Lunchtime review: Mission Burrito, Cardiff

Mission Burrito: the Friary, Cardiff city centre

Since opening on the Friary in Cardiff city centre a few weeks ago (opposite the Principality), Mission Burrito has managed to attract a queue that never seems to go away.

The newly opened burrito bar is the sixth of its kind in the UK. The concept behind Mission Burrito was dreamt up by Jan and Sharon Rasmussen, a couple who developed a love for authentic Mexican burritos whilst living in San Francisco over ten years ago.

Cardiff’s Mission Burrito is fairly small inside, but the brightly-coloured outdoor seating area helps to create extra space.

With over twenty fresh ingredients laid out on display, I don’t know where to start, but Mission Burrito make it easy with their 4-step process:

1) Choose your base: a burrito (12″ flour tortilla packed with rice and beans), a fajita burrito (as above with rice, sautéed mixed peppers and red onions), tacos (three 6″ flour tortillas or four 5″ corn tortillas), a salad box (romaine lettuce with beans) or a rice box (rice with beans).

2) Select a filling from roasted chipotle chicken or steak, carnitas (slow-cooked pork flavoured with thyme, orange zest and bay leaves; or sautéed mixed peppers and red onions (all priced at £5.45 except for steak, which costs £5.95).

3) Decide whether to include any optional extras. Shredded romaine lettuce and sour cream are free of charge, but Monterey Jack cheese is 30p extra and guacamole will set you back 70p.

4) Take your pick from a selection of salsas including pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, onions, seranno chiles, fresh coriander and lime), salsa verde (traditional green salsa of roasted tomatillos, serrano chiles, sautéed onions and coriander), fiery chipotle salsa (hot and smoky mix of chipotle and arbol chiles, roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic) or habanero salsa (extra hot fresh habanero chillies sautéed with onion and garlic).

I opt for a burrito filled with chicken, pinto beans, lettuce, soured cream and cheese, dressed with pico de gallo and salsa verde. Watching it being made in front of me, I just can’t wait to get it back to the office and tuck in.

To say that my burrito is generously filled would be an understatement; it is literally bursting at the seams and I have a job to pick it up in my hands. Eventually, I give up and result to a knife and fork.
The warm chicken is so tender it falls apart and  the cheese melts into the soured cream, creating a delicious cheesy sauce that envelopes the fresh ingredients. The downside of this, however, is that the tortilla absorbs a lot of the moisture and ends up becoming rather soggy (although I don’t think the journey back to the office helped)! The chicken could do with just a pinch more flavour, too.
My burrito leaves me feeling pleasantly full for several hours, which is just as well given it cost a hefty £5.75. Although I’ve heard a lot of people raving about Mission Burrito, I personally don’t think it’s worth the price tag. Whilst it was quite tasty, the food just didn’t live up to my expectations.
That said, I think everyone should visit Mission Burrito once, and maybe even twice if they like it – if only to discover something a little different for lunch. I’d give it another chance but I’d order tacos, in the hope of avoiding another soggy situation.

Mission Burrito
The Friary
CF10 3FA

Opening hours

Sunday – Wednesday: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10:00am – 11:00pm


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