As reviews go, this will not be the most comprehensive, detailed, or useful one you’ve ever seen. That’s because, when I stumbled upon Big Ron’s Burrito Shack, I wasn’t planning on doing a review at all.

I’d had a really long day which had involved driving a hyperactive puppy to Swindon and back, and I was running late for Catweazle. Dashing down Cowley Road on the hunt for some quick takeaway food to grab for dinner, I saw that Big Ron’s Burrito Shack had opened, at the original Atomic Burger site, and that people were heading in.


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I love burritos. Quite an indecent amount, actually. Until now, the only real burrito destination in Oxford has been Mission, and I used to go past it on my lunch breaks when I worked in an office. It took the restraining influence of James to ensure that I didn’t eat all the burritos, all the time. They’re just such a great meal. All the food groups in a conveniently portable wrap, completely customisable and totally delicious.

I walked in, and was greeted by a very friendly guy on the door.

‘Do you do takeaway?’ I asked, hopefully.

‘Ooh… Sorry, we’re not really doing takeaway tonight,’ he said.

‘Oh, no problem!’ I replied. ‘I’ll go and find something else.’

‘Actually, hang on,’ he said, ‘I’m sure we can sort something out. Go and talk to the woman in blue behind the counter and tell her I said it was okay for you to get a takeaway.’

‘Really!? Fantastic! Thank you!’

I went up to the counter, where I was greeted by another incredibly friendly person, and set about perusing the menu. Normally I wouldn’t go for chicken in a burrito – just because other options seem more interesting – but it was tequila and lime chicken. That sounded pretty delicious, so I went with that plus, um, all the available extras. Just, you know, a bit of shredded lettuce, black beans, pico do gallo, sour cream, guacamole, Monterey Jack cheese, and salsa. I was hungry, okay?

I got out my wallet to pay.

‘Oh no,’ protested the friendly woman at the counter, ‘You don’t pay! Everything’s free tonight.’

‘Wait, what? Why?!’

‘Oh, it’s a private party,’ she explained, ‘For the launch.’

Oh. Right. I had accidentally walked into a private launch party that I wasn’t invited to, asked for takeaway that they weren’t offering, and gotten free food that I wasn’t entitled to. Well done Hannah.

I was sort of mortified, and kept apologising and offering to pay, but all the staff were incredibly kind and understanding and insisted on giving me my massive free burrito.

So, I can testify that not only are the people working at Big Ron’s Burrito Shack very lovely, but that their burritos are delicious. I haven’t got a very good picture, because I was walking and eating at the same time and only had my phone on me – plus burritos are hard to photograph well at the best of times – but trust me, it was great. The tortilla was soft, yet robust enough to contain all of the fillings, which were fresh, full of flavour, and well-balanced. The chicken had a strong punch of tequila and a kick of lime, which ran through the burrito and married perfectly with the softer accompaniments of the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

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We will definitely be going back to sample the other filling options – I was also very tempted by the Texas pork – and the various degrees of spicy salsa. I should also point out that normally they will be offering a full takeaway service; they just hadn’t been planning on doing so on launch night when I stumbled upon them. Also, they probably won’t give you your food for free. But I’m sure the service will be just as charming all the same.