So, there’s a new kid in town and he’s not afraid to get out his smoky salsa gun and use it! Fans of the food vans that regularly rock up on Commercial Street will no doubt recognise the Mexican-American stylings of this delicious deli, as this particular eatery have appeared there for some time. But having proved their popularity, it was time for El Topo to graduate from fabulous favela to a fully grown place of its own.
Now occupying the gorgeous glass-fronted unit under the railway arches on Sovereign Place, El Topo is serving up a range of brilliant burritos and other assorted goodies to Leeds’ food lovers. Although the menu isn’t vast, it doesn’t need to be as it still manages to cater for everyone with gluten-free and veggie alternatives and sweet and savoury dishes.
We spoke to Dan Ladds, the founding director of El Topo, about what’s on offer at this hidden away burrito beauty. This has to be one of our favourite EVER interviews…
Who are you and how did you get here?<p>
We are El Topo. We’re a Mexican-American restaurant specialising in burritos. We just opened our place on Sovereign Place, which is on the outside of the railway viaduct, opposite the Hilton.
We started off just over a year ago in a burrito trailer on Commercial Street in Leeds. In June this year we took over this retail unit and opened up after a month of renovation. We’ve expanded our menu a little bit, but burritos are still at the core.
What do you think makes your business unique? What do you offer that other places in Leeds don’t? <p>
Unlike other places that try to hide the real price we don’t charge extra for guacamole, jalapenos or hot sauce. We don’t skimp on our meats or veg fillings. We also offer a unique vegetarian option, halloumi and veg. All our meats are locally sourced. All our food is prepared in small batches, from scratch, in house to a gourmet standard. Our open kitchen means you can see exactly where your meal is coming from too!
What can customers expect from El Topo?<p>
Tasty food and a place to sit. Chairs may vary. Music may vary. We might run out of some fillings because we make them fresh, rather than with magic (read: microwave). Staff usually nice, except when hungover. Will have beer soon, which will make everything better.
What’s your most popular dish? <p>
The 12 inch pulled pork burrito.
What’s your favourite dish at El Topo? <p>
The 10 inch brisket burrito is a nice lunch for a fiver. I’m also partial to our chocolate American pancakes, which come at 3 pounds for a double portion, served with maple syrup.
What do you think makes Leeds so awesome? <p>
Relatively acceptable weather. Some cool architecture, if you look up. Apparently has a decent burrito place. Nice people. Not too many Tories.
Where do you like to hang out in Leeds?<p>
The Myrtle, Alfred’s and East of Arcadia which are all near home. The Adelphi, Calls Landing and Friends of Ham in town. Green’s, to refill my pipe. I’m looking forward to the opening of Bundobust by our friends at The Sparrow.
Finally, describe El Topo in 3 words:<p>
Massive burrito. Nom.
El Topo has now closed. We hope we can see them again soon!