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Eats with Elle: Mountain West Burrito offers healthy, affordable food

By Natalie Barrett

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 21 2013 4:40 p.m. MDT

Editor's note: Natalie Barrett experiences what it's like to dine out with her 3-year-old daughter, Elle.

The Cortese brothers, manager and assistant manager at Mountain West Burrito in Utah County, had charm that little Elle swooned over.

Sean Cortese caught my 3-year-old daughter's eye at once. He commented on her sparkly, pink shoes, and I knew Elle had an instant crush. Sean Cortese told me how much he loves kids. “My dreams are to one day have a family with kids and raise them in this area,” he said.

On the outside, Mountain West Burrito may not look like much, and you may not even know it’s there unless the locals tell you. Tony and Sean Cortese, who are acquaintances of my husband, helped us feel right at home. As we sat eating our quesadilla and burrito, the Cortese brothers managed to treat us like family.

“When customers come in a second time, we try to know their name and what they are ordering,” Sean Cortese said. “We try to make sure the customer is remembered and show that we appreciate them. That is just a way to give back and show thanks for supporting us, and we’ve really tried to carry that on.”

A older gentleman with white hair walked straight through the dining room right up to Sean with a huge smile. They hugged and talked before the man left with takeout. Sean explained that he was his friend’s cousin’s grandfather’s buddy in college, I think.

Elle spilled her water, a very reoccurring event. I started to tell her that people aren’t going to be very happy when we come because of how we terrorize the place. Tony shrugged at the spill and laughed as he cleaned it.

The brothers entertained my Elle as I devoured the vegetarian burrito alongside chips and a Coke Zero. The tortilla was soft and filled with lettuce, tomato, rice and black beans. It tasted light and fresh. The beans were not cooked in a thick sauce and the rice wasn't loaded with cheese, but instead cooked freshly and simply.

Mountain West buys from local farms as much as possible.

“We try to do local and organic as much as we can, and we try to help out local farmers the best we can," Sean Cortese said. "It’s worked out really well so far."

The food was also inexpensive, making a large family getaway fast and easy on the budget.

Mountain West Burrito has two locations in Utah County (1796 N. 950 West in Provo and 815 N. 700 East in Provo), and has plans to open another restaurant in Lehi and more franchises farther north.

“Our plans for growth are first and foremost to get the Lehi store up and running,” said Colton Soelberg, CEO. “We are under construction now and plan to be open in early May. After a few months of operations we plan to look at eight to 10 more sites throughout the state we feel will be good homes for Mountain West Burrito. I am certainly planning on a few of those location to be in Salt Lake City."

At the end of the meal, we had eaten well and Elle was twitterpated.

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