Follow Lovin Dublin

How The Burrito Is Slaying The Humble Chicken Fillet Roll

By niallharbison

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am


I overheard a group of French people in a Dublin bar recently discussing Ireland's horrendous food culture and found myself seriously having to bite my tongue. Just as I was about to jump in and spout some outrage, I realised what the crux of their argument was – and they had a point.

"Les Irelandais mange rien que des chicken fillet rolls". 

The conversation went on for several minutes as the member of the crew who lived in Ireland explained how we all queued up in shops for chicken fillet rolls. He talked about how it couldn't possibly have been real chicken at that price, how the frozen bread was never fully cooked, that most people threw grated plastic cheese on top and even (shock horror!) 'stuffing'.

My mood changed from anger to one of grudging acceptance. No matter how far we've come in the last decade, the simple fact is that a large percentage of us Irish feed ourselves at deli counters, where much of the produce is frozen and the chicken is imported from the other side of the world.

Screen Shot 2016 03 31 At 14 42 02

But change is afoot and it comes not in the form of Irish cuisine, but rather an imported Mexican trend. Our local Mexican spots take huge inspiration from the US chain Chipotle and their meteoric rise in the fast casual market. 

If you think the fast casual Mexican trend will pass again soon, think again. I personally know of more than 50 new outlets opening across the country.

As I sat eating my burrito today in the brand new Zambrero (excellent by the way), I marvelled at the queue snaking out the door. The same sort of queue that snakes out of Boojum down the road every single day, but this one was dotted with young professionals rather than students. 

Whatever the queue, whatever the location, it's safe to say that the burrito is the new chicken fillet roll for Irish millennials.

Screen Shot 2013 10 08 At 16 58 37

There is of course some logic to all of this. I'd see three main factors at work here...

  • Slightly more spare cash after a bitter recession. 
  • Most of the country becoming obsessed with healthy eating. 
  • More foreigners and travel helping expand tastebuds. 

Have a look around most burrito joints and you'll see buff gym goers eating black rice and the weight conscious watching their diet with salad bowls. The real appeal with this sort of food is there is something for everybody, including the gluttons like myself who want the double guac, cheese and everything else that can physically squeeze in. 

I think back to the French guy taking the piss out of our cuisine and, I'm sorry, but I have to agree with him. It's time we set it aside and let the burrito take it's place on the pedestal, who's with me?

READ NEXT: Cornucopia: A Wholesome, Hearty Lunch For Less Than Six Quid


Join the Lovin Dublin Newsletter

* indicates required


Marketing Permissions

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lovin Media Group:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.