American burritos in the Quartier Latin – M4 Burritos

m4 burritos

December 19, 2012

in Downtown, Latin Quarter, Reviews

If you’ve ever been to the Mexican grill chain “chipotle” in the states, you’d know the concept is simple; pick your meat, pick your toppings then try and stay awake after eating an entire burrito. I recently found a Montreal equivalent I’ll be honest with you – I think I fell in love. If you don’t know what love is, it’s pretty much the feeling you get when you see your waiter at a restaurant arriving with your food, or these burritos.

I hit up M4 Burritos on St. Denis the other day after having passed by it numerous times – and every time with a fair length in queue – to see what the fuss was all about. Explained on their website, the name is inspired by the Mission district of San Francisco, home of the “modern californian burrito” (however, encompassing certain unique Quebec “twists”), and “4″, the four simple steps to making your order.

m4 burritos
You pick you vessel of choice, burrito, taco, bowl or salad, a choice of your main ingredient; grilled chicken (all breast meat), grilled steak, carnitas (traditional braised pork), barbacoa (traditional braised beef), and a vegetarian option which consists of guacamole and sautéed vegetables, toppings and sides.

m4 burritos
Right off the bat, the burritos are gargantuan. I clutched it with both hands in fear of low-flying eagles from poaching it right off the ground. Filled with rice and all the classic burrito accoutrements, I was ready to tackle this son of a bitch and let the beany fart-fest begin.

m4 burritos
My lady had the steak burrito. Grilled to order, this burrito took a little bit to get to us, but the fact that it was grilled on the spot was appreciated. Each burrito includes, rice, black or white beans, a choice of pineapple-mango salsa, spicy corn, pico de gallo, or salsa verde and grated cheese; any extras came at prices varying under two dollars. The beef was rich in flavour, fragrant and tender. Paired with the guacamole (for $1.25 extra), each bite was buttery and mixed with the sour cream, the heat from the medium-spicy pineapple and mango salsa was reduced – however muted some of the flavour of the meat. The tart pico de gallo cut through and lightened everything up.

m4 burritos
I had the braised pork option with extra guacamole and pico de gallo. The pork was rich, but not fatty – I felt that it could have used a little tender wads of pork fat in each bite but that’s just me. Watching the counterperson gingerly place the meat inside the burrito, I noticed the ease in which the tongs were able to rip the meat apart. Small slivers of cilantro from the braising liquid made it into my football-sized burrito which added to the aromatics of each bite.

m4 burritos
They boast that everything is fresh as they say there are no freezers, no deep fryers and no microwaves in the store. They also have two signature iced tea blends that are available next to the self serve soda fountain – which means… you guessed it, bottomless drinks!

m4 burritos
I admire M4′s strive to be socially conscious and environmentally responsible by using recycled material in the construction of their stores as well as in their packaging and not at all reflected in the prices on their menu – affordable and delicious food for the school crowd just around the corner. Despite some hiccups at the ordering counter (Trainee who got a bit flustered with their ordering system maybe…?), nice quick bite on the go.

p.s. When eating a burrito… Never, EVER remove the burrito from the foil; peel it away as you eat it!

M4 Burritos
1773 Rue Saint-Denis
(438) 380-8090
Facebook
M4 Burritos on Urbanspoon

Comments

comments

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim December 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I went a month after they opened and was not impressed. Unless they’ve made some big improvements, you’ll have to wait for Chipotle to open up for a real mission style burrito in Montreal.

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Jason December 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

What did you have? That’s too bad, I had great burritos when I went.

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Guillaume December 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Same here…I went there several times and was always more than happy with my food. Big and tasty burritos with fresh ingredients!

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Jason December 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

M4… That seductress…

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Seb December 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Its funny how a lot of people are comparing with chipotle and saying they prefer it etc. I go to chipotle every month in toronto. Its more expensive, it offer much less portions, the braised meats have no flavora compared to M4 and they come in little scelled bags all the way from a central kitchen in the states. I think quebecers just need to let people know they know this concept, but if a Chipotle was in Mtl, they would see it is pretty far from perfect. M4 is better food, all home made and much less commercial.

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Knows Best December 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I tried M4 Burritos the day after they open. Since then, I can’t have a week without going to M4. Burritos and Tacos are awesome, but Tacos are definitely too smalls. 3 gonna be better than 2.

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Jason December 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Haven’t been able to get past the burritos to try anything else!

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Jim December 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Sounds like I’m the only one who was underwhelmed. During my visit, the rice/cilantro bit dried out and didn’t taste fresh, the carnitas lacked any seasoning or flavor and the burritos was very wet and juicy. It was a valiant attempt at a decent burrito, but my first visit to M4 left me unsatisfied.

Along with improving their product, I would be less negative if they weren’t trying to copy the exact look & feel of their competitor. All the way down to the stainless steel tables. Based on the other comments, maybe the burritos have improved over past couple of months, but I am hesitant to give them a second chance.

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Joseph December 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

M4 Burritos is terrible. I have many issues with M4 including rude service, high prices (~$12 after tax with a drink), and most of all, food quality.

Last time I went to M4 the servers didn’t drain any of the ingredients so my burrito was soaking wet. I will never go back there to pay for an expensive burrito that tastes bad.

Instead, you should consider Burrito Shop on St. Laurent (below des Pins) for better priced burritos with more flavor.

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Tierra-chic December 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Your posting does make it sound good, and I’d take a one-of-a-kind resto over a chain any day. Your pics truly make these look delicious!

You may want to re-consider the bit about it being enviro-friendly, though. Any place that uses aluminum foil as well as disposable drinking cups and utensils is far from sustainable or eco in the slightest. Right?

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Jason December 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Thanks! You make a great point. I was quoting from their company website “Recyclage, utilisation de matériaux recyclés dans la construction du restaurant et de notre mobilier.” I also remember seeing their cups being made from recycled paper/plastic, if I’m not mistaken. But if it’s something that you feel strongly about, I’m sure their head office would love to hear your concerns. I wouldn’t hesitate to contact them via their facebook page I posted at the bottom of the post or at their (now working) website at http://m4burritos.ca/ Thanks for commenting!

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alex January 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

Honestly M4 burritos is garbage. Food is mostly bland, i guess the author of this blog gets some sort of compensation for his review. Blogs are more and more of a let down in this city.

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Jason January 9, 2013 at 11:39 am

Thanks for the comment; your guess is just a guess because if I do get compensated I make it know and say it up front. I’m sorry you feel this way!

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Dan April 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I liked M4 as a replacement for Chipotle for a while, but I second Joseph in recommending Burrito Shop on St Laurent. They have 2 extra meats and the quality is fantastic, far exceeding M4′s.

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