With that notepad, I couldn’t resist.

Yesterday was the Group IT Away Day for work. For it we hiked out to Wotton House Hotel in Surrey which is where John Evelyn was born in 1620. I’m not sure it looks much like it did then. Mostly boring hotel interior with flashes of old bits of architecture that I could spot.

At any rate. There was a note pad in my room that said ‘Pen Your Thoughts’ across the top of it. I couldn’t resist doing something to maybe give the cleaning staff a chortle.

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On the night stand.

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On the desk.

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Beside the TV.

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On the other night stand with the phone.

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In the bathroom.

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And a useful note also on the desk.

Go for a Burrito – Tortilla on the Strand

It’s no secret that I have a soft, smushy spot for burritos. I had my first one only 2-some years ago and oddly enough can’t recall from where. But since then loads of places have popped up in London serving up rice, beans, meat, and topping concoctions.

I’ve been to most so I thought, hey I should do some reviews. My usual haunt hasn’t been up to standards so I’m going to mix it up a bit. I had the most unpleasant burrito I’ve ever had this past week and really at that point I thought I’d share my experiences. Not sure if I can go back to that one for the sake of a review though.

We start off this week with the newest spot to open up near work: Tortilla Mexican Grill in the Strand. Like most Mexican places, Tortilla is a local chain and this spot is their newest. I knew about a few of them but upon checking their website it turns out they have about double the locations I thought they did.

Anyhoo, on to the noms. Tortilla are unique in that they have a medium and a large burritos on offer. The mediums go for £4.95 and the large for £5.95. Pretty standard price there on the large, though a pence cheaper than most. Thing is though, they cram so much into a medium size that I wouldn’t even bother with the large one. Their drinks are also a bit cheaper than most other places. A bottle of water is £1 and drinks, both soft and not so soft, go up from there.

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Let’s do this.

Here’s what I ordered:

  • Tortilla (steamed – this is important)
  • Coriander rice (this is also important)
  • Black beans
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Half a scoop of mild salsa
  • Medium salsa
  • Lettuce

Why only half a scoop of mild salsa? Well for starters I’m not a huge tomato fan, just a lil bit goes a long way. Also a lot of water comes up in that scoop and a watery burrito isn’t nice.

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A few bites in, so far so good.

The chicken here is tasty, but not the tastiest out there. Though it doesn’t have as many charred bit as other places. So a nice happy medium. Steaming the tortilla makes all the difference. A dry one just isn’t as nice and doesn’t fold over very well. My pro-tip is to avoid the Mexican/tomato rice and go for the coriander stuff. The flavour from the other totally overpowers all the other ingredients in there. They were a bit too heavy on the rice with this one but there are worse things that could happen.

Remember what I mentioned about not wanting a watery burrito? Well despite my best ordering efforts this happened about half way through:

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Leaky-deaky. This is going to get worse before it gets better.

Oooh boy. Look at that trail of watery mess. One of the downsides of them stuffing a medium burrito so well is that it isn’t as folded over as it should be and leaks like this are common ’round Tortilla. I soildered on but once I got near the bottom things weren’t looking good:

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(Greasy) water water everywhere.

Now had I been hungrier I may have keep plwoing through the soggyness, but I just didn’t have it in me and gave up shortly after the reveal. Your mileage my vary depending on your tolerance levels. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it though. Overall it was pretty good. Here’s a handy little break down:

Pros:

  • Was tasty
  • Chicken was nicely grilled
  • Good value
  • Not padded out with lettuce (as some places do)

And a few cons for this visit:

  • Was charged for a large when I ordered a medium burrito
  • Bit heavy on the rice
  • Sprung a leak half-way through eating

All in all, not too shabby. Initially I didn’t really care for Tortilla at all. Mainly I was going wrong with the rice but also some of their other locations don’t get the steaming of the tortilla quite right and it ends up being sort of sticky. These guys are doing alright with it.

Overall – 3 sombreros out of 5, would burrito again.