The Burrito King is not King

20150101_220525 (1)For a long time there has not been a Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem. For those who remember, there was a place called Amigo’s on Yoel Moshe Salomon st. that closed down about 15 years ago. The reason it shut down was because the Israeli crowd is not familiar with the Mexican flavors or cuisine. Which is weird because, Sefardic cooking and Mexican cooking have almost identical flavor profiles. Coriander, cumin, chili peppers and so on. So it really doesn’t make sense why Mexican cuisine never caught on. I feel that the reason it never caught on is because back then, people where afraid to try different cuisines. Asian, Mexican and even American cuisines have only caught on in the past 10 years around Israel. The reason for this is because of TV shows, more people travelling the world and also a demand for something different.

20150101_220514 (1)As you can imagine, I was very excited to hear that someone opened up a kosher Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem (I mean Mike’s place serves Mexican dishes, but it’s not a Mexican restaurant, or the Bodega in Efrat). I went to the Burrito King on a Thursday night with my good friend Mitch and went to Emek Refaim street where it’s located. Upon entering the place it really represents Mexico at it’s finest. The colors of the place are the colors of the flag and the menu is printed on the wall. I asked the manager what was good on the menu, and he ordered for us a chili con carne burrito, a chicken fajita, chili fries and the beer was half off so we also got two beers.

Sadly, the cook doesn’t understand how to cook Mexican food. There was no Mexican flavors in the food we ordered. The heat source of dishes came from black pepper and not jalapeno peppers, the chili tasted more like a bolognese sauce with beans and not like chili, and the fajita was just very messy, the burrito was mushy. A burrito is supposed to be like a shwarma, firm and able to hold not mushy. The flavors weren’t bad it just didn’t taste like Mexican food. The prices are reasonable and affordable, but if you are looking for an authentic Mexican meal, you’ll have to wait a little longer.

It’s such a shame because all they need to do is swap out a couple of ingredients, do a better presentation and they really can be on the path to success.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Burrito King is not King”

  1. I also went there with quite a bit of excitement, but when I asked if I could have a simple bowl of chili, the owner said it was not on the menu. I asked if he could make an exception, and he said no. I tried to explain to him how absurd it was to me that he opened a Mexican restaurant that did not serve a bowl of chili; his response was that “it was fast food”. Although I am not sure why a fast food place can’t serve a bowl of chili, but either way I made sure to explain to the owner that restaurants on emek open and close every day, and if he can’t bend the rules a bit to serve a bowl of chili, I can’t imagine he will be open for long enough to even learn from his mistakes. This place and its management simply suck.

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  2. I thought Amigo’s on Yoel Solomon was great! Didn’t it close during the Intifada, when many restaurants downtown were closing?

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  3. Amigos was extremely popular.in its heyday,tables lined the whole courtyard and around the corner. Then BOOM . Intifada in 1991 with even a few bullets in the window, and, there went el fresco dining downtown for a couple of decades.i always felt that Mexicanfood was expensive for basically peasant food and that shawarma in luffa was far superior.like the nachos and quacamole but that is standard house food here.

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  4. I also found it quite disappointing. The only bright spot was the homemade nachos served with avocado and salsa. My friend had a veal burrito and the veal was inedible – all grizzle and they did bring her something else, but she did not like that either!

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  5. We discovered that ordering anything other than Middle Eastern food in Israel will result in disappointment. Asian, Mexican, Sushi, Italian, etc. They are all horrid. So we just don’t go to those ethnic places.

    And of course they don’t want your opinion. Why should they? It would admit failure on their part and they would NEVER do that! LOL 🙂

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