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Archive for Saturday, August 1, 1998

S PLANS UNWRAPPED

August 1, 1998

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Its name is a tad misleading.

``We're about as far east as they've gotten,'' said Joseph Warner, who's opening a franchise New York Burrito store on Massachusetts Street.

And it's not really a Mexican restaurant, either. While smothered burritos are on the menu, the main fare is gourmet wraps, which Warner said gained popularity on the West Coast.

The chain is headquartered in Phoenix, and Warner already has three outlets in the Kansas City area. He opened his first in October in Lenexa. The second opened in December in Blue Springs, Mo. He opened up in Overland Park in March.

New York Burrito, which has about 50 restaurants across the country, offers gourmet wraps -- tortillas filled with various ingredients. The menu includes several offerings, including a wrap filled with shrimp, Spanish lime rice and vegetarian whole pinto or black beans. Another is filled with chicken, vegetarian beans, white rice and teriyaki sauce.

The restaurant's specialty wraps include chicken Caesar salad, Hawaiian chicken salad and the ``Bourbon Street'' -- filled with spicy cajun black beans, sausage and white rice.

Most wraps are just under $5. Several smothered burritos, side dishes and smoothies round out the menu.

Warner describes New York Burrito as the middle ground between traditional fast food and a full-service, sit-down restaurant.

``Wraps is a concept that got started in California eight or 10 years ago,'' Warner said, adding several restaurant chains have caught on to the idea. ``You can wrap almost anything in a tortilla. The concept has gone over well because it's fast and more healthy than traditional fast food.''

Warner is leasing the former location of Englewood Florist at 939 Mass. Crews this week began renovating the 2,100-square-foot store. Warner hopes to open by the time college students return

The restaurant will employ about a dozen people.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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