The Big Wrap | AspenTimes.com

The Big Wrap

Christina Patterson

Today’s topic is: the wrap. In case you’ve never run into a wrap before, let me explain: A wrap is like a cousin to the burrito, only it doesn’t necessarily contain burrito-like fillings. When you finish piling the soon-to-be fillings on the tortilla, it gets wrapped up tightly. Hence the name–get it?

The Big Wrap owner Barbara Menendez, a six-year valley resident and former employee of various restaurants, believes that the Wrap will be “… like the next coffee craze.” In other words, big. Way big.

She and her skilled staff are experiencing this already, with the lunch-time crowds sometimes stretching out the door of her small, deli-like space. Still, The Big Wrap manages to keep the line moving quickly, despite the fact that none of the food is pre-wrapped.

And what of the food? There are nine gourmet wraps to choose from, all of them in the $5.50 range, give or take a quarter or two, and each with their own whimsical name, but not so whimsical that you’re embarrassed to order out loud. For instance, the “Hail Caesar” is grilled honey citrus chicken, black beans, lettuce, roasted red peppers, toasted pumpkin seeds, feta cheese and Caesar dressing in a chili wrap. I don’t know about you, but I truly enjoy saying “Hail Caesar” whenever possible, and I just don’t get the chance as much anymore.

“What’s Up, Doc?” is a hummus and Greek veggie salad, sprouts, lettuce, feta and a lowfat yogurt sauce wrapped in a spinach flavored tortilla. The other strictly veggie gourmet wrap is the “Mr. Potato Head” — roasted potatoes saut»ed with spinach and grilled portabello mushrooms, pinto beans, jasmine rice, crispy lettuce, a choice of salsa, cheese or sour cream with roasted garlic vinaigrette and the whole thing is wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Whew. Starting to get the idea?

Well, how ’bout the “Rock Your World” — sliced roasted turkey, lettuce, confetti slaw (jicama, green onion, carrot, cucumber), sprouts, guacamole, dill ranch dressing all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds. The “To Thai For” is grilled chicken with a spicy peanut sauce, jasmine rice, veggie black beans and confetti slaw in a chili-flavored tortilla.

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Of course, you are more than welcome to design your own wrap combo, or just add or subtract from the ones that are already tried and true. Anything on the menu can be added to your wrap for a small additional price.

More along the traditional lines, The Big Wrap also offers Mexican Wraps, filled with Spanish rice, pinto or black beans, fresh salsa, lettuce, cheese or sour cream and your choice of Honey Citrus Chicken, Grilled Skirt Steak, Guacamole, Carnitas or Roasted Potatoes — each $4.95.

Over in Soup and Saladville, there’s a different soup homemade every day, a bowl of which will run you $3.95. In fact, all of the food at The Big Wrap is made fresh daily there on the premises: salsas, dressings, slaws, everything. Salads include Caesar ($4.25), Greek ($4.25) and “The Salad” — black beans, lettuce, sprouts, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pico de gallo with dilled ranch dressing for $4.25 or $5.95 if you add roasted turkey or grilled chicken.

To complete your meal, please turn your attention to the smoothie menu, six different varieties like the “Peach On The Beach” — raspberries, peaches, banana and papaya juice, or “Kauai-Not” — pineapple and papaya juice with strawberries and bananas. All smoothies are $3.95 for a huge 20 oz. and include your choice of a booster: protein powder, bee pollen, ginseng, Spirulina or lecithin.

And the final bit of good news for the Aspen office bound, The Big Wrap delivers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

According to Menendez, the wrap just may be the sandwich of the future. I tend to agree. After all, you can put anything that you would put on a sandwich in a wrap, but not vice versa. The wrap is a way to put a complete meal in one quick, easy, to-go package, and The Big Wrap adds to this equation some fresh, homemade, healthy ingredients.

My prediction is that you can expect a lot more Wrap places to open throughout the valley. The best part, of course, would be choosing the name: Gangsta Wrap, The Blessed Wrapture, It’s A Wrap!, Wrappers Delight, The Velicowraptor, Bum Wrap, etc … we’ve got plenty more, just give us a call.

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