Hot off the press is the new offshoot from the Wahaca team and it’s called Burrito Mama. Co-founder and previous Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers has created this as it appeals to the people who want a quick meal and who don’t necessarily want to take a seat. With the influx of chains like Chipotle and Benito’s Hat, to name a couple, there’s definitely been a stronger demand for the Americanised version of this Mexican favourite in recent years. That isn’t to say that Mama’s is rehashing something we’ve seen before. On the contrary. It’s opened in One New Change and so will definitely be one that the city workers frequent.
I love burritos. They’re an indulgence, a comfort and will fill you with sleepy hollow before you know it. I’ve limited myself to half of one at lunchtime, otherwise it’s as though someone has slipped a tranquiliser into my guacamole and no one wants to see that!
Burrito Mama is wonderful. There’s something quite wholesome about the experience. It’s fully decked out with a corrugated walled, 1950s style shack and a sleek twist of self-service computers in the foreground. It’s colourful, upbeat, bright and fresh.
I chose a baby burrito (nothing small about it) with grilled chicken. Their chicken is chargrilled and described as ‘higher welfare’. A plus point for me. I ventured to ask for guacamole and was told that it comes as standard. Refreshing. There’s a choice of mild, medium or hot when it comes to picking your salsa too. Along with that I decided to try their Mexican beer – Pacifico.
It was explained to me that the difference with their burritos is they toast the tortilla first and then sprinkle the cheese in, a nice alternate as it means the cheese is melted and more of a base to the burrito, locking in the other ingredients. One thing that is definitely note worthy is everything is evenly distributed. So often you wind up with rice, rice, rice and then a big dollop of sour cream. This was well made and thoughtfully constructed. The chicken was soft and smokey; a nice, gentle taste to it. The rice was good, but the black beans were a touch undercooked. The blend of the sauces was fantastic, enough of the creamy avocado and tang of the salsa to suffice, but the real twist and the best element of all is the slaw. An unorthodox twist, but right there, in my burrito was a lightly dressed, crunchy, fresh, spicy slaw. It was the essence of this whole experience and what sets it apart. This gives it a wholesome feeling, one that doesn’t make you feel so dirty afterwards.
Onto the very cheap, sweet, Mama’s Treats. I tried the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake – ‘a little pot of dense chocolate cake soaked in a mixture of three milks and topped with crunchy peanut candy’. I couldn’t have described it better myself! For only £1 this is a bite size chaser, all you should be able to handle after a burrito, and it’s the perfect amount. It’s exactly what is needed, not too rich and the milks blend with the sponge of the cake so well, with the peanut adding a little je ne sais quoi.
I also sampled the Chilli Chocolate Crunchy Cake. The base is a cross between a crunchy digestive and an oaty flapjack. The thick, hard layer of chocolate on top is fragrant and decadent. The chilli only hits you when you’ve swallowed. It’s actually not as spicy as you would think, it’s a welcome difference that’s for sure.
So, all in all, a welcome treat filled with spice, warmth and good, hearty ingredients. I think it’s definitely one to keep an eye on and I bet there will be more of them opening soon and my hope…that they will branch into the street food scene next summer. Fingers crossed. Mama definitely knows best.
One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF
020 3375 2374