Burritos. We all love them. Full of delicious ingredients and wrapped in their very own edible carrying case. They make the ultimate food on the go, which is typically how we live our lives.
Over the years, many restaurants have tried to make the best burrito, and some have come close enough to turn into chains, such as Chipotle and Qudoba. And while these chains can produce some quality, fast, and delicious meals on the spot, the flavors and stigma of heading to a chain often leads to a bit of disappointment. Often, after devouring a tightly wrapped, stuffed to the brim burrito from one of these chains, one is left not knowing what flavors they tasted. They tend to be, well, blah.
So we went on the hunt in Denver for the best burrito. From Big City Burritos, a franchised chain with each one being a bit different, to Santiago’s, a favorite for breakfast, we finally found Illegal Pete’s off the 16th Street Mall in Lodo. Looking a bit like a dive from the outside, you walk in and see the scuffs on the floors, stickers covering the walls, and a menu of food with amazing details associated with each item. You know exactly what is going into each burrito, and the ambiance definitely set the joint apart from the others we had visited.
After the standard made-in-front-of-you burrito experience came the first bite. Typically, burritos at the chains are filled with glops of ingredients, and left unmixed at the end. With those, you get a bite of sour cream, a bight of beans, some rice, the meat, then cheese and the leftover of the burrito. Not with the Illegal Pete’s burrito. In my hands was tortilla-wrapped gold, filled with slow roasted pork, corn salsa, cheese, and lettuce, all perfectly mixed before the final wrap and delivery. In my hands was a piece of delicious heaven.
So here we were, after a long quest to find the perfect burrito, sitting in a restaurant covered in stickers, looking like a dive bar. And that’s when it hits you. This is how a burrito should taste. It’s not just about the ingredients, but how its all put together, the care and understanding that each ingredient must compliment the other. It was not too filling or overwhelming, hitting the spot just right.
It’s at this moment we came to realize our journey to find the best burrito in Denver had possibly come to an end.