Mouthwatering, sometimes eye-watering, guaranteed to lift your spirits and make your tastebuds tingle, there is no better street food than the burrito.

Spicy meat or veggies, rice, kicking chilli sauce (if you’re that way inclined), soothing crema (if you’re not) and cheese all get wrapped up in a tortilla, making it portable as well as filling.

It’s thought burritos have been around (one way or another) for about 12,000 years. Originally from Mexico and south west USA, it took a while longer for them to reach Carlisle…

So El Escapar Mexicana kitchen, on Lonsdale Street, has really been taken into their hearts by city foodies. Set up by Jamie Harris (with the help of The Brickyard’s Andy Bartlett) at the end of October last year in what was Routledge’s bakers, Jamie, from Carlisle, was previously sous chef (second head chef) at Foxborough, and worked at the Golden Fleece before that.

Needless to say he loves Mexican food, but he also spotted the burrito-shaped niche in the market. Pibil pulled pork (£5) is his favourite on the menu, but it can be tricky getting the ingredients - including achiote (annatto): “I’m reliant on a Mexican importer,”says Jamie. “But I always want to give something 100 per cent.” Chipotle lime chicken (£5) and barbacoa beef brisket (£5.50) are the two big sellers from the menu but vegans aren’t forgotten. Black coffee beans (£4.50) and roasted onions and peppers (£4.50) sell almost as well with the meat eaters.

You can have any of these with fresh chunky pico de gallo, fire roasted tomato salsa, habanero and pineapple salsa or (the best) fruity, fiery ancho and scotch bonnet salsa, served in a burrito, naked burrito (no tortilla), tacos or guajillo chilli-infused nachos. Extras include homemade citrus slaw, guacamole, smoked chilli cheese sauce and home-pickled jalapenos.

Originally open from 11am until 3pm - or “until the food runs out” Monday to Saturday, El Escapar now opens from 5pm to 8pm on Friday and Saturday too. Jamie also now holds monthly taco nights at The Crescent Bar: thirty seats, six courses - carnivorous or vegetarian, £25, including a free drink. “It’s something a bit different, people always appreciate that,” explains Jamie. “It’s a risk - people like this or they like that - but actually the shrimp [in coconut, with papaya salsa and citrus slaw] and venison [beer-braised with redcurrant jam and pickled carrot] are among the most popular.”

A restaurant isn’t out of the question says Jamie: “I’m not a big fan of takeouts, the food doesn’t travel well,”says Jamie“But at the moment I like not having to put in 50-hour weeks, I like going home to sleep, that kind of thing!”

n El Escapar will be closed today and tomorrow and reopen on Monday. Jamie will be drumming with his band The Sun Explodes at The Brickyard on Saturday,November 16, along with Falling Red, Seek Solace in Ruin and more in aid of Macmillan and the ‘bucket list’ of Falling Red’s Mickey Lawless, who has cancer. Tickets £8 from Falling Red’s website, SeeTickets, The Brickyard, King’s Head and Vinyl Cafe. KATE REES