Tony’s Burrito Hut  
9286 Telephone Rd., Ventura
641-1270
M-S 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sun.: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
$0.80-11.50

Tony’s Burrito Hut is the sort of restaurant you either end up finding haphazardly or through a friend of a friend who happened to eat there and passed the name along. In other words, it’s small and might not catch your attention.  

Located in the Ralph’s Shopping Plaza on Telephone Road and Petit Avenue, Tony’s is hidden amongst the cluster of little shops that surround the supermarket. You shouldn’t let its not-so-grand appearance deter you from trying it out, though. It has a plain and basic setting, with a couple colorful items — a jukebox and an arcade game — set aside. The staff is quite small, but the service is great (not overbearingly attentive, but not nonexistent). The menu offers a variety of options and, while they have a few items in the $11 range, most of the options aren’t more than $6.

Of course, I had to try what their name suggests they’re best at: burritos. They have 13 different kinds of burritos, for which you can order either a small (which actually isn’t small at all) or the larger size. I ended up ordering a chicken, bean and cheese burrito, with a side of sour cream and guacamole (they both cost extra, but at the prices they have, that won’t hurt your wallet), which tasted so freshly made one might expect to find the cut-up avocados in the kitchen instead of a bucket with pre-made green gunk. Along with that came three different kinds of salsas that ranged from less-than-mild to hot. If you’re looking for blazing hot salsa, however, what they had won’t satisfy your need for a numb tongue.  

The ongoing special Tony’s offers is its 80 cent corn burritos, which actually resemble taquitos. They were still delicious despite the potential misnomer. While the quesadilla was good, it wasn’t particularly outstanding — just cheese in a flour tortilla. I did have a chance to have a bit of their beef dinner platter (and by a bit, I mean I picked off my companion’s plate), which consisted of pinto beans, roasted green and red peppers, rice and, of course, some shredded beef.

For what seems like an obscure little restaurant, Tony’s Burrito Hut actually stays relatively busy, though it seems particularly popular for take-out orders, which makes sense for a place of its size. The large menu also has a section for breakfast featuring a variety of tempting breakfast burritos, but considering how it was lunchtime, I figured it’d be more appropriate to try something else. There aren’t any desserts on the menu, though they have a freezer with different varieties of ice cream. You might not have much room in your belly for that, though.

There was a section on their menu that stood out like a sore thumb, which consisted of burgers and hotdogs, though I’m not sure who’d order that from a place that specializes in burritos.

Their reasonable prices and somewhat large portions of food that tastes homemade, however, make it a restaurant worth trying.