“I can still remember the day at La Te Da sometime in the late 2000s,” he say. “I was having dinner with a friend and told him, “I would love to have my own burrito shop based on the seven sins.”
“We’ll always be fine-tuning and getting better,” he promises. “I will not just let it be.”
After being rated number 1 on Trip- Advisor, and landing a feature on Guy Fieri’s TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Eli and Kenna’s first venture, the Airstream-turned-food-truck Garbo’s Grill, might be the more famous older sibling, but the goal was, and always has been, to open up Sinz Burritos. Sinz is located next to another newcomer in the culinary scene, the House of Wu, home to Chinese style dumplings along with Munchbox sandwiches, it completes a trio of restaurants at the corner of Truman and Duval streets.“Garbo’s was work. This is my dream,” he proudly admits.
At Sinz Burritos, the dream looks like an artist’s studio warehouse, or an old car shop with entire walls of eclectically bold murals. Patrons can sit along high tops that face out onto one of the biggest intersections of Old Town, or simply stop in for a quick take-out order.
Patrons can choose from burritos and bowls with a variety of toppings such as grilled green onions and pickled radishes, and a choice of char-grilled roja chicken, slow-cooked beef barbacoa, pork carnitas and carne asada skirt steak. Everything is painstakingly prepared in house from the mild chipotle cream to the hot-grilled pineapple salsa with serrano peppers, to the homemade horchata, a cinnamon-vanilla rice drink that is a Mexican classic. And all the while, everything is still meant to be fast food, but on a “higher scale and at a good price point.”
If you order the pork,
it’s a meal that could take you just a few minutes to devour may have been started three days ago. Somehow, I managed to get Eli to fill me in about this otherwise highly secretive recipe.
“First, we season the pork with a mix of spices like chili powder, cumin and oregano and then we let it sit for 48 hours,” Eli said. “Then we sear it and season it some more with pureed garlic, jalapeños and orange juice, top it with fresh cut oranges and onions and then slow cook it for another five hours.”
The feedback from the customers has been overwhelming. Sinz has been busy since it opened its doors and, even though Eli claims that “curiosity created a buzz,” the reviews clearly say it must be doing something right.
There was definitely a lot of hype before the official silent opening. The space sat idle for awhile with its win- dows covered in craft paper and nothing but the name exposed. Everyone knew that there would be a new restaurant going in, but only a few knew what it would be. During that time, a slew of artists was transported to Key West to add their own aesthetic touch to the décor, including local photographer Tom Flip and Los Angeles native Sean Sullivan. Sullivan was just recently part of an exhibit that featured street artists from around the world on the 69th floor of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. In the end, 17 unique and progressive artists will have left their mark on the walls of Sinz Burritos.
The menu is uncomplicated although tacos and other items may be added in the future. It is important to Eli that they don’t rush into anything. There are plans to add a selection of seven pressed and bottled Virt-juices and margaritas on tap. Along with the tacos, it’s something that Eli tells me will happen when the time is right. At the moment though, the most important thing is that people are enjoying what they are doing right now.
“I want people to get what I’m putting down here because there’s a lot of love,” Eli points out. “We are driven by what our customers want. We want to feed everyone sin with a healthy dose of love.”
Follow the Sinz Burritos Facebook site for its current hours of operation, or visit at 500 Truman St., Unit 1. ¦