Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Burrito Project

When I came to Dublin, I had the curious idea that I was going to review all the burrito places in the city, posting my reviews here.1 I kept some notes for a while, but I finally gave up. I gave up mostly because, while I write this blog primarily for me, I decided that posting Dublin burrito reviews would have an other-than-me audience of zero. And even I wouldn’t be that interested, besides the conclusion of where I found the best burritos, which certainly didn’t require a whole series of blog posts.

It has been interesting, though. The number of burrito vendors in Dublin is exploding, with at least three places opening in City Centre since I arrived. And the quality is going up, too: Of the three places I’ll mention below as the best, only one was open last summer.

A few tasting notes and then I’ll tell you what I like best:

  • At most places, I tried (on different days) both the chicken and the pork. Chicken is easy to cook, but unless you get the seasonings right turns out bland. Pork, on the other hand, is hard to cook right, and a lot of places wind up with a sloppy wet mess that would be more at home in an elementary school cafeteria line.

  • I had a lot of trouble finding salsas that I like. I like the medium corn salsa at Chipotle, but I’ll also settle for a medium tomato-based salsa. At a surprising number of places here, the medium salsa is a salsa verde. I’m not a fan of the style. But, it turns out, the Irish seem to like their food fairly mildly spiced, so I can usually get by with the hot salsa here.

  • Lots of places here (even some of the good places) overstuff their burritos. To me, the beauty of the burrito is partly in being a self-contained food item. If it falls apart, then it fails that test.

So, here it is. The best burritos in Dublin, by my reckoning:

  • Tuzo. Opened a few months ago on Dawson Street and has since become my most frequent burrito. The ingredients here always taste super fresh, bursting with flavor. My only complaint is that sometimes the burritos are overfilled and fall apart.

  • Pablo Picante. I’ve only ever been to the Baggot Street location. Not sure how long they’ve been around, but they certainly predate me. Good burritos, and the best, most interesting (in my opinion) salsa in Dublin in their “Smokie.”

  • Tolteca. Just opened on Suffolk Street, where I discovered them, but apparently they had a location on Upper Baggot Street already. The closest thing I’ve found to a Chipotle clone in Ireland, down to free refills on fountain drinks (unheard of in Europe, though the cups here are tiny by American standards) and white and brown rice choices (only recently rolled out at Chipotle). They have good chips and a kids’ menu, too.

Honorable mention goes to:

  • Burritos and Blues. I was unimpressed the first couple of times that I went here, but I wound up having a couple excellent pork burritos. (I still can’t really recommend the chicken, though.) Also, their black beans are refried, which is … odd.

  • Boojum. Went here about three times, and the burritos weren’t bad. In fact, I had a chicken burrito that was outstanding, though overstuffed. But it’s a long trek from my office, and twice I’ve made the walk only to have to wait for them because they were late opening.

  1. I guess I wanted to be the Full Custom Gospel BBQ of Dublin Burritos. Maybe if I had done it and stuck with it, I could have become the only full-time burrito editor in Europe