A breakfast burrito with mf doom’s album in the background.
Photo by Kaushik Kalidindi for Okayplayer.

Is This the Best Breakfast Burrito in Brooklyn?

Located in Bed-Stuy’s Brooklyn, Eric See's Ursula features a peerless breakfast burrito that will have you asking one simple question: green or red sauce?

Up until just a few months ago, the corner of Madison and Nostrand was a pretty standard slice of Bed-Stuy. Locals loll and trade tales on stoops, chairs, and benches self-fabricated of found items from the neighborhood. A Dominican bodega keeps them fed and loose, churning out hefty grill fare and loose Newports, Marlboro reds, and lights. Next door, a furniture store seemingly specializing in lucite pieces blasts ‘80s and ‘90s gospel through a door that has exactly two positions, wide open or shuttered behind an iron gate. And in the storefront one over, a new neighbor is slinging what is arguably the borough’s best-in-class breakfast burrito.

Once a take-out window in a tight Sterling Street location in Crown Heights, chef Eric See's Ursula has upgraded to a full sit-down build-out, with an open kitchen and outdoor dining in a brick-lined back patio. A deft pastry chef, See first introduced this hi-fi Southwestern breakfast burrito at his Bushwick bakery, Awkward Scone, on the weekends back in 2019 at the behest of fellow New Mexican customers (Sees is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico). See turned his homebred taste for green and red chiles into a signature, and with it came both lines and institutional acclaim, which have trailed him from the now defunct Bushwick bakery (an early Covid-19 casualty) and the window operation just south of Fulton Avenue, to the new Ursula outpost in Bed-Stuy. Here, See incorporates his home state’s heat index into expanded lunch and dinner menus, featuring lavender-brined fried chicken, punchy Turkey BLTS, and fried green tomato sandwiches during the day, and fresh takes on Southwest staples during evening hours. But the star remains a peerless breakfast burrito that asks a simple question: green or red?

Green vs. Red

On a recent weekday, I ducked a pretty typical block-wrapping wait and chose one of each — green with bacon and red with chorizo (both are $12.50). Safely towing them through a bustling northbound G train was unnerving, and I was genuinely concerned the inside of my nylon tote would compromise the structural integrity of the cargo. Lodging them between my laptop and the front panel of the bag, I hoped to offer enough support from both ends not to collapse their tender walls. At each of the five stops en route to work, I took a big breath peering over the lip of the bag to make sure they kept their hefty, cylindrical form.

Miraculously, both made the trip unharmed and were somehow still warm and deeply aromatic despite 20-ish minutes of travel in an icebox subway car. Having already endured the queue at their previous location for the chorizo variant on a bitterly cold weekend morning a few years ago, I offered it to a coworker who corroborated my account of it. How the depth of the heat from the red chiles played off the smoke of the sausage, the latke-like fry of the hashbrown, and the slight salinity of a molten cheddar melt.

Though they are categorically the same pepper, New Mexican green hatch chiles are harvested slightly earlier than their red, fully-ripened sibling. As a result, their spice hits at the very front of each bite, lighting up the top of the mouth and tongue. Paired with ample bacon shattered over a pillowy egg scramble, crunchy hash, and a perfect pull of cheddar, the greens offered a bright and refreshing pulse of heat that gradually dissipated in the richness of its cohabitating elements. Even trying to savor the meal it took no more than 10 minutes to reach the final bite, which was housed expeditiously but not without a reluctant parting gulp.

My paper plate no longer buckling under the heft of this behemoth, the penetrating, whole-body glow of gratification had set in. I sat back on a salmon velvet couch grinning like a fool with an unbusted gut and an unbroken wallet, convinced of how little there was left to want, how high the bar had been set, and how much ground there was between Ursula’s slate of breakfast burritos and any comparable challenger. Welcome to the neighborhood, bud.

Ursula Address

387A Nostrand Ave.,

Brooklyn, NY 11216