Bar Burrito (593 College, at Clinton, 416-530-2738) Complete meals for $12, including all taxes, tip and a Corona. Average main $5.60. Open Sunday to Wednesday 11:30 am to midnight, Thursday 11:30 am to 1:30 am, Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 4 am. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on main floor. Rating: NN Rating: NN
This relatively recent addition to the College Street strip doesn't quite live up to its promise.
A place serving two imports and one domestic brand of beer does not qualify as a bar, and anyway the lights are too bright. The burritos are only okay. Small or large chicken or steak burritos go for $5.25/$6.50, and quesadillas and bean- and-cheese burritos are $5.95.
At least Burrito Boyz (120 Peter, 416-593-9191) offers veggie ground round or halibut, while Big Fat Burrito (285 Augusta, 416-913-7487) serves a version filled with yams.
And Bar Burrito's fare is less flavourful, less spicy, more expensive and smaller than its competitors'. A huge "small" bean-and-cheese burrito costs $3.75 at Burrito Boyz while a smaller small is $4.50 here. And why spend $6.50 for a large steak burrito in an empty, sterile space with blasting techno music when you can get great service, good tunes and a massive beef burger with fries for only $6.99 across the street at cheery Utopia Café (586 College, 416-534-7751)?
Incidentally, it will be obvious to anyone who has travelled to Mexico that none of the three eateries serves up food remotely reminiscent of that country's fantastic cuisine.
But Bar Burrito may still fill a food industry gap on College Street, where a lot of hungry people stagger out of countless clubs and bars in the wee hours. Finally, Little Italy has a late-night alternative to pizza.