By Tana Kosiyabong
My belly is getting big, so my health conscious mode has finally kicked in. Last week, I ate more veggies than I had eaten in the previous six months combined. Hence, this week mission is about me operating a blog under the veggie influence. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about weed here.
I found Budgie’s Burritos over a month ago while I was on the way to visit a friend of mine. When I came back home, I did some research and realized that the burrito joint is vegetarian. Because I’m normally a meat-lover, I didn’t care much to check it out in person. But now that I have been on the boring salad diet for days, a vegetarian burrito started to sound heavenly. So I hopped on to the No. 19 bus, and got off at Kingsway and Main street. Budgie’s Burritos was just a few stores south of the bus stop.
As I reached the joint, I was greeted by a psychedelic Mickey Mouse and a skeleton lady. The street signages pretty much set the tone of what to come. The interior décor is as funky as the exterior. The minty green walls showcase various artsy (perhaps trashy to some) paintings. One of them is the portrait of a naked blue chick. Her boobies were pointing at me the whole time I was eating.
Budgie’s Burritos don’t just have burritos on their menu. They also serve tacos, tortilla soup, quesadillas and nachos. The restaurant named their dishes quite randomly. Henry, for example, is a burrito with tofurkey sausage, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa and lettuce. Or Johny-O is made of rice, beans, cheese, chipotle sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos salsa and lettuce. I wasn’t sure why they name their dishes that way. My guess would be for the fun factor.
After read through their menu, I decided to go for a 12-inch JameDog Burrito (garlic roasted potatoes, rice, beans, cheese, chipotle sour cream, salsa and lettuce-$8 HST included). But I asked them to “veganize it” by substitute the cheese and sour cream with guacamole (no extra charge). If you order a burrito at Budgie’s, you can choose between whole wheat or flour tortilla; black or refried pinto beans; fresh, green or hot salsa. I opted for whole wheat, black bean and hot salsa.
Shortly after, the burrito was ready to pick up. The burrito looked huge in its aluminum foil wrap. After a couple shots of the burrito, my camera ran out of battery. Crap! All I got was the whole wheat wrap shot. But I didn’t panic. I knew that if I turned it off and waited a while, the battery juice would come back a bit. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I could take another shot before it went dead again. After several attempts of the awkward wait-and-shoot, I barely got all the shots I needed. It wasn’t perfect, but it saved me from going back for a reshoot.
As for the taste test, the first bite was a bit bland. Perhaps the veganized option had backfired on me. A little bit of chipotle in the sour cream would have kick this bland burrito up a notch. Fortunately, there was a hot sauce in a yellow bottle right next to me. So I added it to the top of the burrito. Voila! The boring burrito had surprisingly transformed into the desirable Cinderella. It was so tasty I couldn’t believe it was a vegan dish! The hot sauce tasted just right, not too hot at all. From then on, I added it to almost every bites.
Without the hot sauce, however, the garlic roasted potatoes was not garlicky enough. The mexican rice and black beans were well-cooked but bland. Although the Guacamole was creamy, the hot salsa wasn’t hot enough. Many thanks to the hot sauce (not to be confused with the hot salsa) for saving my meal. I sure will go back there as long as they still have that scrumptious sauce around.
After the whole burrito had relocated into my stomach, I went to the self-served counter and poured myself a refreshing cold glass of water. BAD idea! The 12-inch burrito, which had already filled up my stomach, expanded even further. I wished I asked for the 10-inch one ($7) instead. With the food up my throat, I had no choice but went home, laid down on the couch and wondered when my big belly is going to get smaller.
NOTE: The cheapest burrito on the menu is Mr. Jones. Six dollars for the 10-inch; Seven dollarsi for the 12-inch. All prices include HST.
Budgie’s Burritos–JameDog (Veganized): ©©3/4
Budgie’s Burritos–JameDog (Veganized) with lots of hot sauces on the side: ©©©1/2
Budgie’s Burritos 44 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, Canada (T) 604.874.5408
For Budgie’s Burritos Menu and Store Hours, click here.
Remaining Budget: $155.47
Budget Spent: -$7.14 ($8 included HST)
Budget Available: $148.33
©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.