BURRITO BOYS (120 Peter, at Richmond, 416-593-9191) Complete meals for $8, including all taxes, tip and a pop. Average main $5. Open Monday to Wednesday 11 am to midnight, Thursday to Saturday 11 am to 4 am. Closed Sunday. Unlicensed. Access: six steps at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Several local spots are considering or in the process of franchising themselves locally , but none of them gets it as right so straight out of the box as Burrito Boys. Subtly art-directed in a hip Quiznos fashion - terra cotta tiles, Santa Fe red and purples, ironic sombrero count: six - this subterranean grotto of gringo grub has only been open a week but already looks destined to capture the appetites of late-night club kids. How long till the mall follows?
Sure, the space is tight - three people and it's more than a crowd - and the crew in the cramped open kitchen have yet to solidify a routine, but it's nothing that a couple of good weekends won't fix. Course, it helps that on those weekends B-Boys stays open till 4 am. And did we mention that it's located at Peter and Richmond in the heart of Clubland? Are those cash registers we hear ringing?
It also helps to have a product that's eminently marketable, and that's where Burrito Boys differs from its competition (paying attention, Rasoee?). You'd be correct in assuming that burritos are the meal deal here, but they're closer to the eclectic East-meets-West wraps found at New York Subway than to prefab Taco Bell.
The menu's as streamlined as the concept: five different types and two different sizes. First, a flour tortilla gets optionally spread with either creamy tomato rice and/or smooth processed refried beans as well as receiving a submarine-style trawl through the garden (chopped iceberg, slivered scallions, ripe tomato and sliced jalapeño).
Next, crisply grilled strips of tender chicken or slightly tougher beef mixed with cubed green bell pepper and onion as well as a handful of shredded Jack and squirts of spicy mayo and the house's hellacious habanero-based hot sauce are added to the wrap, and once folded, the whole thing's briefly returned to the grill (beef, chicken, vegetarian $5.50 10-inch/$4.50 7-inch, halibut $7.25/$6, bean 'n' cheese only $4.75/$3.50). The only thing missing: a fresh coriander kick.
Not only are they good eating, but a large vegetarian burrito tipped the Test Kitchen scales at a pound. Wrapped in foil and brown paper-bagged, there's not a finer 4 am carbo load around.