Last night a group of whampers decided to combine a night of comedy at The Good Ship with a test of the new burrito joint that’s opened directly opposite, Burritos Juan.
It’s only been open a couple of weeks and was empty when we arrived. From the front it looks a bit unprepossessing, but inside is perfectly pleasant with a few tables and chairs leading to the counter at the back. There’s camouflage netting on the ceiling and fake brickwork wallpaper, but the overall effect is perfectly decent.
It would be fair to say that they weren’t geared up to the sudden arrival of eight people, but we were warmly welcomed by an Argentinian girl replete with enormous comedy sombrero. She took our orders, which were all pretty simple. The menu is basic: they have tortillas, they have fillings. We ordered. We sat. We waited.
I sent a couple of tweets.
We waited some more.
There were three of them behind the counter working away, perhaps not at the breakneck speed one might expect from a fast food establishment. Then something happened. I don’t know what. But it was clearly very funny as they were suddenly in hysterics. We assumed they’d dropped something, but they didn’t tell us what was quite so funny. It was hard not to laugh along anyway, although our growling stomachs and the impending kick-off of the comedy were tempering our good humour.
The guy working there dashed out the front door, returning a minute later with a large pack of Doritos, which we were given as a peace offering. We’d now been waiting more than 20 minutes.
Then he dashed off again. What had they run out of? Tortillas. Fairly key ingredient.
Finally, our burritos were ready. They had somehow taken almost 45 minutes despite all the ingredients sitting in containers right under the counter. We were all starving and wolfed them down. They weren’t very big, but they did taste ok. I’ve had better but I’ve also definitely had worse, and to be fair, we probably hadn’t seen the place at its best. We went to pay (£3.50 for a burrito, 50p for a soft drink – cheaper than most shops) and they commented that we’d eaten them very quickly. I expect we were supposed to savour every mouthful but hunger and time were against us and 45 minutes of work disappeared in about 4.5 minutes of eating.
I would definitely give Burritos Juan a second chance, but not with a large group of people unless I called ahead. This might be tricky though as the business cards have an address but no phone number. There’s a lot of competition on the High Road for fast food, and these guys will need to be slicker if they want to become a fixture – they have a big advantage in being the only Mexican place around, I really hope they make the most of it.