December 14, 2012
Blue Burrito opens on Groton Avenue
A new Mexican restaurant has opened on Groton Avenue in Cortland.
The Blue Burrito started serving about two weeks ago next to the Elks Lodge, offering lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, owner Ann Joseph said.
Offerings include shredded beef, pork and chicken and mushroom burritos, as well as barbecued beef and pork sandwiches served on a Kummelweck rolls baked by Joseph and smothered with a spicy cheese sauce and jalapenos.
Kummelweck rolls are similar to Kaiser rolls, and are topped with salt and caraway seeds.
Buffalo is famous for ‘beef on weck’ sandwiches, or sandwiches of sliced beef on a Kummelweck roll, and the barbecue sandwiches are a takeoff of that, Joseph said.
For her beef, Joseph uses meat from Dennis and Heather Birdsall’s Birdsall Beef in Homer.
“It’s local, grass-fed beef,” said Joseph, of Lansing. “I’m just honored to be able to use (their) meat and cook with it.”
“Cortland is a fun place to be right now,” she said, citing a grassroots movement to connect restaurants with farms.
The Blue Burrito also offers chocolate stuffed brownies that Joseph says hit just the right spot to keep people from thinking about anything else.
Opening up the Blue Burrito was a lengthy project, Joseph said.
“It was always sort of a pipe dream,” she said. “This has been my project for a few years.”
Joseph still has some work lined up for the restaurant, she said.
“I’m not completely done with everything I want to do,” Joseph said.
“As I’ve opened, the Cortland community has just been wonderful,” she said. “People are just so amazingly supportive.”
Joseph opened a Mexican restaurant because she simply loves Mexican food.
“It’s very fresh,” she said. “It’s a contemporary, fun cuisine.”
Joseph, an artist, plans to hang some colorful landscapes and some of her other paintings in her restaurant.
“I tease that this is actually an art gallery,” she said. “It just happens to sell burritos.”
Joseph, who is originally from Michigan, came to New York to work for Oneida Limited designing silverware in Oneida.
Later she worked in Aurora for artists Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs, who create jewelry, purses and housewares.
Joseph’s vision for the restaurant is to serve fabulous food at a reasonable price.
So far, Joseph is the restaurant’s sole employee, but she plans to hire as she expands hours.
The Blue Burrito is the second burrito restaurant to open downtown this year.
Hot Tamale opened April 28.
Adam Megivern, executive director of the Cortland Downtown Partnership, and Bob Haight, executive director of the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce, see the addition of another burrito restaurant as an additional draw, not additional competition.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Megivern said. “We’re just looking forward to them prospering and having a successful business.”
“The more restaurants that open up downtown, it just makes it more of a hub especially for lunch and dinner,” Haight said.
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