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We Gaze Upon the Gentrification of the Burrito And Are Found Wanting

By Riley Silverman | Food Porn | August 19, 2016 |

By Riley Silverman | Food Porn | August 19, 2016 |

Oh, the burrito. You mighty entree. You noble tortilla-encrusted messenger, springing forth from Mexico in a proud century-spanning tradition. In your presence we are inspired, we are filled with that most pure of euphoria. Pity be the traveler who enters into a debate over which region of California has the best burrito. Would that those who quarrel sit over a table of burritos to discuss their differences, for then world peace would be in our grasp; our grasps that can barely contain your perfect burrito form, as it is indeed as big as our heads.

On behalf of all the white people of America, I would like to humbly apologize for what we’ve done to you, burrito. Despite your prevalence in authentic taquerias, food trucks, and dubious but worth-the-risk stands outside of stadiums and bars, we have squandered you. We started out believing we had the best of intentions. We made breakfast burritos so that we could begin our day as a monument to your glory. We made bowl versions of you so that we could call a salad a burrito and still pay you homage. We should have known we’d gone too far when we decided to fill your already carb-heavy body with french fries and call it “California” style, but like Icarus, we did not know how close we were to the sun.

And now, it has come to this. The false profits of the fast food world have co-opted and de-sanctified the burrito. Like He Who Shall Not Be Named turning the diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw into a horcrux, they have defiled you. And we have allowed it. Worse yet, I am complicit in this, because today for lunch I sampled not one, but two insults to your name. Today I tried both the Whopperito from Burger King, and the Cheesy Core Burrito from Taco Bell. And I am sorry.


If I had to determine which of these menu items had committed the gravest sin, the Cheesy Core Burrito (I got the spicy version) would be the lesser of two evils. In the grand scheme of things, despite an appealing-looking menu photo, what we have here is a pretty basic run of the mill Taco Bell burrito that simply exchanges nacho cheese for the standard shredded. Otherwise, as far as flavor goes, we’re really going down the same territory explored over and over again by the pro-Trump juggernaut of Americanized tacos and burritos.

From the photo and the ingredients listed on the website, it seems that the restaurant I ordered it from didn’t really even understand the recipe, as they gave me a mix of the standard version and the spicy version that I ordered. This seems to have translated to extra ingredients for me, so I am fine with that. But, at the end of the day, it simply became a vessel for me to smother in Diablo sauce, which was fine. But for someone who has actively not eaten fast food all month (mostly due to how many of my chins were on TV with me a few weeks ago), this didn’t seem worth the breaking of my no-fast-food vow. If you’re better at avoiding fast food than I am, don’t rush out for this, because whatever the next cheesy monstrosity ends up on the Bell menu will taste exactly like it.


Okay, I honestly don’t even want to stick with my flowery, reverent language conceit for this part. This thing was just bullshit. Seriously. Look at the two side by side in the pictures. This is a fail across the board. Look at all that queso cheese sauce that’s smothering it in the press release photo, Do you see any of it in the picture of the damn thing next to it? There’s some in the burrito but barely, and as a result, the whole thing is dry as hell. The meat feels like they rounded up all the patties that were too ugly to serve on Whopper classics, which is probably exactly what it is. I don’t know how something can manage to be both flavorless and gross at the same time, but you managed to pull it off, BK! Congrats.

When I used to spend a lot of time on the road doing comedy and eating more fast food than I should (which, as established earlier, is any at all), I gained a solid worldview that aside from the Croissanwich at breakfast, Burger King is the most consistently disappointing chain out there, yet somehow they always manage to trick me. They manage to make me think this time will be different. Burger King always seems like it’s going to be a better idea than it actually ends up being. Compare that to say, McDonald’s, which is usually mediocre, but there’s always that one time you go and the fries are fresh from the fryer, and your burger was just taken off the grill and it is just effing delicious.

That is never the case at Burger King and this thing proves it. That’s the infuriating thing about this: THIS SHOULD BE DELICIOUS. I’ve had cheeseburger quesadilla things before. I’ve had fusion meals that nail this and it’s actually great. I’ve made them at home with barely any ingredients. Do you know how hard you have to work to make a burrito suck? It is the most perfect food and you fucked it up. YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR. You are no king of mine.

Riley Silverman and her taste buds are not speaking to each other currently.