Our (slightly outdated) Toronto Zagat guide notes that the least expensive food that still qualifies as worthy of inclusion in their guide comes from Burrito Boyz. Still living the life of a student, inexpensive can be a glorious thing, so it was about time we investigated.
Burrito Boyz was once jointly owned, though in 2008, the proprietors split, one retaining the original name and the other creating Burrito Bandito. They’ve been duking it out ever since, and the reviews are pretty split, with both maintaining a healthy appreciation from customers.
Boyz is brightly colorful in its decor and a fairly straightforward menu. It feels a little sacreligious to not try a burrito at the place, but with one burrito, we figured one of us could try a quesadilla as well. Besides, it happens to be one of my wife’s favorites.
My brother-in-law has a rule: Never eat Mexican food from a state that doesn’t border Mexico. We’re not even in a country that borders Mexico, let alone a state. However, having spent more than a decade in southern California, less than a three hour drive from the border, I’m quite familiar with authentic Mexican food. This isn’t it.
Not that that makes it bad. It just makes it something completely other than Mexican food. Mexican inspired, maybe. Or Mexican themed. Or prepared amidst pretend Mexican decor. The ingredients all seemed to be appropriate to a Mexican dish (not that burritos are actually authentically Mexican anyway), but there was no spice to it, and the result was something very different from what I had expected. It came out tasting like everything was fresh and free of oils, almost as if it were a product of a good sandwich shop.
Both the quesadilla and burrito were filled with our choice of beans, cheeses, and so forth, cooked, and then grilled to seal them closed. This makes them easier to handle, which is admittedly a nice touch for a quick fare kind of place. If you’re eating it with your hands, you don’t want it to spill out all over them.
Not surprisingly, the two menu items had a similar flavor, though not entirely. The quesadilla was a little more meat and cheese heavy, which the burrito was balanced with more vegetables. Unfortunately, the way the stuffing in the burrito was layered made it very uneven, so one bite would be rich in guacamole, the next in beans, and the next in tomato. The quesadilla had less of a problem with this, likely just because it’s a thinner wrap.
Overall, Burrito Boyz isn’t Mexican, and it isn’t fabulous, but it isn’t terrible. It’s got some charm and a good flavor, if not a particularly unique or interesting one. It feels fresher and healthier than most fast food or quick fare kinds of places, though perhaps with a price just slightly higher than what you might find from other such joints to justify it. If you’re in the area repeatedly, it’s worth a stop in for lunch one day.