222 Calhoun Street • Cincinnati, OH 45219 • (513) 281-1500
Cocktail Hour: The Lackman Presents Piano Man
4 weeks ago
I’m a big fan of the burrito/burrito bowl option for a quick lunch, but there’s only so much Chipotle, Baja, or California Tortilla that I can handle. Enter Currito, my new favorite place for a quick burrito. Located on Calhoun St right near UC, Currito offers burritos, burrito bowls, custom salads, and smoothies (not sure how they fit in) for a reasonable price, fairly quickly, and with terrific taste.
Although at peak lunch-time the restaurant can build a decent line, it moves quickly and the menu gives all the flexibility you need. The secret in my opinion is that they have some great combinations of food that you can pick from, or customize it anyway you want. For example, I’ve grown to love the Teriyaki burrito with caramelized onions, broccoli, carrots, and rice on a whole wheat tortilla with teriyaki sauce. They offer every burrito as a small, regular, or bowl (no tortilla).
Plus, you can always swap in brown rice, a whole wheat tortilla, or trade the rice for romaine usually for free. And now they offer burritos “crispy”, where they’ll grill the burrito on a flat grill to make the outside, well...crispy. And finally, anything you can get in a burrito, you can get in a salad. It just works.
In an unusual pairing for burritos, Currito also has several smoothie options, which can be based on either frozen yogurt, sorbet, or fruit juice. I’m a frequent visitor at Currito even though Chipotle is only a block or two away. Chipotle still has its own great taste, but Currito has five times as many great tastes, healthier options, and a shorter line. That wins in my book. Check it out!
I am definitely a Chipotle fan, but I order more or less the same thing every time I go. Especially eating vegetarian, there is not a whole lot of variation on the black bean burrito/salad/taco theme. Same ingredients, different wrapper. (I love it anyway.) However, Currito did figure out how to vary the theme. Rather than stick with just the Tex-Mex style elements, they add ingredients and sauces from every different type of food you can think of.
They have the different styles of salad/burrito/bowl, and you get to pick your protein: chicken, steak, or tofu, but beyond that, the insides are up to you. There are two ways to go about ordering at Currito: make-your-own or order off the menu. The make-your-own is fairly obvious. Walk the line of ingredients and tell the server exactly what you want in your lunch. If you go for the burrito option, the biggest challenge will be biting into it. The menu route is great for the first few trips to Currito, to sort of wrap your mind around a Cajun Burrito, for example. It’s “cajun” by virtue of the Cajun spices and roasted corn salsa, I suppose. The other ingredients are fairly burrito-typical. I’ve also had the Summer Burrito, which has a mango salsa that is delicious. Each of their menu items seems to highlight a different theme around which you can build your own, personal burrito. Or as they say on their website, “burritos without borders.”
The limitation of the make-your-own burrito is knowing your options. Especially when there’s a long line behind you, it can be hard to come up with the exact creative combination of ingredients to make your perfect burrito (/salad/taco…), but practice makes perfect. As I found with Habanero, I try not to go too boring, but I also don’t like to try more than a couple of interesting elements per meal. Currito will still be there next week when you’re craving an Asian-Mediterranean-Cajun-Winter burrito bowl!