Atlanta Burrito Wars (214th new thing).

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

There was once a burrito joint in Atlanta called Tortillas. While I never had the pleasure of eating there, Patrick was a patron in the restaurant’s nineties heyday (his college/rocker years). The way the super fans (Patrick included) talk about this place, it’s like Atlanta lost all culture in the burrito arts when they closed their doors in 2003.

Another super fan was Matt Hinton, who spent years in his kitchen perfecting the famous Tortilla’s recipe. About two or three years ago Matt started a Monday evening delivery service for his version of the Tortillas-style burrito. Patrick, upon hearing of the delicious enterprise, immediately began ordering the wrapped delights every week. Eventually Matt set up shop in the Sweet Auburn Market and renamed his walk-up eatery Bell Street Burritos. Patrick eats there about once a week or two, and he and Matt have become friends. I eat there once a blue moon (not a burrito nut like my boyfriend), and the burritos are pretty tasty. They are certainly better than any other in Atlanta, at least.

More recently another Tortilla’s-inspired tacqueria has popped up, this time in the East Atlanta village. Originally, the restaurant was going to be a collaboration between Matt and the owners of the old Wachovia Bank building set to be burrito place’s location, but they had a falling out and the EAV Tomatillos is not associated with Matt and Bell Street.

Patrick, a man of habit and routine, is intensely loyal to Bell Street Burritos. Eventually we had to try the new Tomatillos though, especially with its home being just steps from The EARL’s front door. So that we did on Day Two Hundred Fourteen.

We walked into the converted bank building and checked out the menu. Patrick ordered the pulled pork tacos and I the bean and cheese version of the Mexican staple. No burritos for us. I didn’t feel like stuffing my face with a pound of pintos and Patrick had made some sort of internal pledge where Bell Street is the only burrito for his heart. Or something. Like I said, fiercely loyal.

Beans, Cheese, Tomato, Guac, and Sour Cream

We had brought our own beer (Tomatillo’s didn’t have a liquor license yet) and found a nice table outside to drink our brew and eat some tacos. The tacos were pretty good, although I would hope anywhere calling themselves a burrito joint could make a good bean and cheese wrap. The tortilla was especially tasty and reminded me that I love homemade versions of the shell.

I think my favorite part of Tomatillos is the fact that the building is a converted bank. But maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for Mexican that evening. Next time I’ll be more adventurous.


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