Twice while getting my lunch from Mr. Burrito Grill, a new-ish restaurant on M.L. King Boulevard, I risked getting a neck injury. The first occurred while twisting my neck around 90 degrees to read the online menu; the second occurred while lugging my burrito and tamales back to the paper.
I kid a little, of course, but that burrito was no joke, and the three tamales had a little heft to them as well. I know people who judge their food, in part, on whether it feels heavy enough to satisfy their appetite, and this burrito is a winner in that regard. It also tasted good as well, so double win.
Having worked on 11th Street for more than three decades, it's pretty exciting to see the proliferation of restaurants in the area. Sadly, we lost 2 Sons and Douglas Heights Bakery in recent weeks, so it's good to see Mr. Burrito Grill come on board.
It was an easy walk for me — the place is located across M.L. King from Champy's Chicken and Chatt's Smokehouse and a block from Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. in a new, clean and airy space.
It is open until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, which should work in its favor with the UTC crowd just up the hill.
Diners order their food cafeteria-style at Mr. Burrito. Whether you choose a taco, burrito, nachos or tortilla bowl, the servers pile your selections on as you make your way down the line.
Meat choices are grilled chicken, shredded chicken, chipotle chicken, grilled steak, ground beef, pork carnitas, pork al pastor and veggie. Shrimp would have been a nice option, as well.
Other choices include spinach, black beans, lettuce, corn, rice, onions, jalapenos, pico de gallo, cilantro, sour cream and cheese.
My burrito had black beans, rice, melted white cheese, grated Mexican cheese, spinach, chipotle chicken, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream and salsa verde. They threw it on the grill before serving it as well.
Just because I could, I also got an order of tamales (three for $6.95) and shared them with co-workers. They are a simple concoction of masa harina, chicken and salsa verde, and steamed in a corn husk. They were still piping hot. These also were larger than many I've had elsewhere and very tasty. One order would have been a meal in itself.
In fact, I ate one tamale and about one-third of the burrito, which also came with chips and salsa.
If you go
* What: Mr. Burrito Grill, 517 M.L. King Blvd., Suite 201
* Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday
* Prices: Tacos are $2.95, burritos and entrees are $6.95-$7.50, tamales three for $6.95
* Phone: 423-541-2199
It's a newly built space, as opposed to the exposed brick and duct work found in many new restaurants these days. It has a bit of a chain feel to it. It's not a huge space, but large enough, and as stated earlier, it's clean and airy.
Everyone was friendly and helpful, though if I'm being picky, not everyone was up to speed on all of the ingredients or cooking processes when I asked a few questions, but they were quick to ask someone who knew the answers.
Other places in town might have a tastier burrito, or a few more options when it comes to ingredients, but it was good and hard to beat for the price. I'm looking forward to trying the tacos and other protein options.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.