Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Food Truck Bite of the Week: Northern Mexico Style Burritos at Burr-Eatery

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.

The Truck: Burr-Eatery

The Cuisine: Sonoran style cuisine

Specialty Items: Anything wrapped in their homemade flour tortillas

Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.

I grew up eating home-cooked Mexican food, and while I'll never claim that it made me an expert in Mexican cuisine, it did give me a different perspective on what people considered "Mexican Food," even in San Francisco.

My family moved to the states from rural central Mexico. There, burritos were small things, usually filled with just one thing, like beans refried with chorizo. I remember my mom packing me a couple of tightly wrapped burritos in my Dukes of Hazzard thermos for school lunches, and the wonder it created among my classmates.

It wasn't until I was in middle school that my older cousin Alfonso made me aware of the massive burritos being made in the Mission. "They're as big as my arm!" he'd tell me, equally amused and excited by how different they were from what we were used to. My first trip to El Farolito was when I became aware that there was more to eat than what I knew, and that was exhilarating.

These were some of the memories and emotions that flooded my brain as I finished eating my first Chile-Colorado Burrito ($4, red chile braised pork wrapped in a lard tortilla) from Burr-Eatery.

See Also:- Food Truck Bite of the Week: Braised Pork Shoulder Bowl at Fuki

- Food Truck Bite of the Week: Meatball Sandwich at Red Sauce

- Food Truck Bite of the Week: Four Great Food Trucks for Vegetarians

click to enlarge Chori-Queso burrito - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Chori-Queso burrito

The bright red cart that Aaron Bullington and Isla Ruffo operate as the Burr-Eatery serves the smaller-sized burritos that I grew up with. The simplicity and the small size of the burritos may seem underwhelming at first glance, especially among a sea of extreme food served by other trucks. But bite into one like the Chori-Queso ($4, homemade chorizo and melted cheese wrapped in a lard tortilla), and the tender tortilla gives way to some of the most flavorful meats and fillings around. The concentrated flavors are well-suited for the size, which also means that you can easily get a variety to explore the menu.

The inspiration for Bullington and Ruffo came from the year they spent living in Guyamas, Sonora, Mexico, in 2009. There they cooked a lot, cultivated an organic garden, made cheese from fresh milk sourced from local ranchers, cured hams, ground their own sausage, and cooked lots of Sonoran beef over mesquite.

While working at Fatted Calf, the pair noticed a lack of the style of cooking they enjoyed in Mexico. "Because there aren't many people from Sonora in Northern California, there were no burritos like the ones back home available in San Francisco," says Ruffo. "Aaron and I wanted to bring this delicious food to the Bay Area, but to make it even better by doing it with pastured meats and locally grown ingredients."

"We try to replicate the traditional flavors of Sonora, which are very different from what you find in the more commonly known Mexican dishes," says Ruffo about the Sonoran style of cooking. "Here the flavors are more rustic, a lot less tropical, and consist largely of things that are able to grow in the desert: potatoes, onions, Chile California, tomatoes. We really try our hardest to stay true to the original dishes."

Bullington and Ruffo see that the variety of regional styles of cooking in Mexico often gets viewed from a narrow prespective. They see that giving something a different spin than what folks are used to isn't easy, especially when a burrito creates a particular expectation. They prefer to simply let the food speak for itself, and if the lines are any indication, the people, like me, really like it.

Follow @LouAtLarge

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Lou Bustamante


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.