900 E. Main Street, Montrose, 970/964-8515
Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like grabbing a quick bite curbside – be it a specialty sandwich, a street taco or a slice of pizza – and then grinding it down right there on the curb or on a nearby picnic table. For many, especially those living in large cities, grabbing a quick lunch from a street cart is an everyday occurrence and is taken for granted. While there have been a few food carts popping up here and there, that occurrence is not so common in Montrose. Until now.
Just in time for the perfect spring weather to set in for a while in Montrose, Dan and Michele Pilon have set up and opened their Big Burrito food cart on the edge of east Main Street where, yes, burritos – breakfast and lunch – are the main attraction. The two have manned the Big Burrito cart since 2012 up in Gunnison, but decided in early March to bring down in elevation to Montrose.
The Big Burrito’s menu is simple and, as with many food carts, it’s centered on one main menu item. In this case, one would think it’s the burrito, but that’s not it. Michele’s spicy and fresh green chili with pork is this cart’s raison d’etre, and can be purchased by the 12-oz. cup ($4) and served with a tortilla, or used to smother any burrito for a buck.
Michele’s green chili is derived from an “old family recipe” she recently revived. It’s created in a Southern California/New Mexico style and it’s made fresh daily with locally grown Mattic’s Orchards green chilies. Besides a nice spice level, the green chili tastes fresh and comes with a noticeable yet not overriding taste of oregano. In the land of green chili, Michele’s green chili holds its own.
If a breakfast burrito is what your morning needs (or afternoon; the entire menu is served all day) Michele’s version of it comes filled with two eggs, hash browns and cheese. You either can keep it vegetarian ($6) with tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushroom and spinach, or add your choice of bacon, sausage, steak, chorizo or chicken for $7. Of course, you should probably smother it in green chili.
The lunch burrito changes a bit. Kep it vegetarian with beans, rice, cheese and choice of vegetables – including lettuce, tomato, onion, bell pepper, spinach and mushrooms – for $6. Add $1 to that and you get your choice of steak, chicken, bacon, sausage or chorizo. Again, why not smother it in green chili for an extra dollar? The burritos contain a medley of flavors and textures, as all good burritos should, with the mushrooms and spinach going the extra mile in offering flavors you don’t find in a burrito.
While the burritos are certainly filling enough, Michele does offer basic nachos for $2, as well, and make sure to try her hot green or mild red salsa to go along with those. A loaded version of the nachos ($5) is also available, made with steak or chicken, beans, tomato, onion, sour cream, jalapenos, and, of course, melted cheese.
Those who like melty can get a basic quesadilla for $3 or one with chicken or steak for $4. Kids are not forgotten at The Big Burrito; Michele will serve them up a bean and cheese burrito and a drink for $5.
Thanks to the adjacent parking lot, there is plenty of room to park yourself for a quick, alfresco breakfast or lunch. If there’s room at one of two picnic tables, grab a seat. If not, perhaps the tailgate of your truck? And if that’s not an option, there’s always a seat on the curb, where, sometimes, street cart food tastes best.
COMING SOON: It’s not on the menu right now, but Michele says to look out for huevos rancheros, in the works. “We have the best.”
CALL AHEAD: If curbside dining is not an option, give Michele a call ahead for even faster service during the busy lunch hour or any time during the workday.
Entire menu served daily from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.