Saturday, July 13, 2013

NOTO Burrito Keeps Me Comin' Back

View Larger Map This map shows where Serendipity is located because NOTO Burrito is so new they aren't on the map yet. Serendipity is right next door.

NOTO Burrito is so good I have gone back three times since it opened last month. That's gotta say something about the place.

First off, I tried the Planting Peace and Love burrito - in honor of the Equality House here in Topeka. It comes with two choice of meats (they don't judge), pico, three blend cheese, guac, jalepeno cheese sauce and a rainbow of their salsas. I only got chicken because I didn't want tofu, turkey or ground beef - those are the other choices they offer up. On top of this masterpiece they put this lovely pineapple barbecue slaw that made the entire burrito. There are two different types of slaw including the one I just mentioned and the mango habanero slaw, which is much spicier than the pineapple barbecue.

 The slaw was my favorite part - crunchy, soft, sweet and tangy. I loved it. The only part I wish could have been improved was the use of fresh pineapple would have been appreciated because it's so in season right now - currently they use canned. Canned is consistent, but just not as flavorful, in my opinion.

The first time I went they placed the slaw on the top of the burrito and it was served in a basket. The second time I went they made some adjustments and started putting the slaw inside the burrito and in a to-go box with chips. The salsa was out so you could get yourself some. The third time I returned they kept the to-go boxes but started portioning out the salsas so everyone got one 2 oz. portion of each kind - rojo red, sweet and spicy and strawberry jalepeno. They also had returned to putting the slaw on top of the burrito. The significance of this is that the owners care - they want your experience to be pleasant. They have been asking customers for their opinions and input and they have listened - that is how I know they will be successful in the future, they care.

The second time I went I ordered the Thai Me Up - I love the names. They make me laugh. Inside this concoction comes rice, beans, cheese, fried noodles, zesty Hawaiian salsa (I think that's the pineapple slaw) and your choice of tortilla wrap - they have spinach, roasted red bell pepper and regular flour. I enjoyed the mesh of Mexican and Thai food that took part in this burrito. They only thing I felt was lacking was the use of the fried noodles. I couldn't really tell they were in there and they didn't add to the burrito. I actually forgot they were in there until the end when I looked at the ingredient list again and was like "oh yeah...". Probably won't order that one again, but it was still pretty tasty.

The third burrito I feasted upon was the Roman's Wankie - I feel weird even saying the name. This one had rice, beans, avocado, pico, sour cream, chicken, cheese and romesco sauce on top with choice of slaw. This one was a good mix of Italian flavor and burrito with the addition of the romesco sauce. That slaw just makes everything taste so amazing. Next time I wonder if they would think I was weird if that's all I ordered.

What I like about the NOTO Burrito is that it's local, fresh and delicious. The owners care, they want to please you and the atmosphere is that of NOTO - relaxed, inviting and artsy.  The walls are filled with local art and they even have letters arranged that say 'support local'. I think it's the perfect addition to the North Topeka Arts District and I hope they continue to do well.

Every time I have gone it has been busy and I have had to wait a few minutes in line, but it's always been worth the wait. I went during the First Friday ArtWalk in July and waited almost half and hour in line but others were doing the same so I must not be the only one who feels that way!