January food articles typically focus on fulfilling New Year’s resolutions like going vegan or giving up alcohol. This year feels different. As we continue to cope with the lingering pandemic, eating more breakfast burritos might be the best way to start 2022.
These densely packed, rolled breakfasts provide everything we need right now: a meal that travels well, reheats easily and satisfies you until dinner. Clark County boasts an abundance of options. Offerings vary in size from generous to enormous. They all include egg, potatoes, cheese, and meats from bacon to machaca.
For a breakfast burrito to be truly great, it must be tightly rolled so its fillings don’t fall out all over the place. The fillings should be interspersed so that you get them all in each bite. And the burrito needs something spicy — sausage or chorizo — to add a spike of flavor to the blander ingredients.
American cheese proved to be a surprise ingredient in some of the best burritos. Self-proclaimed foodies often malign American cheese as unsophisticated and plastic-tasting. Fortunately, some food experts have reconsidered snooty attitudes toward this luscious cheese. In a recent YouTube video for NYT Cooking, Eric Kim said Velveeta was the key to the voluptuous creaminess of his macaroni-and-cheese recipe.
Here are a few of the many spots around Clark County that offer this portable and hearty breakfast treat:
Delicious Tacos Food Truck
3105 N.E. Andresen Road, Vancouver; 360-921-6709
The lime-green Delicious Tacos truck parks near the Mobil station at the corner of Andresen and Fourth Plain. The breakfast burrito ($9) comes with eggs, chorizo, ham, sausage, hash browns, bacon, sour cream and cheese rolled in a generous but not overwhelming portion. My husband, who joined this quest for breakfast burrito perfection, sent a text announcing, “This is the winner!”
I agreed based on the tight wrapping of the burrito, which made it easy to eat. The ingredients were well incorporated, so that each bite came with a complex mix of flavors and textures. The sausage and chorizo lent a lick of needed spice. The bottom contained a melted slice of American cheese, adding salt, creaminess and a velvety finish.
El Burrito Mojado
808 Harney St., Vancouver; 360-314-4911
El Burrito Mojado recently opened at Harney and Eighth streets in the large space formerly occupied by Sunrise Bagels. Breakfast burritos don’t appear on the online menu but are available all day, with a choice of chorizo, ham, bacon or shredded beef (all $8).
The burrito comes fairly tightly wrapped. The first bite yields a mouthful of fluffy potatoes, melted cheese and bacon. The egg in this burrito is barely noticeable. Overall, it reminded me of those giant baked potatoes with melted cheese and bacon that were available at every mall food court in the 1980s — a pleasant and delicious memory.
Little Conejo Norte
219 Pioneer St., Ridgefield
This Ridgefield-based food truck offers something you can’t get at the brick-and-mortar location in downtown Vancouver: burritos. I highly recommend the bean and cheese burrito ($8) with Little Conejo’s sumptuous refried beans, but my focus here is on breakfast. Little Conejo Norte’s breakfast burrito ($9) comes stuffed with fluffy eggs surrounded by hash browns, house-smoked pork and American cheese. This egg-forward offering stands out because it’s as tightly rolled as Clint Eastwood’s cigarillo in “A Fistful of Dollars,” is well portioned (not an enormous brick of food like many others), and includes the irresistible combination of hash browns and American cheese.
Co-owner Mark Wooten noted that he and the Little Conejo team sampled many different cheeses for their breakfast burrito, but chose American cheese because it tasted like their favorite dishes from childhood.
Los Tacos Locos
1309 N.E. 134th St., Vancouver; 360-573-1327
Getting food from Tacos Locos is worth dreaming up reasons to go to Salmon Creek, because the tacos and burritos are crazy good. It’s also fun to watch everything be made through a small window that reveals a well-seasoned griddle.
The Los Tacos Locos breakfast burrito is enormous and modestly priced ($8). An abundance of hash browns, chorizo, bacon, ham, cheese, eggs, sour cream and salsa are rolled into a massive tortilla. The roll is a bit loose and food tends to fall out, but the burrito is eminently delicious. Also, make sure to get some salsa packets, because the dish tastes better with that extra kick.
2610 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver; 360-993-0999
This forest-green Mexican restaurant on the Fourth Plain corridor offers an extensive breakfast menu at a modest price ($8.50). Generously portioned breakfast burritos come with a choice of bacon, ham, sausage, machaca (rehydrated dried meat) or chorizo.
I chose the bacon and found it to be cooked to a perfect crispness. I also liked the unique offering of a breakfast burrito with potatoes, eggs, cheese and nopal (pickled cactus) ($8.50). The strips of pickled nopal add a vinegary counterpoint to the other rich ingredients.