- Courtesy Of La Casa Burrito
- Tacos at La Casa Burrito
For fresh south-of-the-border fare, Vermonters can now head north — to St. Albans. In the former Build a Bagel location at 30 South Main Street, La Casa Burrito just finished its second week in business. At lunch, visitors will find quick-serve tacos, burritos and rice bowls in a build-your-own format that should be familiar to anyone who's ever eaten at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Owner and Burlington native Shannon Smith said the idea actually came from her experience working at her brother-in-law Lary Budnick's festival concession, Strawberry Fields, founded in Vermont in 1979. "We did this way before Chipotle did," she said.
Older Vermonters may (or may not) remember Strawberry Fields' smoothie, falafel and burrito stands from Ben & Jerry's summer festivals, reggae fests and Phish's multiday concerts. These days, the concession rolls with the national festival circuit, popping up in food villages at places like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival.
In St. Albans, La Casa Burrito chef Valerie Christopher takes a from-scratch approach. "Everything is made fresh," Smith said. "The rubs, the salsas — everything!"
La Casa Burrito is now open daily for lunch and dinner. In a few weeks, the restaurant will swap its evening burrito line for sit-down dinner service, with beer and wine pending a liquor license. At that point, "the quick line will close at 4 p.m., and the dinner menu will go into effect," Smith said.
What's on that menu? Smith and Christopher are still sussing out the details, but Smith said guests can expect typical Mexican eats such as fajitas, empanadas, tacos and burritos, all served with rice and refried beans.