Take a Bite of the Vibe at Burrito Shak
At Burrito Shak, it’s about more than quality food … it’s about a coastal vibe.
If you don’t like what’s served up for you and your family out there in the hospitality industry, then start your own business. It’s what David Longo did, and now the founder of Burrito Shak now has seven area locations.
In spring 2015, Longo, the father of two young children, noticed a lack of restaurants in the market that combined fresh, quality ingredients, chef-inspired recipes, a pleasant atmosphere and affordability for families.
“Originally, the concept was inspired when I was in college, but I also had the passion for fine dining for my wife and kids, and then we started thinking more about family-friendly atmospheres,” he says. “The rest is kind of history from there for the quick-service concept.”
With more than 23 years in the restaurant industry, Longo actually comes from a fine-dining background, working as an executive chef and in management. Today, he’s focused on his thriving Burrito Shak franchise scattered along the North Carolina coast – even into Arizona – including in Wilmington on Carolina Beach Road.
All Burrito Shaks pride themselves on their tagline, “Quick. Crafted. Coastal” and have quickly gained notoriety for a hometown favorite serving up flavorful, fresh-Mex food and family-friendly beach vibes. Their tacos were even voted as No. 1 in North Carolina over 63 others in an elimination-style taco tournament.
“As far as the atmosphere and the music, it kind of feels like Fiji, reminds you of going out on the boat or heading to the beach,” Longo says. “And then we serve super quality food, locally sourced at a good price point with our quick service.”
The menu is divided into a half-dozen categories: Burritos & Bowls, Tacos, Quesadillas, Nachos & Salads, Kiddos and Sides. Get started by choosing your protein: seasoned ground beef, house-rubbed diced chicken breast, carne asada, slow-roasted pulled pork, battered Atlantic cod or tofu. Then, decide on any of Burrito Shak’s refreshingly creative combinations, like The Aloha Burrito or Bowl, which Longo says is one of the more popular selections stuffed with rice, beans, Cotija cheese, Baja slaw, pico de gallo, pineapple salsa, avocado crema and cilantro.
Other menu highlights (and it’s difficult not to list them all) include The Fire Shot burrito, which includes ghost pepper Jack cheese; The Shak taco loaded with cheese, chipotle chili sauce, Baja slaw, pico de gallo, and lime sour cream; and The Grom Quesadilla in the kiddos section.
“All of our recipes we created while we were first opening; we would tweak them here and there and that’s how we developed the recipes,” Longo says. “We had one person when we first opened who said, ‘I tried to find a recipe for your poblano sauce online, but I couldn’t find anything,’ and I’m like, well, that’s because that’s my recipe.’”
Burrito Shaks offer dining in-house, takeout, online ordering and catering services (how about a fresh, customized taco bar at your wedding?). No matter how you choose to experience Burrito Shak, Longo says, “We try to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere focused on good, quality food at a good price point that’s completely family-friendly.”
Want to go to Burrito Shak?
5916 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, (910) 399-5895
Hours at the Wilmington location: Monday and Tuesday, Thursday through Saturday 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday 11 am to 7 pm (the Wilmington location is temporarily closed on Wednesdays).
For more locations and to see the menus, visit burritoshak.com.