Have you ever been to Chipotle before? If so, have you ever wondered what Chipotle would taste like if they stopped seasoning and flavoring their food? Keep in mind, Chipotle is to an actual good meal, as Burrachos is to Chipotle: a step or two down.
Also keep in mind that I love Mexican food, and anything imitating, approaching, comparable to, or slightly resembling even a completely unfaithful rendition of it. That said, I am an asshole, and consider anything remotely close to the previously mentioned iterations a personal affront, while still somehow enjoying it.
Well anyway, if the answer to the above burning question is a mumbled, "I guess", then read on, friends.
About a year and a half ago, I had a hankering for a burrito. So I rode down to the Burrachos on Water St. to grab one. Burrachos is a WI-based company that appears to be a Chipotle knock-off, should be relatively awesome, right? Not necessarily. Upon returning home to feed, I found it to be perfectly bland, and a little small. A Chipotle burrito/bowl, will usually feed me for two meals. So I crossed it off the list for future feedings.
Fast forward to present day, and the beautiful Heckyeahwoman and I found ourselves at Burrachos again. It was pretty sweet being seen in public with her. The evening started off normal, with us ordering food at the counter, but it soon got weird when they were "building" her burrito. Dude heated up her tortilla, and began sheepishly spooning burrito fixings into it, and when it was time to fold that fucker up, it tore. The tortilla apparently got torn. Not the end of the world, right? I've seen it happen, and usually they just throw another tortilla around it for bonus double tortilla protection.
What did this dude do?
And this is HYW's recounting of the sitch, so it's mostly hearsay, but the first thing the dude did was get really pissed (lol). Then he took the torn tortilla, and dumped the contents into a new (untorn) one. Thing is, a shitload of the contents were still stuck to the old one. And then he threw it away. What a waste of food!
To top it off, her burrito was supposed to have tortilla chip strips in it; it didn't. That's why she ordered that burrito! That's why I was mere seconds of ordering the same thing, but switched at the last minute! I didn't try it, so the only indication of the taste is her mentioning that it didn't taste like anything.
I ordered a burrito bowl with double meat. I got a plate of burrito with some meat. No shit, the burrito BOWL comes on a plate. A flat plate. An uneven flat plate that spins and moves as one tries to poke at the pile of food with a fork. The meat was flavorless, though the veggies and other stuff tasted fresh enough. Props for tasty chips and guacamole though.
A burrito joint on Water St. (where all the college bars are, right by campus and the student ghetto, for you out-of-towners), employing college students, serving cheap burritos, I get it: it's probably not going to be awesome. But I don't think any of the three employees smiled once. I would be interested in trying the Burrachos over by the mall, see if that lack of student ghetto might church the experience up a bit.
Anyway, the verdict?
Heckyeahwoman summed it up perfectly as we were leaving: "Oh god, don't tweet about this, I don't want them to give us a complimentary gift card to try it again or anything!"
My final two cents: Mexican food, no matter how bland, approximated, or Americanized, and absent finding a hair or dead bug within, is generally beyond reproach, at least in my book. While theirs generally leans towards the hyper-bland, it's still preferable to something like most fast food, outside of Culver's.
Also, spellchecker is trying to replace "Chipotle" with "Chortle", ha.
Coming up soon: I recount a recent experience reading a book. And then I might comment on our city, Eau Claire, approving a tubing-only lane along the Chippewa River, and whether or not that is lol.