Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Mission Burrito

Mission Burrito spiced up Oxford's lunch scene considerably when it hit St Michael's Street a few years ago. Bringing a taste of Mexico to the city centre, Mission's offer of burritos and tacos has proven so popular that they've now opened a second branch on King Edward Street.

Taking advantage of a Groupon offer, it was this new branch I visited on a Saturday lunchtime. With more space for diners than the original shop, customers hoping to eat in should perhaps head here instead. The menu is the same at both locations though, with vegetarian, chicken or carnitas (pork) burritos all costing £5.45 and steak numbers weighing in at £5.95. Tacos with the same fillings are also available, as well as burrito bowls for wheat-dodgers.

I opted for a vegetarian burrito: a flour tortilla packed with rice, black beans, sauteed onions and peppers, lettuce and my choice of 4 sauces, ranging from the mild pico de gallo to more firey options. I played it safe with the medium-spiced salsa verde, skipped the sour cream on offer and added some guacamole into the mix (70p extra). M chose a carnitas burrito with all the extras. As the Great British sunshine was putting in a rare appearance, we decided on an al fresco lunch instead of eating in. The friendly staff presented us with two very sizeable packages: Mission's burritos certainly aren't suitable for those looking for a light luncheon.

The combination of rice, beans and sauteed vegetables was a tasty one, although I couldn't help but wish there had been a few different veggies lurking in there to add more variety (perhaps this would be straying away from the path of authenticity, though). The salsa was on the mild side of medium, so if you like it spicy then be brave and try one of the hot sauces. It was definitely a satisfying lunch: the flour tortilla was stuffed with ingredients, but so expertly-assembled that it didn't prove messy to eat - perfect picnic food. M rated the carnitas option highly: she reported that the marinated pork was succulently moist with a good depth of flavour.

If you're looking for a lunchtime change from the usual panini or salad options, give Mission Burrito a go: its generous portions make its meals good value. Just make sure to bring your appetite.

Verdict: 7/10

Mission Burrito is at 8 St Michael's Street and 2 King Edward Street, Oxford.

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