Burrigato: From Concept to Reality
One of Dinkytown’s newest restaurants is Burrigato, located at 314 15th Ave SE, Minneapolis, next to Erbert & Gerberts. With a soft opening on April 20 2017, they took the summer to perfect their menu and systems and had their Grand Opening in October 2017. Owners Korra Ektanitphong & Daniel Ringgenberg both went to the U and lived in Stadium Village.
The concept of fast, home cooked, authentic Asian food made “burrito style” was born when Korra & Daniel were running errands for Daniel’s dad in college and talking about what to eat. Korra preferred Asian food and Daniel would always choose burritos, but the fact that you could rarely find an authentic Asian restaurant that you could quickly get food to-go meant that Daniel usually won. It was then they came up with the concept of quick asian burritos, a fusion of both of their favorites, but they tabled it for a few years while they were figuring out their career paths. Both have worked in the restaurant industry although neither planned on going into the food business while in college. Korra’s degree is in neuro-science and Daniel’s is in Japanese. They met in Japanese class at the U and are currently engaged to be married.
Whenever they had friends over for dinner parties they encouraged them to start their own restaurant. Although they lived in Stadium Village, they knew Dinkytown well from going to the U and thought it would be a great place to open their restaurant. They knew the demographic, knew what students gravitate toward, and they knew how to market to students. And after years of conceptualizing, they decided to make their dream a reality.
Korra developed the Burrigato menu using her knowledge of cooking she learned while growing up. At the age of 10, she moved from Thailand to Worthington where Asian cuisine was limited. In order to get authentic Thai food, she had to learn how to cook. She used this knowledge while developing the menu, with the goal of creating authentic asian convenience food.
Their customer base is primarily made up of students, faculty, and staff from the U and have started to gain a solid group of regular customers who are huge fans of their food. The average time from order to getting your food is just 2-3 minutes. Their most popular menu item is currently the #1 Bokkeum, which is a Korean pork sweet & spicy stiry fry. In order to keep things fresh, quick, and authentic, they have a limited menu but they do offer customization such as deep fried eggs or additional vegetable options that are complimentary. They currently have one vegetarian dish, the #5 Bibimap, and are working on expanding their vegetarian options. They plan to introduce their first appetizer soon which will feature tofu.
Korra & Daniel are almost always at the store, serving food and meeting their customers. They have two other full time employees to help out. Chances are, if you stop in you will meet the owners which is a rare treat in the restaurant industry. They also currently live in Dinkytown allowing them to devote most of their time to their business and community.
Their favorite part about being in Dinkytown is the sense of community, both with their customers and the surrounding business owners. Initially, they were worried about how they would be received by the established business community being new, young, and non-franchise but everybody has been very supportive and helpful.
Nearly all of the people who financially helped them open Burrigato have been Alumni from the University of Minnesota. While Dinkytown is currently their only location, Korra & Daniel hope to expand their restaurant concept to other areas.