Red Olive Brings Burritos to 55th + Lex
There’s been some activity in the forums and comments lately about a new burrito joint/generic deli/mystery spot that has cropped up on 55th and Lex. While generic delis definitely aren’t our thing here on ML, burritos definitely are, so eventually my curiosity was piqued and I wandered over to check it out.
I gave the salad bar in the back a cursory check (it did look like they had a larger selection of toppings than usual, but I don’t really frequent salad bars so perhaps it’s pretty standard) and then headed straight back to the burrito counter. You get the choice of protein (chicken, pork belly, steak, bulgogi, tofu) plus a slew of toppings which are laid out before you, Chipotle style:
I chose a steak burrito (the pork belly didn’t look fatty enough to actually be belly…if you’ve tried it please weigh in), but panicked a little when it came to the toppings. I didn’t plan ahead, and when I saw the array of choices, some Asian-inspired and some your standard Mexican, I was a little caught off-guard. I ended up with: steak, fried rice with ham and egg, pico de gallo, black beans, and hot sauce.
The burrito was definitely a hefty size, although it wasn’t rolled as tightly as I prefer. The burrito had a nice kick from the hot sauce, but I’d definitely say that the nameless cart across the street will give you more authentic Mexican flavors. The fried rice side of my burrito tasted Asian, not like the grease-bomb fried rice of your corner Chinese joint, but a blander, amateur, less oily version that is similar to something I’d probably concoct at home. The steak was more tender than I expected, and the “Mexican” side of my burrito was pretty standard with the cilantro flavor from the pico de gallo standing out in particular.
The last thing worth noting is that the place was very clean and sterile looking, so if you don’t like your Mexican food “down and dirty”, this might be the place for your burrito fix. Other than that, I’d say stick to the nameless cart across the street or El Rey del Sabor for your Mexican burrito needs, and head on over to Seoul Food or Korilla for your Asian burrito cravings for now. This place is still relatively new, so they could still be working things out. Stay tuned for updates.
Red Olive, 660 Lexington Ave (btw. 55+56th), (212) 207-8014