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.

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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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Mi Casa es Su Casa – Cod Stuffed Corn Empanadas & Creamy Black Beans at La Mexicana

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Considering that I had this meal on Cinco de Mayo this past May, this post is waaaayyy overdue.  But you all know how I am with the scrapbook pages and I’d like to think that every day is a fiesta of sorts, so we’ll celebrate the tail-end of the long weekend celebrations with some REALLY delicious Mexican food!  La Mexicana and I were actually acquainted for the first time back in 2009 during the winter holidays and I loved the food so much that I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since.  Located in Yorkville just north of Bloor St. West, it’s conveniently located right near the subway and to many other neighbourhoods in the city that I adore.  You can stroll on Yonge St. or Bay St., browse Yorkville, walk the underground malls of Cumberland and Manulife Centre and so much more.  When I’m in this area, I never have to wonder how I’m going to plan my day because there are so many options.

I love Mexican, Tex-Mex, the whole bit.  The thought of fajitas, taquitos, empanadas, beans, tortilla soup, and enchiladas has my stomach growling and my taste buds panting.  Although the piping hot fajita plates look amazing here, my favourite thing about La Mexicana has to be the small plate lunches (the antojitos) and sides.  They have a lunch menu and a dinner menu and to my surprise, there are a number of vegetarian options on the menu as well as gluten-free.  Vegan options are a bit harder to come by though.  I’ve really enjoyed going to places with a menu that caters to different diets and lifestyles because I’m able to tuck these places away on mental sticky note for future places to consider for outings with friends or larger groups of people.

Their meat options include chicken, beef, and seafood (shrimp and cod fish, for example), and they have a variety of vegeterian small plate lunches and mains.  Dishes like Queso Fundido (bell peppers covered in melted cheese and pumpkin seeds), Ensalada de Calabacita (grilled zucchini and corn salad), Elote (corn on the cob with feta and cayenne pepper), black bean and vegetable burritos, and vegetarian enchiladas, chimichangas, and quesadillas.

I adore fish tacos so back in 2009 my friend Sally and I ordered their pescadillas, corn empanadas filled with salted cod fish (bacalao) with spicy avocado salsa and sour cream.  This meal was so delicious and yes, very spicy!  The corn empanadas were a dark, almost black, colour (think blue or black corn chips) and they were stuffed with soft, flaky cod fish.  The empanadas themselves weren’t spicy, it was the avocado sauce that had us tearing up!  It was insanely good and it was this scumptiousness that had me coming back for more.  Fast forward to Cinco de Mayo this past May.  I adore the same thing, along with a side of black beans and feta cheese, and to my surprise, the dish looks different.

Back in 2009, the corn empanadas with fish looked like this, up top.

Instead of dark coloured empanadas, the corn pockets were a light golden brown.  And instead of 2 medium to large-sized empanadas, there were FOUR medium-sized ones!  Finally, instead of the huffy-puffy-blinking-back-tears avocado salsa, it was a MUCH milder creamy avocado guacamole.  The difference in appearance completely threw me off, but I recall that La Mexicana had recently revamped their menu a bit and had also launched a website for the restaurant since the last time I had gone, so I chalked it up to them trying something new and interpreting the dish in a different way.  Just as delicious.  The fish was savoury and flaky and I had an absolute FIELD DAY dunking my empanadas in the thick avocado sauce and in my black beans.  My black beans side dish also took me by surprise.  I was expecting a dish of whole beans, but instead, it was a baking dish of smooth, creamy, whipped-like-butter black beans with feta cheese sprinkled on top.  Oh my god was this ever amazing.  You could literally spoon the stuff and stick it in your mouth because it was that good.

They give you a basket of corn chips with lots of dipping sauces and prices for lunch will run around $8 to $13 if you order a meal like mine ($10 for the pescadillas and $3 for the side of black beans and feta).  If you order the laaaarge platters that include sides of black beans and rice with fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, etc., it’ll come up to around $13-$17.  Prices are on par with Tequila Sunrise and what I like about the menu is how you can mix and match with the lunch plates (antojitos) and sides.  I’m waiting for the day I get to try some more of their food (like their potato and chirizo stuffed empanadas!).  Meanwhile, I’ll peruse their online menu, admire their beautiful and adorable decor (they have painted cactus outside their storefront, ha), and let my tummy grumble over the thought of guacamole, sour cream, and corn pockets.

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La Mexicana is located at 838 Yonge St. in between Yorkville Ave. and Cumberland St., north of Bloor Street.  They are open 7 days a week at 11am.  They are open until 10pm from Sunday-Thursday and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.  For more info, visit their website here.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added!

Walking Into a Tex-Mex Saloon – Pulled Pork Taquitos at Tequila Sunrise

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I have a weakness and its names are Tex-Mex and Mexican.  Fajitas, corn tortillas, and empanadas stuffed with the most savoury meats and served with refried beans, rice, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole??  OH.MY.GOD.  Insert hungry rumbling noises from my stomach right here.  We all have our “naughty” foods, things we know are bad for us but are just so damn good.  Things we eat when we allow ourselves that one indulgent day or meal out of our otherwise healthy week.  I LOVE Tex-Mex and when I want to be bad, THIS is my indulgence that satisfies me from top to bottom.  Tequila Sunrise was an unplanned, accidental outing in my foodie repertoire and am I ever ecstatic that I ate here over a month ago!  This meal was delicious, so satisfying, and such a sweet surprise.

On that day, I had a hankering for burritos and skipped on over (well, more like bussed, subbed, and then skipped) to Burrito Boyz (blog post to come in the near future!), hoping to sink my teeth into either a veggie and cheese burrito or some form of quesadilla.  Burrito Boyz was packed and although I’m not against taking my food to-go, you know how I am with the pictures and all, so my sweetie and I said to hell with it and contemplated Plan B.  I was hungry, it was 1pm in the afternoon, I didn’t want to go far, and I still had that craving for a burrito!  Enter Tequila Sunrise just down the street!  I was aware of Tequila Sunrise but just hadn’t gotten around to trying them out so when Rich suggested it, I shrugged and thought, “why not?”

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I loved this meal SO much.  The decor and atmosphere were adorable.  Okay, so the disco ball hanging from the ceiling is snicker-worthy, but seriously, I felt like I was eating in an old-time Tex-Mex cowboy saloon out in the desert 😀  I half expected men in chaps to walk right in and tip their hat at me.  But the real winner here is the food.  SO EFFING GOOD!  Their menu has a plenty of choice and there are lots of traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes with Spanish and Columbian influences to choose from: chicken mole, tortilla soup, chimichangas, enchiladas, empanadas, pozole stew, chili con carne, huevos rancheros, tostadas, as well as plenty of guacamole and chirizo, and margaritas, mojitos, sangria, and of course, tequila to wash it all down!  I ordered the taquitos dish with pulled pork: 2 crispy fried corn tortillas in the shape of tubes (or flutes), filled with pulled pork and covered in chipotle sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and guacamole, served with rice, refried beans and corn chips, and salad.

This meal was perfection in so many ways.  The refried beans were so smooth and the meat and dish in general wasn’t salty, greasy, or overly seasoned at all.  The corn tortillas had the most delightful crispy texture and corn flavour and they didn’t collapse or get soggy because of the filling.  They maintained their crunchiness and texture and perfectly complemented the sauces and pork.  The flavour of the pulled pork really shined through and it was soft and juicy and SO delicious.  The flavour was subtle and natural because it wasn’t masked or overshadowed by anything; you knew you were eating pork and it was just slow-cooked so perfectly.  You could taste the leanness of the meat and there wasn’t an ounce of gross fat hanging off of it.  Fat doesn’t equal flavour and Tequila Sunrise got their pulled pork bang on.  Quite possibly the BEST pulled pork I’ve ever had.  I inhaled this and I think I said, “oh my god, this is so good” about four times during my meal!  It’s a dish I can envision myself ordering time and time again.

Tequila Sunrise is a gem.  Wonderfully nice staff, delicious food with plenty of choices to boot, and cute decor to match an equally cute atmosphere.  Prices are very reasonable meal-wise.  They have plenty of $9, $10, and $11 meals as well as platters for multiple people to share (such as fajitas and enchiladas, and combo platters).  So if you’re looking for something simple, you can definitely manage with $10-$12 and if you’re looking to go all out (meal, drink, dessert, the whole nine yards), it’ll probably be a $20 meal.  Well worth it for the fan-freakin’-tastic food 😀  I’m so happy I got the chance to eat here and I’m looking forward to my next noshing!

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Tequila Sunrise is located at 212 Adelaide Street West, west of University Ave and situated between Simcoe and Duncan St.  Adelaide St. is north of King, south of Richmond St.  They are open for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, serving lunch at 11:30am.  Dinner only on Saturday and Sunday is served at 4pm.

Scrapbooking materials used: cobalt blue and buttercup yellow cardstock (Recollections); green patterned cardstock (“Green Tea” stack by DCWV); red and blue alphabet stickers (Recollections); journalling card (“Darcy collection” by Anna Griffin); Mexico stickers (Jolee’s); Mexican embellisment stickers (Recollections).