Montreal lacks a go-to burrito shop. Americans, and now Torontonians, have it easy. With a Chipotle never too far, a delicious burrito is always close at hand. Fortunately for us burrito-deprived Montrealers, a few burrito-based eateries have opened up in the last couple of years to fill the Mexican void in our lives. 'M4 Burritos' is one such place, and when it comes to filling your stomach with burrito goodness, M4 accomplishes the mission.
M4 Burrito is a newly founded Montreal-based burrito franchise inspired by the Mission District in San Francisco, where good Mexican eats are in abundance. After visiting this slice of burrito-heaven,the three founders of M4 recognized Montreal's need for similar eateries. Thus, M4 Burritos was born, a modern and healthy approach to the burrito with very strong Montreal roots.
The menu of M4 has all the standard Tex-Mex choices, with a couple of surprises. Burritos, of course, are the main attraction, and can be filled with braised pork and beef, grilled chicken, or just veggies, along with a mix of other fillings at your preference. Burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and salads are also up for grabs, if your not in a burrito kind of mood. Fresh ingredients are a major focus at M4, as all recipes are original, nothing is frozen, and all sauces and spices are made in-house. They don't even own a microwave or deep fryer.
Sauces and salsa are a definite strong point of M4's eats. All burritos can be filled with a choice of two salsas: corn and cilantro, the classic pico de gallo, sweet and zesty pineapple-mango, and a spicy salsa verde. All are delicious, but I really liked the peculiar pineapple mango. As is crucial to any burrito shop, M4 has guacamole to add to any dish. Chunky, yet smooth, and not too overpowering, the guacamole adds a creamy and flavourful element to whichever dish its paired with.
M4 is no slouch in the beverage department either. Unlike most burrito shops, one can order an alocoholic beverage to accompany one's meal. M4 has unique house beer in coriander or lime infused varieties, brewed right here in Montreal, and even margarertias. If you want to be a little more tame, yet still adventurous, M4 also serves homemade iced teas in classic black tea or hibiscus varieties. The hibiscus tea was a little odd, yet entirely refreshing, and paired well with the pronounced flavours of the salsas and meats.
But not on to the main event: the burrito itself. There's a lot of variety when crafting your personal burrito, as you can choose between any of the aformentioned meats, veggies, and salsas, and can also choose between two types of beans, the addition of rice, cheese, and other basic toppings. Going for the house favourites, I jammed packed my burrito with carnitas (braised pork), pico de gallo and salsa verde, white beans with bacon, rice, and the essentials of cheese, lettuce and sour cream. It was awesome.
I'm always really scared whenever I order such a stuffed burrito. Too many times have I had a hot mess on my hands of what used to be wrapped up mexican goodness. M4 has some stable tortillas and I got through my entire burrito with only some light sauce drippings. Any other worry I had regarding M4 were completley squashed once I started mowing down on my burrito. The pork was moist, the veggies crisp, and the salsas kicked up the flavour-notches straight to eleven. Every bite was a little bit different, having different ratios of different ingredients, but the overarching burrito-goodness was tasted at all times.
To cap off the meal, M4 has dessert too. M4's main dessert is the cayenne pepper chocolate brownie. Don't be weirded out by the addition of a hot pepper in a classic baked good, the combinaiton is delicious. The cayenne warms the mouth, rather than an intense burn, which balances the richness of the chocolate. Its almost like a solidified hot chocolate. Very cool...well you know what I mean.
So if you're on the mission for good burritos in Montreal, look no further than M4. Two locations are currently open in the city, one on St. Denis and Ontario, and the newly opened venue on Concordia campus/Guy-Concordia station, perfect for Concordia students or busy metro-folk who need a delicious and healthy food option. M4 is one burrito mission you will gladly accept.