If you have ever been to Fort Collins, CO then you will know what I’m talking about. Even if you have ever read an article about the city, you will know what I am talking about. And you will know how easy it is to fall in love with the city. The welcoming campus of Colorado State University (I said I’m proud – to be – a – CSU – Raaam!!). The foothills, full of adventure, calling your name. Miles of bike lanes and trails just shouting out, “hey you! Come play in the sunshine!” Not to mention the abundance of refreshing craft brews everywhere you turn. And the food! Boy do we like to eat! Everything from a fancy night out on the town to a grab-and-go burrito, there is something to satisfy your craving and fill your belly.
Whenever I go back home there a few staples that I always have to pay a visit to – my favorite wine bar, at least one brewery patio, some Mexican food and, of course, a potato burrito from Big City Burrito. The original BCB has been there for as long as I can remember! I can even recall my grandparents, bless their hearts, trying to eat a burrito the size of their forearm with a fork and knife. My grandma daintily cut hers as the rest of us peeled back the foil and full-heartedly indulged.
The BCB on the corner of College and Mulberry fits the stereotype of a hole-in-the-wall dive restaurant perfectly! It isn’t pretty to look at. It isn’t overly clean. There are times when the smells coming out of it aren’t the best. But I guarantee you that if you visit it around lunch time there will be a line out the door. The potato burrito there is arguably the best thing on the menu. Though, if we are being fair, I have never even tried a different kind of burrito. In over 20 years of eating there, I have literally eaten the exact same thing each time. It isn’t that I’m boring with my food choices. Oh no, my friends. It is that this burrito is just that good!
They start out with a big flour tortilla of your choosing (I always pick spinach – It seems healthier somehow) and warm it – slowly melting cheese and heating onions. Next come the potatoes!! Golden and still sizzling on their way out of the fryer. Tossed in the perfect seasoning and piled on top of the ooey-gooey, melty cheese. Add on a few heaping spoonfuls of pico de gallo, a good line or two of Ranch, maybe the occasional line of hot sauce, and just like that you have yourself a burrito of champions!! Now this is no burrito to take lightly. You best arrive with an empty stomach if you plan on eating it all, or even most of it.
I am happy to announce that after multiple trial runs of my Wannabe Big City Potato Burrito, I have finally gotten them almost identical to the original!! I did try to make my version (a little bit) healthier. I used a large spinach tortilla, but bake my potatoes with the skin on rather than fry them. I cut them into cubes – tossed them in olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder – and slid them into the oven. To get a little extra crunch, I broiled them for a few minutes, giving the pan a good shake half way through to crisp both sides. While the potatoes cooked I caramelized the onions (if I’m are feeling crazy, I’ll add in some sliced mushrooms too!) and whipped up some pico de gallo.
The real key to a delicious burrito is to take the time to make your own pico. You won’t regret it! It can be mixed together in 10 minutes and makes a world of difference! You can get by with a jarred salsa, but if you want that BCB knock-your-socks-off burrito, take the 10 minutes to make your own. A delicious ranch is also crucial. I used a prepared ranch mix from Spice Hunter and combined it with Greek yogurt, but you can also easily make your own. To get it to that perfect runny state, I added in plain, unsweetened kefir one tablespoon at a time. The kefir gave it a nice tang without taking away from the flavors of the ranch! Once you have all of the fillings made, pop your tortilla in the microwave with a slice, or two, of your favorite cheese in the middle.
Assemble, wrap in tin foil and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it was!
Serves 1 burrito
20 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- large wrap size tortillas - I used spinach, but any flavor is good
- 1-2 slices per burrito of deli cut cheese - I used thin cut Swiss
- 2-3 small potatoes
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling potatoes
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- a few shakes each of cumin, salt and pepper
- 1 package of ranch mix
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- kefir to desired consistency - you can use milk if you don't have kefir handy
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Wash and dry your potatoes. Cut them into small cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add in salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste. Mix well so that all potatoes are evenly coated.
- Place potatoes in single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes or until they are fork tender. Stir them every 15-20 minutes. Bake times will vary depending on the size of your potatoes and your oven.
- If your potatoes do not crisp up, place them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them and flip them so that all sides can get golden
- While the potatoes cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 1 teaspoon of oil. Once oil is shimmering in the pan, add in the onions and swirl to coat them in the oil. Spread them evenly in the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally. Depending on the heat of your stove top, you may need to turn the temperature down to medium. Let them cook about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the become a nice golden brown.
- Mix all ingredients for the the pico in a medium bowl. Add more or less cilanto and onion to your liking. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and put in the fridge.
- Put your yogurt in a bowl and add in a little bit of ranch mix to taste. Start small and slowly add while mixing. When you get it to your level of ranchy-ness, add in kefir 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency (but I am here to tell you, thinner ranch is the best!).
- Place cheese slices on your tortilla and place it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Just enough to warm it.
- Working from the bottom up, pile the onions on, lay down a big layer of potatoes and top with spoonfuls of pico and lines of ranch.
- Wrap it up in tin foil and enjoy!
This recipe makes 2 burritos. The left over potatoes and onions go great the next morning with eggs!