian/vegan joint, so although I am not hardcore about meat being included in my every meal, I wasn’t sure what they’d put in a bean burrito besides, well… beans.

As it turns out, their spicy bean burrito is mostly brown rice, which is a major Fail in my book. Rice is crap; it’s carb calories that spike your blood sugar and, in the end, contribute to making you fat a hell of a lot quicker than eating straight up lard. (As my husband likes to point out: if it’s higher than 30 on the glycemic index, then you shouldn’t be eating it. Brown rice weighs in at 50.) Vegetarians like to think of rice as a healthy filler, but I would disagree with that notion.

Needless to say, I was displeased by the rice content of my order, particularly given the fact that there didn’t seem to be nearly enough beans for something called a Spicy Bean Burrito!

The chips ‘n’ salsa were tasty, though I should’ve paid the extra for some guacamole.

I think what really bugged me about Burritoville, though, was something beyond their control. When I lived in New York, I regularly ate at a place called Burritoville that had what I have come to identify as The World’s Greatest Burritos. There’s no way to make the comparison anymore, as they’ve tragically gone out of business, but my god, their burritos were huge and tasty–and full of delicious beans! (Okay, so they were on a brown rice kick, too, but at least their rice was properly cooked.)

Standing up to the delicious memories of NYC’s Burritoville, Montreal’s Burritoville simply didn’t stand a chance. Which is too bad, as the owners and staff seem like really nice people who are trying to contribute a healthy option amongst all the fast food garbage surrounding the Concordia ghetto.

Sorry, Burritoville, but I’ll stick with Mesa 14 (just down the street at 1425 Bishop) for my Tex-Mex needs.

ADDRESS: 2055 Bishop
METRO: Guy-Concordia
PHONE: 514-286-2776
ONLINE: burritoville.com
HOURS: Tues-Sat noon-9pm


5 responses to “Burritoville

  1. Pingback: Mesa 14 « Shoestring Montreal

  2. Hi,

    Just thought I’d post a couple of links regarding the health benefits of brown rice.


    My boyfriend and I are Burritoville regulars, we absolutely love the place. The food is great, cheap, HEALTHY (apart from the nachos chips, which I always replace with a salad or soup), and the people are awesome.

  3. lol anything higher than 30 on the G.I is crap now?

    I have mixed feelings with Burritoville. I like how cozy the place is and how friendly the staff is, but the food is not all that great. Price must be reasonable if we consider that they must not have a lot of customers, but at this price I’m usually expecting slightly better food. I guess as a vegetarian friendly restaurant it’s ok, but not having any meat just kills it. I know they are trying to be environmentally sustainable and everything, but meat is just god-tier. If they truly wanted to be green, how about not opening the restaurant in the first place.

    And also the food feels a little too easy to replicate at home. I would rather make me a home burrito than pay 8-9$ for theirs.

  4. I would agree with you, LK. They could definitely offer meat options for those who swing that way, particularly if they bothered to source some organic or locally-produced meats; then they could still push their environmental agenda without also forcing a vegetarian agenda on potential customers.

    And it’s definitely food you could make at home (with or without the evil rice!), so for $9, that seems silly to me too.

  5. Wow — I had the opposite experience there last night! We went in around 8, the place was maybe half-full. The food was delicious and very fresh. I also had the Spicy Bean burrito, and I didn’t notice an overwhelming amount of rice, undercooked or otherwise.
    I found the prices reasonable for locally-sourced, mostly organic food. All in all, it’s a useful addition to the neighbourhood, and a nice replacement for Art and Tea, which used to be in the same building.