Just a couple weeks ago a new place opened up in the North Topeka Arts District and they are calling themselves the NOTO Burrito.
Now, with the recent build-your-own burrito trend that has been growing in popularity, some may think this place is comparable to Qdoba or Chipotle and while they are the same concept, the flavors are fresh and diverse and nothing like these two chains.
The owners are Pedro Conception, who owns Boca Café on College Hill, and Jenny Torrence who owns Serendipity right next door. I knew I loved the unique flavor combinations that Conception creates and the atmosphere at Seredipity is always inviting, so I figured this place would be a good place to check out.
I have been there three separate times and each time I have ordered a different burrito. As someone who was there the first day they opened, the second week and on July’s First Friday Artwalk, I can vouch that the owners want to please their customers. Each time I have gone, there have been improvements and changes – so don’t be surprised if something I describe isn’t exactly the same when you order it – ask the owners and they might be able to tell you why. Maybe something wasn’t working and they found a better way.
Not only are the burritos tasty, the names are catchy. First, I tried the Planting Peace and Love Burrito – yes, it’s in honor of the Equality House – and that’s why I ordered it. It has a choice of two meats (they don’t judge) – I just wanted chicken – sour cream, guac, three blend cheese, jalepeno cheese dip and a rainbow of their salsas. The best part was the pineapple barbeque slaw they put on top. The textures are what I look for in all my food, soft, crunchy, sweet and tangy – it wasn’t really spicy at all. The other slaw they offer, the mango habanero slaw packs a little more heat and you can get that one instead if spice is what you are looking for.
Upon returning I tried the Thai Me Up burrito and later the Roman’s Wankie. The Roman’s Wankie is one that they have recently added to the menu, and actually, every time I go in they have new combinations. It’s hard to pick a favorite because they were all good.
The burritos come with chips and 3 different salsas – rojo red, strawberry jalepeno and sweet n’ spicy. My favorite salsa was the sweet n’ spicy salsa because it was just that, sweet and spicy.
If you don’t like burritos they also have tacos and salads. Same with meat, if it’s not your thing they have a chorizo-flavored tofu that comes in their vegetarian burrito called The Big V – but you can substitute it in any of the other burritos, too. They offer chicken, turkey and ground beef for their choices of meat and they will work with you on what you want. They also offer a variety of tortillas to suit your tastes – spinach, flour and roasted red bell pepper.
Every time I have gone it’s been busy but it’s worth the wait. The prices are a little higher than other burrito places but the ingredients are fresh and delicious and they come with chips and salsa, whereas at the chains you have to buy it separate and it ends up costing more than $10.
NOTO is the place to be in Topeka and the and the NOTO Burrito has made that even more true. I plan to go back many times in the future so I can try their unique flavor combinations and whatever they come up with next.
Their address is 822 North Kansas Avenue. For their full menu and more photos of their food, go to their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NotoBurrito.
For the radio review that played July 12th on 580 WIBW, click on the link below.