Partying Alongside Peppers, Corn, and Beans – A Spotlight on the Best Shrimp Burritos at Burrito Boyz!

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I’ve come to the realization that I just love seafood tacos and burritos (and veggie ones!) more than I love ones that have poultry or red meat in them.  I daydream about having seared ahi tuna tacos, flaky white fish on corn tortillas with seafood sauce (or tartar sauce) and guacamole, fish with tons of beans and corn and peppers, and finally, the shrimp burritos and quesadillas from Burrito Boyz!  Although I have a mega soft spot for the mind-blowingly delicious pulled pork taquitos from Tequila Sunrise just down the street on Adelaide St. West, I can’t get over how delightful the seafood burritos and quesadillas are at BB, especially the shrimp ones.

If you love seafood and if you enjoy noshing on big burritos of amazing quality, you need to eat and savour the shrimp here.  I love shrimp and it’s the honest to goodness truth when I say that I haver never had shrimp that tasted this wonderful, not even in dim sum!  Shrimp in dim sum is heavenly, but the shrimp burritos at Burrito Boyz?  Out of this world and over the moon.  The burritos (shrimp ones are $7.08 for a small and $7.96 for a large) are stuffed with jumbo shrimps that are soft, juicy, and plump and, given how all the prices at Burrito Boyz are under $10, you really appreciate the quantity and quality of food.  A large burrito could easily feed me for two meals and during my very first Burrito Boyz meal two and a half years ago, even my small veggie burrito rewarded me with leftovers to eat on the bus ride home at the end of the day!

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It was my lucky day – Burrito Boyz wise – the day I had this fabulous shrimp burrito because if you’re familiar with the popular eatery or if you remember the first post I made about them back in July, you’d know that crowds line up out the door for the great food here.  There must have been a guardian angel looking out for me because for the first time in two and a half years, I passed by the famous T.O. burrito hole-in-the-wall, glanced through the front window, and saw several empty seats beckoning at me like blinking radars.

I could not believe my eyes.  There were spots to sit?!  There wasn’t a line curving around the ordering and waiting area and up the stairs, out the front door?!  People weren’t shouting orders at the top of their lungs so they could be heard over the chatter of the hungry?!  I didn’t have to stand outside right at 11am and run inside to snag a spot?!  Well, colour me shocked and ecstatic!  Opportunities like this didn’t come easy (or at all, really) so I pounced and had myself one of the most delicious lunches ever.

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You have free reign when it comes to toppings – if you don’t like it, don’t pick it!  Along with refried beans and rice, and sour cream on the side (I love dunking stuff in or spooning it on myself), I chose black beans, corn, lettuce, green peppers, green onions, guacamole, and burrito sauce to party-harty alongside the juicy, scrumptious shrimps.  The combination of toppings was fantastic and I can say with absolute certainty that THIS is my favourite burrito from here!  It took a few tries to hit the nail on the head, but the process leading up to uncovering my ultimate favourite was incredibly yummy and enjoyable.  If every process was like this, we’d be smooth sailing.

*****

Burrito Boyz is located at 218 Adelaide St. West, west of Simcoe St. and east of Duncan St.  They have a number of locations in Toronto and the GTA, including Bramption, Mississauga, Streetsville, and Waterloo.  Their 2nd Toronto location resides in the neighbourhood of Little Italy at 575 College St. West, just west of Manning Ave. in between Bathurst St. and Ossington Ave.  For more info on their menu and other locations, click here.

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I’m More of a Burrito “Girl” – Fish, Veggie and Cheese Burritos and Shrimp Quesadillas at Burrito Boyz

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Imagine yourself in a small hole-in-the-wall place with a topping bar piled high with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, onions, jalapenos, bell peppers, and seafood sauce.  The place is full to bursting with people spilling out through the restaurant’s doors and onto the steps that lead down to this popular hub-bub of Tex-Mex.  There’s a buzz amongst the hungry crowd and workers need to shout out loud in order for everyone to hear them.  Arms are flinging about left and right, grabbing food, making food, and by the time you know it, there isn’t an extra inch of space to sit down to eat.  THIS is what it’s like at Burrito Boyz during lunch time!

I can’t vouch for dinner hour, but this is the scene that has come before me every single time I’ve come here and it’s simaltaneously exciting and overwhelming!  It’s exciting to see a business with great food thrive on a daily basis, but at the same time overwhelming when you’re racing against the clock to get here when they open so you can snag yourself  a seat!  Remember what I said in my Tequila Sunrise post?  Although the atmosphere here is very “grab n’ go”, I like to stay and eat if I can which requires me to park my tooshie at this fab burrito place no later than 11:15am.  After that…well, grab a number!

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An old friend of mine actually brought me to Burrito Boyz (the location on Adelaide St. West) almost 2 years ago and because of the crowds and my own timing, I’ve only been able to eat here about 3 times.  I have enjoyed everything I’ve eaten here though and I wholeheartedly understand why this place has the business that it does.  Burritos and quesadillas are their specialty and they have 7 burrito options and 5 quesadilla ones.  There are two sizes of burritos (small and large) and prices for all their food range from $4.87 to $9.73.  Burrito options include meat (chicken and steak), seafood (haddock, halibut, and shrimp), and veggie (veggie and cheese, and veggie soy), while quesadillas can be filled with all of the above excluding the halibut and haddock.  I’ve tried their veggie and cheese burrito, their shrimp quesadilla, and their haddock burrito and although I loved them all and am looking forward to trying their veggie soy, I have to say that their seafood ones totally do it for me.  YUM, LOVE, YUM.

What I absolutely adore about the food at Burrito Boyz is how crunchy and crispy everything is.  You know how burritos and such can get weighed down by the filling inside?  And how the heavy filling can sometimes make the burrito soggy and fall apart thus creating a Mexican fiesta on the table, or worse, on your lap?  Yeah, that doesn’t happen with the burritos or quesadillas here.  If stuff falls out, it’s only because it’s stuffed to the brim with veggies and beans and rice and burrito goodness, not because of its lack of sturdiness.

The burritos and quesadillas are pressed and toasted and the texture is fantastic.  You have this sturdy toasted tortilla shell that keeps everything in, and the only word that comes to mind that can accurately describe how good the filling tastes is, “Mmmmmmm!!!!”  With the exception of hot sauce and jalapenos, I order all toppings for my food and the combination of green onions, green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and melted cheese along with everything else is amazing.  So perfectly melted and ooey and gooey.

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The value is great because not only can a small burrito tide me over onto the next meal (no joke, I could only finish 3/4 of a SMALL veggie and cheese my first time here and ate the rest near the end of the day on my way home), but they don’t skimp on product.  They seriously pack the toppings in and you can distinctly taste each and every veggie, bean, cheese, and sauce topping.  Not to mention the “meat” of the burrito is well worth it.  My shrimp quesadilla was packed with large shrimps that were plump and juicy and my haddock burrito was flaky with moist fish.  The seafood sauce that came with my quesadilla was delicious and you know how I am with sour cream and guacamole; I mop the stuff up 😀

I know it seems like, “well, they’re just burritos” or “it’s just Tex-Mex type food” but that’s kind of the beauty of it.  Sometimes it’s the “simplest” things that are the easiest to mess up because people can make too much of it and they muck it up with their attempt at complexity.  Burrito Boyz excels at what they do and I think that should be the philosophy of any restaurant business.  The point isn’t to do a million things and then not do anything well.  It’s better to stick to what you know you’re awesome at and let those things do the talking.  It’s delicious, simple, commonplace food done right.

*****

Burrito Boyz is located at 218 Adelaide St. West, west of Simcoe St. and east of Duncan St.  They have a number of locations in Toronto and the GTA, including Bramption, Mississauga, Streetsville, and Waterloo.  Their 2nd Toronto location resides in the neighbourhood of Little Italy at 575 College St. West, just west of Manning Ave. in between Bathurst St. and Ossington Ave.  For more info on their menu and other locations, click here.

Scrapbooking materials used: terracotta, goldenrod yellow, emerald green, cornflower blue cardstock; green patterned paper (Choco Mod Patterns by DCWV); sparkly starburst adhesive embellishments (‘Wild Saffron’ Grand Adhesions by K&Company); forest green alphabet stickers (Recollections); Mexican themed stickers (Sticko and Paper House); cowboy hat sticker (Jolee’s Boutique); corner paper rounder (ek success).

Welcome to Sadie’s Diner: Rockin’ Robin Vegan Huevos Rancheros! Part II

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It’s about time I posted these pictures up!  I actually went to Sadie’s Diner several days before Veggielicious wrapped up but I was too stubborn to blog about it until I developed some photos and made my scrapbook layout for it.  I was so excited about the experience and the decor and the food that I was completely unwilling to go ahead without a layout.  It’s here now though and I hope you all liked the pictures I posted yesterday as a teaser to today’s post!  I’m so happy I found out about Sadie’s Diner through the Veggielicious event because it is yet another place that I envision myself coming back to over and over.

For one thing, I adore the decor.  It really adds to the charm and the essence of what a diner is and the role the diner has played historically in the American restaurant industry.  Diners have traditionally provided patrons with comfort food and casual dining atmospheres conducive to socializing – just think back to those traditional juke boxes and turntables!  At Sadie’s Diner, we have what I call a “fusion of the decades”, where we see inspiration from the 50s, 60s, 70, and a even a little bit of the 80s with the acid bright red and aqua colours.  Look around and you’ll quickly notice vintage Heinz tomato memorabilia, figurines of Lard Lad and the Big Boy Restaurant mascot, and of course, Sadie’s signature singing swallow which I think is totally inspired by Rockin’ Robin from the 50s 😀

Not only is the decor indicative of and inspired by decades of vintage foodie memorabilia, but it’s a vegetarian breakfast diner with vegan huevos rancheros for crying out loud, c’mon!  😀  Huevos rancherous is one of my favourite breakfast dishes (that I could eat any time of day, really) and I thought it was so cool that they offered a vegan version with tofu scramble instead of eggs.  For whatever reason, I had a hankering for tofu scramble during the month of April and I was daydreaming about tofu scramble sandwiches all month long.  So tofu huevos rancheros?  Hell yes!  I do love eggs, but it’s all about having choices and making food accessible to everyone despite differences in diet and I’m so pleased that there is a great vegetarian breakfast diner like Sadie’s within the heart of downtown Toronto.

Traditionally, huevos rancheros is a Mexican breakfast dish comprised of fried eggs (think sunny side up), guacamole or sliced avocados, some form of tomato sauce and/or salsa (or pico de gallo), and refried beans, all served on top of soft or lightly fried corn tortillas.  Sadie’s Diner offers the traditional version with eggs as well as a vegan version with tofu scramble replacing the egg portion of the dish.  There are three large crunchy corn tortillas, a huge helping of tofu scramble with a bit of tomato flavour to it, refried beans, creamy guacamole and tomato salsa, and a delicious sprinkling of shredded soy cheese that just melts in with the warm tofu and it is just yum omg!

The tofu is great because it’s firm and doesn’t fall apart, all the while absorbing the flavours from the rest of the plate.  Each compenent was delicious and held its own.  The guacamole was very creamy, the refried beans were incredibly smooth, and the shredded soy cheese was so delicious and quite honestly, I think this is what kicked the dish up another notch!  Inevitably, parts of the corn tortillas didn’t stay as crispy during the duration of the meal simply because of the weight of everything that was on them, but as a whole the dish was delicious and I was full and so satisfied.

It was forkful after forkful of great flavour and I’m glad that the tofu didn’t succumb to its bland reputation or end up tasting like someone dumped a whole salt shaker over it.  I’ve eaten a lot of tofu in my lifetime and it’s the bland reputation that causes the overseasoning where people will literally drown it in soy sauce and it’s not necessary to go seasoning berserk on it like that.  It absorbs flavour really easily so if it’s being served on its own, herbs and lighter sauces (like the full-bodied tomato flavour in this scramble) are good enough and if it’s served with other things, it’ll take on those flavours.  And of course, grilling it makes it great too!

Sadie’s Diner offers numerous vegetarian breakfast and lunch options, ranging from buckwheat pancakes and waffles, veggie “bacon”, vegetarian breakfast burritos, omelettes, and sandwiches, and plenty of freshly blended fruit smoothies, juices, and protein shakes.  All their smoothies start with a banana base with a choice of either two other fruits, or with peanut butter and chocolate.  For my Veggielicious special, I ordered mango with my banana smoothie and it was nice and cold and perfectly thick 😀  Their breakfast is all-day and they even have a blackboard up by he cash with a menu of homemade vegan desserts.  Needless to say, you know I’m going to come back and try one…or several!  I had a great experience my first time here.  The staff are friendly, the main dishes are totally on par with other breakfast diners in terms of price ($10 and under), and the charm is just infectious to me.  You know I’ll be back 😀

*****

Sadie’s Diner is located at 504 Adelaide St. West, just east of Bathurst St.  They are open for business at 7:30am from Monday-Friday, and at 9am on weekends.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added!

Welcome to Sadie’s: Your Rockin’ Robin Vegetarian Breakfast Diner With Vegan Huevos Rancheros! Part I

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Oh, it gets cuter, better, and yummier from here on out!  Imagine the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even a little bit of the 80s combined into one vintage, jiving, acid bright diner dishing up mouthwatering breakfast favourites vegetarian and vegan style with the ding of a bell.  I am in conniptions over Sadie’s Diner and this is part 1 of my 2-part post.  Prepare yourself for a rockin’ robin good time at this vegetarian breakfast diner and feast your eyes (and that growling tummy) on the vegan huevos rancheros.  Because all the little foodies on Adelaide St. love to go to Sadie’s Diner and eat, eat, eat! 😉  Enjoy the pictures!

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Sadie’s Diner is a vegetarian breakfast and lunch diner located at 504 Adelaide St. West, just east of Bathurst St.