It is a ritual in my company: almost every Friday we do a burrito run, which is how I met Luardo’s. They make huge and tasty burritos, perfect for feeling a bit heavy in the afternoon and getting ready for drinking in the evening.
As with other dishes I eat often, I did a quick research on burritos. One of the first similar examples were seen in pre-Columbian Aztec peoples of Mexico, who were wrapping tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados etc in tortillas. According to the modern Mexican folk history though, around 1910s, a guy called Juan Mendez was wrapping food inside tortillas and selling them with his donkey. In time, “food of the little donkey” changed into “little donkey”, which is the meaning of the word burrito in Spanish. Also, as you can probably guess, burritos in Mexico are often made with only refried beans and/or meat, and the burrito that we know (with guacamole, sour cream, rice, cheese, ..) is actually American style.
Inspired by Petra Barran‘s (founder of eat.st) Choc Star van, disappointed with festival food, and having ten grand at bank but not knowing what to do, Simon – or John? – decided to buy a van and sell Mexican street food. What’s impressive about Luardo’s is their attention to freshness and quality. Every day between 7am and 11:15am, they prepare fresh tomato salsa, habanero hot sauce, their own guacamole and tender slow cooked meats, plus all the other burrito ingredients. You may well manage to prepare a bad dish out of quality ingredients, but you can not prepare a good dish with low-quality ingredients. Luardo’s surely has a good base in this sense.
They have two vans, a lime green one called Jesus, and a pink one called Mary. Jesus resides in Whitecross street whilst Mary pop out in eat.st Kingscross. On a Thursday, me and Engin -the two food pilgrims- headed towards to see Jesus and have some holy bread.
They usually have one of the longest queues in Whitecross street.
In a 12″ soft tortilla filled with rice, black beans, cheese, tomato salsa, sour cream, lettuce and fresh coriander, you have either chicken breast, slow cooked pork carnitas or beef shank & brisket cooked in spicy chipotle. As extras, you
can must get guacamole and chorizo too. Luardo’s also makes fish tacos but unfortunately I still did not had the chance to taste them, apparently it is Mary who’s selling them – not Jesus.
The wrap is huge and very tasty. Tortilla is soft and warm. Although there are many ingredients, you can taste them one by one and also altogether; they are all in harmony. Spiciness level is perfect, lettuce and tomato salsa are delivering freshness, and chorizo is giving a perfect salty-savoury kick in the background, balancing guacamole. Chicken’s texture is a bit dry but other ingredients are covering this up to a point. For this reason I usually opt for pork or beef. Also I would prefer meat taste to be the main flavour and dominate the burrito, instead of vegetables. Still, this does not prevent Luardo’s burrito to be quite amazing.
If you want a filling and tasty lunch treat, Luardo’s would be a really good choice.
Rating: 8 / 10
Price: £5 – £6
Location: Jesus is at Whitecross Monday to Friday. Mary is occasionally at eat.st King’s Cross selling burritos and at Brockley Market (SE4) selling fish tacos and tortas in addition to burritos. Their website has a nice list.