FRESHWEST GRILL (TD Centre Food Hall, 100 Wellington West, at Bay, 416-861-8163) Complete meals for $12 per person, including all taxes, tip and a Limonata. Open Monday to Friday 11 am to 4 pm. Closed weekends. Unlicensed. Access: wheelchair accessible by elevator. Rating: NN Rating: NN
That a burrito joint is squeezed in among the counters in a lower-level food court is no surprise. Burritos are by nature fast food: piled, rolled and served. Well, okay, they're warmed up for a few seconds, but fast nonetheless. So the Tex-Mex specialty is a natural in the food court world.
Given the nearby alternatives (Quizno's, McD's, etc), Freshwest is a relatively healthy option for 9-to-5ers lunching on the run.
The first step is to choose a style: burrito, "inside-out burrito" (same stuff, no tortilla), Southwestern salad or tortilla soup. Next is the size and filling. The same prices apply to every style except the soup, which is a dollar cheaper across the board. Regular-size chicken, steak or soy goes for $6.50, a dollar more for jumbo. Shrimp is $6.75/$7.75 and veggie $5.50/$6.50.
The regular-size burritos are so enormous I can't fathom the jumbo. Filling choices include dryish but well-seasoned chicken breast, rubbery but not mingy shrimp, steak-like chunks of dehydrated leather, bland soy meat and veggies that are, well, fried veggies.
Best to pick the filling for its inherent protein quota, not its flavour.
Finally, choose the toppings. If you're not picky, request them all: plain Jane rice, crusty beans (pinto or black), lettuce, peppers, onions, corn, guac, cheese and sour cream. Add to that a salsa, either pico de gallo, tomatillo or red chili, which all taste the same.
That way you'll have created your own burrito, soup or salad a mix of ingredients so complicated that you'll forget what it's supposed to taste like anyway.
In the city, you have to head west for the best The Boyz still reign supreme in the world of take-out burritos.