A huge variety of tasty burritos are just waiting to be made and eaten at High Tech Burrito, a brightly sunlit corner store on lively Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. With an extensive menu of classic burritos, healthy burritos and gourmet "high tech" burritos, HTB takes credit for helping to popularise Fresh Mex in Australia. Other than their namesake, they also serve other Mexican inspired classics such as tacos and nachos.
Burritos and tortilla chips from High Tech Burrito.
It seemed to take just as long for my friend and I to decide what to order from the many tantalising options than it did for them to prepare our food. Before I even had time to chant "where's my burrito", Homer Simpson style, our food had arrived.
I had expected a long wait given that their ethos is to prepare authentic Mexican/Californian fusion style food that is flavourful rather than fast. Yet we had barely been sitting for a few minutes when our baskets of tortilla chips arrived. After maybe five minutes of picking at the chips, our steaming hot burritos were ready.
We adored the tortilla chips; which are served with your choice of one of their fresh salsas or guacamole. The mildest salsa, which consisted of diced tomato and onion, was similar to bruschetta. Meanwhile the guacamole was slightly hot to our Western tastes. At first the hint of spice was almost imperceptible, but it builds up over time to have a significant kick.
It seemed like quite an Americanised experience, with the food being served on paper wrapping in little plastic baskets. There is a self-serve drink fountain, adding to the impression.
The burritos were fairly dense, as they tend to be, packed full of a miscellany of delicious ingredients. I got the HTB special, which includes two meats (I chose chicken and tofu), Spanish rice, beans and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla. My friend ordered a vegetarian burrito, which contained tofu, guacamole, Spanish rice and beans.
We were both pleased with our burritos. The combination of ingredients went well together; it was all perfectly seasoned and flavoursome without being too overpowering. I was particularly impressed with the tofu, which had the winning combination of both texture and flavour (as opposed to a bland lump as tofu can often be). Sadly we were unable to finish our burritos, but not through lack of trying- they were huge!
What was so "high tech" about the burritos? They seemed no more advanced than regular burritos. As it turns out, the name is a nod to the origin of the business rather than a description of the burritos themselves. The owner explained that High Tech Burrito is franchised from a Silicon Valley business which was founded at the time when growth of computer technology and the Internet was exploding. At the time, everything suddenly became labelled "high tech"- food included. Perhaps the reference is lost on Australians, particularly those of a generation that doesn't remember the dot-com boom.
Whether or not you get the name, one thing about High Tech Burrito is loud and clear: their food strikes that winning combination of tasty, fresh and fast. Highly recommended.