Nate Gutierrez, along with partner Hamooda Shami, is transforming their restaurant, 11 Months, into Best Friends Forever, a burrito spot a few doors down from their now-closed restaurant, Don't Look Back, which burned in July.

Scott Elmquist

Nate Gutierrez, along with partner Hamooda Shami, is transforming their restaurant, 11 Months, into Best Friends Forever, a burrito spot a few doors down from their now-closed restaurant, Don't Look Back, which burned in July.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A New Name and a Bunch of Burritos for 11 Months

The transformed spot opens on Friday.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 5:14 PM

It hasn’t been 11 months, but owners Hamooda Shami and Nate Gutierrez closed the doors of their experimental restaurant named, aptly enough, 11 Months, on Sunday, Aug. 27.

“I think the concept of 11 Months was a little confusing for some people,” Gutierrez says. The original idea was to open a restaurant and in just under a year, shut it down, retool the interior, change the menu and launch an entirely new restaurant. When the place opened, Shami told Style, “[One] major shift we've made is to make eleven months the maximum time frame. This will allow us a ton of flexibility on the style of pop-ups we can use in the space, with some lending themselves to shorter time frames.”

Therefore, on Friday, Sept. 1, Best Friends Forever — the name doubles down on 11 Months’ original theme — will kick off at 2915 W. Cary St. with a menu full of burritos made with the flair that made Gutierrez’s Nate’s Taco Truck and Don’t Look Back a few doors down on Cary Street famous.

“A lot of people miss Don’t Look Back,” Gutierrez says. “And we still don’t know when we’ll open or where yet.” This new place will hopefully satisfy the longing for the taco spot that burned earlier this year.

But don’t expect the burritos at Best Friends Forever to be swaddled versions of Gutierrez’s tacos. He’s working with co-chef Justin Cropper, and they’ve come up with a flavor profile that has the same zing of New Mexico chilies, but isn’t a carbon copy of what diners came to expect at Don’t Look Back.

One thing I’m ready to try: a Frito pie burrito. Yeah, baby.

The interior has been toned down from the brights of 11 Months to darker shades. Gone are the picnic tables and big communal table. They’ve been replaced with smaller two-tops that can be endlessly reconfigured. It’s a different vibe. And although the menu may resemble Don’t Look Back’s structurally, Gutierrez promises surprises.

“We’re keeping the menu pretty short and simple,” Gutierrez says, “so we can do some really cool stuff with the specials.”

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