Monday, August 19, 2013

I'd Move to St. Kilda for Bay City Burrito

I've got a thing for burritos and it goes like this: rice, beans and other ingredients of my choice, slathered in salsa and at least two sauces and wrapped up into a slightly steamed, flexible flour wrap. Then wrapped again in tinfoil. The whole thing should weigh almost as much as my computer and should be an amazing combo of millions of Ameri-Mexican flavors. 

My taste buds should be tired after, and I should be on the verge of a food coma. It should be comforting if I'm sad, greasy if I'm hungover, hot if I'm cold. I've had a lot of average, boring burritos and have only had a few that satisfy my requirements to the T. None of them have been in Australia, until now. Bay City Burrito, on a back street in St. Kilda, has given me hope for the country's burgeoning (more like fledgling or even sapling, a little baby tree clinging to spare drops of sunlight) Mexicali scene.
When we finally tore ourselves out of bed on Saturday to continue our newfound Mexican themed weekend after impromptu tequila shots on Friday night, we met fears that Bay City would be packed. It's Mexican, it's American, it's St. Kilda: it's definitely a recipe for long lines and waits. But no. We were startled to find the storefront empty around 1pm, when every eatery on Acland St. was hopping. We were strident in our cause, however, and pressed on in a normally concerning situation, because burritos, duh.
Charlie ordered the Bay City Bomber at $16.50 with steak and chicken, black beans, Spanish rice, cheese, guac, lime sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and medium salsa because "it's massive." I went with the Baja at $15.20: Prawns sautéed in salsa, onions and garlic with Spanish rice, black beans & lime sour cream. I added queso sauce, because that's what I do. Melty queso is what melds the ingredients together in a burrito, in my book. They have Jarritos, too! We both got mango (Charlie copies me, durrrrr. I'd copy me too, if that was possible.)
No more than ten minutes later the glorious brick babies arrived, warm and swaddled tightly in tinfoil, as they should be. It was true, the Bay City Bomber was larger than my Baja, and quite massive. We both became basically silent for the next 15 because these were just so good. My shrimp were garlicky and tender. They were cooked a little past snappy to soft, but this was excusable because the flavors were just, there. The lime sour cream was amazing, rice and beans, queso... everything just collided and had a flavor fiesta in there. Somehow I ended up with green salsa in the mix -- I think there was some miscommunication when I added queso and maybe I didn't even end up with queso but salsa instead but, fine. The tortilla was springy and moist and neatly rolled up. This was exactly what I have been missing. Well played.
Charlie's big boy was equally delicious but had such a different flavor profe. He really enjoyed the black olives cutting through everything and basically that's all I know because he was rendered speechless due to big burrito and hangover. I had bites of his when I finished mine because I am a monster and I did like mine better, but I liked his too. I got the best part at the bottom where all of the juices have dripped down and flavor bomb. The lime sour cream wasn't quite as apparent in his as it was in mine and that was a small shame. 

Basically, I regret the decision to live in Brunswick, miles away from Bay City, but I am also thankful for it. (It wasn't open yet when we chose our neighborhood, but I can't promise it wouldn't have been a weighty reason to choose St. Kilda.) Because it's so far away, Bay City will remain special treat for me, and I won't turn into the size of a house, hopefully. I'm confident that the shop is going to become busy; they offer $4 tacos on weekdays and have beers, the perfect after work equation. I'm not sure where all the early detractors on Urbanspoon are going with their complaints. For me, Bay City offered a welcome taste of home.

Bay City Burrito: 4-7 Shakespeare Grove, St. Kilda, VIC 3182. 03 9534 1582
Bay City Burrito on Urbanspoon


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