Reader: A $10 burrito? Somewhere in Denver, a hard-working Mexican is laughing

Scratch14.jpg
Lori Midson
Burrito from Scratch Burrito & Happy Tap
Clay Markwell used to cook at TAG. Now he has a place of his own: Scratch Burrito & Happy Tap, which just opened yesterday in northwest Denver, in the former home of Shazz. The focus here is on burritos, big burritos, which "map back to different cultures and cuisines," says Scratch's exec chef/owner. There are eight versions available, each happily stuffed with smart, fresh ingredients and served with a seasonal side salad for $9.50. The food looks great, the place looks great...but is the price right?

See also:
- Photos: Scratch Burrito & Happy Tap opens in Berkeley
- Clay Markwell opening Scratch Burrito & Happy Tap in the former Shazz space
- Benny Kaplan, former chef of Shazz Cafe, opening Wafflich on Tennyson Street

Says Guest:

Not sure what a $10 burrito tastes like, but I have to admit I will line up with the rest of the Yupsters to try. Somewhere in Denver a hard-working Mexican immigrant is laughing his ass off at us all. Or perhaps crying.

How much would you pay for a burrito? What's the best burrito deal you've found in town? The worst?



Location Info

Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap

4262 Lowell Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
helkins
helkins

Looking foward to trying it. I appreciate fresh, unique ingrediants and the side salad and left overs! I also appreciate local businesses. I'm somewhat anti-chain. I could careless if the chain originated in Colorado.

ARcolorado
ARcolorado

I went today after this write-up. If you want a $5 lunch, go to Subway. This was so good and not your typical burrito ingredients. It is not your typical burrito and if you want authentic Mexican or whatever said commenters would like to call it, this is not it. I applaud and more than appreciate the creativity in what they brought to a burrito to make it their own. I already love Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap and welcome them to the neighborhood. The place is also pretty hip inside with a great bar. 

callkris
callkris

Hit the roach coaches, only authentic Mexican food in Colorado & still reasonably priced!

Tim Burns
Tim Burns

I went for lunch yesterday, and thought it was a really nice burrito. A little more expensive than some cheap-o thing I could probably find with mystery fillings, but also nice to know that the ingredients are coming from largely local producers. I feel that you get what you pay for.

DonQuixote
DonQuixote

Burrito's here suck, really I keep trying them in different places and they all suck.

Jon_S
Jon_S

I think the Mexicans are already laughing at us for thinking anyone in Mexico actually eats burritos.

monopod
monopod

A steak burrito with guac at Chipotle will run you about $9, and that doesn't come with a side salad.  Doesn't seem that big a leap to me, especially if they're offering a lot more options (since Chipotle is able to keep their prices lower by having a limited menu).  

helkins
helkins

@DonQuixote What type of burrito did you try? I'll be sure to order something else.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@DonQuixote The solution would seem to be to stop ordering burritos.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Jon_S The burrito is as Mexican as the torta and the empanada. Flour tortillas may be a new introduction to the canon of Mexican cuisine compared to maiz, chiles, and avocados, but they definitely come from Mexico and Mexicans. But since food, like language, respects no political borders, we are fortunate to have burritos here too. 

It's also possible that Mexicans are not so possessive of their culinary treasures as you would have us believe. Is anyone laughing at the Sonoran hot dog or enchiladas suizas? Or maybe tacos arabes? If Mexicans can successfully assimilate influences of other cultures into their foods, why can't an American use the burrito as a base for further experimentation? 

Jon_S
Jon_S

@Mantonat @Jon_S Hey, don't get me wrong, I love me a good overstuffed foil-bomb as much as the next guy, and I'm definitely going to try Scratch Burrito. But the origin of the burrito is highly debatable (whether it truly originated in Mexico, or was a Tex-Mex creation that made it's way back over the border). What is indisputable is that burritos in Mexico only exist in some border towns, and are completely unknown to the vast majority of the population. I don't think there are any Mexican immigrants laughing or shedding tears over the authenticity of burritos served here, because any Mexican immigrant almost certainly never had a burrito until they came to the US. 

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Jon_S Word. If it's as big as a baby's arm, chances are I'll try to put it in my mouth.

Jon_S
Jon_S

@Mantonat @Jon_S So I think except for our disagreement on the specific origins of the burrito we're actually trying to get the same point across, I'm just being snarkier. The basic sarcastic point of my original comment was this: Burritos aren't one of those things you should go around critiquing because of how authentic they are. I think we all agree that if a monster burrito is tasty, it's worth scarfing down with as much pleasure as possible.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Jon_S The distinction between food that originated as Tex Mex or food that originated just south of the border is more geopolitical than cultural. If its the same culture or ethnic group eating more or less the same food on either side of the border, it doesn't really matter. It's pretty clear though that flour tortillas were part of Mexican food and its not a stretch to imagine people in their own homes, in the workplace, or in local markets using them to wrap fillings. In other words, it was a natural evolution based on existing ingredients that people were already eating on both sides of the border. 

Which is much different than Mexican food being either adapted in restaurants to appeal more to non-Mexicans or being appropriated and altered into something completely different (like some of the items at Scratch burrito). Of course, all of these adaptations and mutations can be tasty as hell, or not. Either way, I think Mexicans can proudly claim the burrito as their own. Whether they choose to laugh at all the variations or try them and then decide is up to them.

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