DAVIDSON – Seventeen years ago, Gail and Bill Fairbanks moved from California to Carrboro and started a Mexican restaurant with a fresh, novel vibe.
They played off the name of the city and the word burrito to create the name: Carrburritos. The restaurant featured homemade salsas, fresh toppings and well-seasoned meat.
Gail Fairbanks’s sister Edie Surratt and her husband, Doug, knew that Davidson needed a casual Mexican eatery that jibes with the fresh food vibe of the area, so they decided to start a second Carrburritos. The result is Mexican perfection.
The Surratts opened Carrburritos in January. They have lived in Davidson for almost 21 years and both have other jobs: She works at WDAV 98.9, the Davidson College public radio station, and he as a physician consultant.
The restaurant used to house part of Wooden Stone Gallery, but the owners decided they wanted less space. The Surratts wanted to be a part of Main Street.
Gail Fairbanks, an artist, helped by creating all the paintings and picking out fixtures. The decor has a vintage feel with modern touches, such as the reclaimed wood throughout mixed with glass globe lamps reflecting warm light over the bar.
The Davidson Carrburritos is slightly more formal than its Carrboro counterpart but still has a comfortable atmosphere. The food is made from the same recipes as the original restaurant.
The burrito (or taco, tostado or quesadilla) is stuffed in a fresh tortilla with the customer’s choice of fillings, and oh the choices!
Carnivores can choose house-made chorizo or carne deshebrada which is beef roasted with salsa, onions and garlic.
For the vegetarians, there is vegetales asados which is grilled marinated seasonal vegetables or fresh tomatoes and Mexican rice or pure de papas which is mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions. Fish and shrimp are also available.
Choices continue with six types of salsa and other fresh toppings. The tortilla chips are made in-house and are flawless in their irregularity.
The bar also features fresh, innovative drinks. There are local craft beers on tap. Plus, the specialty margaritas burst with freshness.
Take the mango mint margarita. There is fresh mango and mint and a tang of tequila that elevates the drink to a high level of drinkability. It is refreshing to see a margarita with natural flavor and color.
Bethany Brant, of Davidson, eats at the restaurant often.
“I’m pregnant, you see,” she said patting her belly. “And so I need something filling and tasty, but healthy as well. This place is perfect for that and also has friendly and knowledgeable service.”
The Surrats acknowledge that it was a rough start back in January.
“We just weren’t prepared for the demand,” Doug Surratt said.
The restaurant now runs like clockwork serving customers quickly and efficiently.
This Carrburritos is making its way in Davidson by creating deep roots through expanding their catering business and working with local, charitable events.
“We live here, too,” Edie Surratt said. “So it’s in our best interest to create the best place to eat casual, fresh Mexican while helping the community as much as possible.”
The restaurant is well on its way to becoming a staple in Davidson with plenty of regulars and new customers weekly. Mexican perfection, indeed.
Where to go? Carrburritos, 445 Main St., Davidson, 704-237-3040.