Cafe Burrito Now Open

I pride myself on being a city girl. I love living in Cambridge, and having easy access to Boston. I often walk (okay, I often take a cab) or simply hop on the bus or T to get to my various appointments during the week. However, being a city girl, I rarely venture outside the city. But when my favorite bearded blogger designs and oversees the menu of a new restaurant, you can bet I’m getting on a bus to Belmont to check it out.

Cafe Burrito is now often in Belmont. And thanks to the quick bus ride from Harvard Square, it’s easily accessible for no-car, city-dwellers like me.

Cafe Burrito serves coffee by day and starts serving Mexican menu items at lunch. There is standard fare like burritos, tacos, and quesadillas,  plus smoothies, espresso drinks, and bakery items. One of the menu items I liked the most was something that ties the cafe and Mexican restaurant together: coffee-braised beef.

Dan from The Food in my Beard is the manager and will also be heading the kitchen. The menu doesn’t feature a lot of crazy items (which I associate with Dan), but there are a lot of personal touches that makes the food special, like home-made chili powder, crunchy pickled veggies, and the five different kinds of salsa.

The seasonal fruit salsa changes monthly, and this month it is peach. This was a big hit with our table.

My favorite salsa though was the spicy, smoky, chipotle salsa.

We also tried some queso a la plancha, which is a cross between a grilled cheese and a quesadilla. This one was called the Angelato (tomato, basil, and jack cheese), and is a tribute to the owner and the gelato store that formerly occupied the space.

And this was the Cubano (carnitas, pickled veggies, gam, jack cheese, and mustard). I think the secret to a good Cubano is the way the pickles and mustard contrast with and complement the meat and cheese. Dan amps up this version with tender carnitas and melty cheese, and pickled veggies give a nice crunch and a sharp acidity that cuts the richness of the sandwich.

The whole place has a fun, kitschy feel – a real neighborhood joint. It’s the first time I’ve encountered a cafe and a Mexican restaurant hybrid, but I know it’s popular in the West Coast, particularly in San Francisco. I like the concept, so I’m glad we now have Cafe Burrito.

Thanks, Dan, for hosting us for the tasting. And congratulations! I’ll be hopping on the bus again soon for more of those tacos.


15 Responses to “Cafe Burrito Now Open”

  1. #
    Amy @Macncheesenpeas posted August 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

    This was such a fun and tasty night. so glad we got to meet finally! :)

  2. #
    christina posted August 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

    That queso a la plancha looks ridiculously good. Oh my gosh! And the fruit salsa!

  3. #
    Shannon posted August 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    so bummed i couldn’t make it, but definitely will be on my way there soon :)

  4. #
    Megan posted August 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’m really sad I couldn’t make it to this, but I’ve promised Dan I’ll be stopping by soon. I need to try the queso a la plancha!

  5. #
    Daisy posted August 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    the cafe looks so great! So excited for Dan!

  6. #
    grace posted August 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    i would LIVE at a place like this–it would receive all of my meal money, for sure. that peach salsa looks particularly amazing.

  7. #
    Allie posted August 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Mmm, I’d go just for the salsas! Now if only I could arrange it so I could live in Cambridge, haha :)

  8. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted August 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I wish I could have made it to this. His version of a cubano looks amazing!

  9. #
    Rhonda (@diningalone) posted August 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    That grilled cheese quesadilla thing looks AMAZING. The salsas look tasty too. I love Mexican food! Have a great weekend!

  10. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted August 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Nice job, Dan! I wished I could have attended this – I have no doubt the food at Cafe Burrito will be unique and top-notch!

  11. #
    Taryn posted August 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I’m so bummed I missed this tasting, but everything looks and sounds great. I can’t wait to check it out!

  12. #
    Molly Galler posted August 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    This food looks delicious! I just moved to Watertown, so Belmont is super close for me. Congrats to Dan on this amazing new gig!

  13. #
    Lin @ BeantownEats posted August 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Great write up! I was disappointed to miss this, but we are only about 15 minutes away and hoping to get in for a weekend lunch very soon. Everything looks great!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks Lin! Make sure to try the different kinds of salsa!

  14. #
    Elizabeth posted August 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I seem to be saying this a lot, but I’m so sad it didn’t open before I left. I’m so proud of Dan, the place looks great! I can’t wait to try it sometime.

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