Now, here’s a beautiful thing to see when you’re driving down N. Highland Ave. on a weekend day with your stomach rumbling for lunch:
Chef Hector Santiago – the tapas maestro from Pura Vida Tapas — hand rolling burritos under a tent. Santiago’s Burro-Pollo Burrito Stand opens at noon on Saturdays and Sundays and and continues until the burritos sell out.
The namesake menu item is a fat burrito filled with shreddy, stewy, spicy chicken in red chile ($6). But this is no Chipotle-style tube-o-starch. Santiago begins with a grilled-charred flour tortilla, sheer and bubbly, and fills it with plenty of saucy chicken, a bit of tomatillo salsa, a bit of Mexican crema, and a fresh garnish of paper-thin carrots, radishes, onions and cilantro. If you want chile, Santiago flicks in a few pomegranate-seed sized cobanero chiles that pop between your teeth.
In addition to the burrito (which Santiago can also make with tofu), he serves a fresh salad topped with a brand of seasoned Latin American tuna (”The best you will every try,” he enthuses.) and a refreshing agua fresca, such as the watermelon-basil he was serving when we visited.
This is one heckuva burrito. Look for it in the parking lot across from Pura Vida.