Catherine is leaving for a ladies-only trip to Cornwall/Montreal tonight and so before she leaves we decided to have lunch and spend some time downtown. I’ve been to Burrito Amigo before (I went on Friday – you’ll note today is Sunday…yeah they’re that good) with a good friend of mine as a farewell lunch for him, but this was Cat’s first visit after I raved excitedly about how delicious it was. So, waking up this morning I had burritos on the mind and couldn’t wait to head downtown.
We’ve recently been bitten with the Mexican/Tex-mex bug from our recent trip to San Francisco and it hasn’t let up since coming back to Kingston. Imagine our elation when the burrito joint we’ve had our eye on for a while finally opened! Burrito Amigo is nestled just a stone’s throw away from the hub and Queen’s campus. This place is super easy to get to for students! The menu is simple and fresh, and to Catherine’s delight is printed on craft card stock.
I went with a dark meat chicken burrito this time, which is steeped in a mustard-thyme marinade, with cilantro-lime rice, black beans fried in bacon fat, pico de gallo, fresh red salsa, guacamole, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, lettuce, and chipotle garlic mayo. Catherine went for the brisket burrito, which is double cooked in their signature spice rub, and topped it with everything I had sans guacamole and chipotle garlic mayo. In all honesty, I think burritos are the perfect meal – possibly even a contender for my pretend death row meal. I think what the Burrito Amigo guys are doing is great – hitting a niche that went relatively unfilled and serving up some of the meanest burritos in the Limestone City.
As I was eating I was conflicted because on one hand I would love to see these guys expand their menu a bit more (fresh tortilla chips to go with those signature salsas, guys!! salsa verde, perhaps?! or carne asada tacos!) but on the other hand why mess with success? Their business and their brand is still in its infancy so I can understand the simplicity of what they’re currently offering to Kingston. The owner and head chef are a couple of the most down to earth guys we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Chris Tringham and Ben Tennant seem like the kind of guys that you would want to kick back a couple of cervezas with and play some ultimate frisbee or something. Cat and I were chatting about how young these guys are and how awesome it is that they’re putting themselves out there like this. Owning a restaurant, let alone a small business, is no easy task – especially in a downtown core that sees so much tenant turnover. Speaking as a small business owner myself I have to hand it to Chris and Ben for being a couple of the coolest and bravest hombres on the restaurant scene in Kingston.
Cat and I are always down for promoting downtown businesses on our blog because we want our downtown to succeed. I mentioned to Chris that there are some food events/festivals that happen downtown that they should consider getting involved with to build their brand awareness more. They are the perfect business (easy to make, mobile food) to be using social media to their advantage in order to create hype around their business. This past Saturday was our city’s annual downtown promenade where they make Princess Street pedestrian only. Ben mentioned that they rented some tables in expectation of the crowds but very few people actually used them. Calculated financial risks are always going to be a part of any start up but I appreciate their willingness to try different things. Kingstonians are not exactly known for their adventurous spirit food-wise, so I hope Ben and Chris really try some creative ways to draw us townies in.
In the meantime, we’ll be telling our friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who stops by our blog to mosey on down to Burrito Amigo (337 Princess Street) to eat some amazing food and chat with some really great guys.