Across Colorado and the nation, restaurateurs are drawing on their creative problem-solving skills to find ways to rehire laid-off staff and make use of restaurant spaces standing empty due to pandemic closures. The latest inspired solution comes from Kevin Morrison, owner of Tacos Tequila Whiskey and Fish N Beer: Burro Rito, a burrito pop up in the Fish N Beer space, slinging Mission-style beauties with grilled fillings. In other words, a Denver slam-dunk.
All eight ‘ritos are seasoned with Morrison’s quirky, always-tasty tweaks. The early favorite is the Atun Rito ($10), a compact cylinder of guajillo-crusted seared tuna, citrusy rice, black beans, chipotle mayo, and the genius addition of crunchy-salty green tobiko. It’s a burrito you’ll think about for hours after it’s gone.
There are also meaty options, including tender chicken with chicharron-flavored pinto beans, that same lime-and-herb rice, pico de gallo, and Monterey Jack. The wood-kissed cauliflower tinga is the spiciest of the bunch, and the Socal Rito, stuffed with juicy chunks of steak, french fries, Jack cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream, is gloriously over the top. (There should be french fries on all sandwiches, don’t you agree?)
Perhaps the local-loveliest element of Burro Rito is the fact that every burrito is crafted with Raquelitas’ red chile flour tortillas, which are produced just five blocks away on Larimer Street by brothers Richard Schneider and Raul DeLaTorre and their team. The tortillas are made with transitional organic flour—the product of wheat grown on land that is moving toward full organic certification—milled from Colorado wheat. Even better, the tender wrap is flavored with ground red chiles, cumin, and garlic, so they do more than hold Burro Rito’s flame-kissed fillings, they also bring big flavor.
Burro Rito is slinging breakfast iterations on Saturday mornings filled with the likes of braised pork, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and chipotle hollandaise, and there’s a vegetarian version made with walnut chorizo that owner Kevin Morrison swears tastes just like the real thing. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try Burro Rito’s raspado of the day, a Mexican-style shaved ice float made with fresh fruit purees, ice cream, shaved ice, and a drizzle of sweet condensed milk; the blackberry version was tart and creamy and wonderful.
The pop up commences at Fish N Beer at 11:30 a.m. on May 7, and will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until at least May 21. Morrison says that due to the uncertainty around when restaurants will be allowed to open—and under what restrictions—Burro Rito could stay at Fish N Beer for longer. Either way, the new concept has allowed Morrison to rehire eight members of the 120-person staff his company had to let go in mid-March, so he already considers the pop up a success.
Every person placing an order on opening day will receive a gift card for a free burrito and a horchata Rice Krispies square on their next visit. And for every burrito sold, Morrison is donating another burrito to a frontline healthcare worker.
Burro Rito (3510 Larimer St.) is open Wednesday through Sunday, May 7 through 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Breakfast burritos are available on Saturdays only, from 8 to 11:30 a.m.