LINCOLN PARK — Clark Street's newest restaurant may be the only joint in the city to top a Mexican burrito with a homemade Asian chili sauce.
The idea behind Thai Burrito was simple: Most Chicagoans love their burritos, and with the addition of meats marinated in Thai spices, the classic meal-in-a-wrap adds an entirely new dimension of spice.
The restaurant, which opened July 5, took over the former Galbi City location at 2437 N. Clark St. and is run by the people behind the former Oodles of Noodles.
Louis Ludwig and Monthip Kitsanakucahi brought home a burrito one day and had a lightbulb moment, manager Malee Ludwig said.
"They like Mexican food. Finally, I heard they brought home a burrito and they said, 'Why don’t we put the basil inside?'" Ludwig said.
They took out the meat, put their own specialty marinated fillings in the burrito and tried it.
On Wednesday afternoon, nearly every person walking down Clark Street stopped about five feet after passing the sign.
They doubled back to check out the unique menu slapped on the window.
"I like Thai and I like Mexican, so I figured it was worth a shot," said Amanda Stevens, a Norwood Park resident who works two doors down from Thai Burrito.
Wednesday was her second time ordering from the business.
Thai Burrito's No. 1-selling item so far has been the Thai Tacos, which feature puffy steamed buns instead of tortillas and are filled with barbecue pork and cucumber slices for about $6. The second-best-selling item has been the Basil-Style Burrito, which goes for just under $7.
"The key is the meat in the Thai sauce," Ludwig said.
In the two weeks the restaurant has been open, it's already gained a few loyal customers, Ludwig said.
"A lot is this single guy who comes after work after his run," Ludwig said. "One burrito fills him up. I’ve already learned his name — George."