Reilly’s Burrito Bash Extrrrravaganza 2009 – Day 1, Part 1

The Burrito Bash kicked off a bit earlier than expected, as I was able to locate a burrito outlet in Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. during my layover. One could say the Bash started on Thursday with my purchase of a burrito from the Mc Neil room, but it was more of an precursor, an exhibition burrito so-to-speak. Irregardless (my favorite non-word word), here’s the first entry in my Burrito Log, or BLog for short. Damn, BLog is such a cool word! AND STOP AUTOCORRECTING ME, WORD—I know the L is capitalized.

Outlet: California Tortilla
Location: Gate C22, Dulles Airport, Washington DC
Items Ordered: 1 Veggie Burrito ($6.29), 1 Combo #2 (regular drink, chips, and salsa, $1.79), 1 Side Guac ($.99)
Total: $9.07, $9.52 with tax
Means of Consumption: Ordered from counter to go (only option)

Initial impressions: Immediately, I was skeptical of the name, especially given that Washington D.C. is not located in California. However, my fears were assuaged when I arrived at gate C22 and took a gander at the menu. This wasn’t your typical crappy airport place, this was a Mexican chain with an airport franchise. They had a good variety of traditional favorites and unique specials.

Ordering: My clerk spoke English fairly clearly. After ordering the burrito, she asked me if I wanted cheese and sour cream in it. I found this very responsible, as how else we should know if I wanted it vegan or just vegetarian. However, she then asked whether I wanted to upgrade to a combo, but I had trouble understanding this the first time. I then explained that I wanted chips with guac, and she explained to me that it was cheaper to get the combo, which included chips with salsa and a drink, then add the guac separately. I agreed to this proposition, selected my drink, and paid obediently.

Waiting: There were 7 or 8 people standing near the counter waiting for food. I had been assigned #757. I was temporarily worried that I would have to be waiting for a while. Things progressed pretty rapidly, #755 was called almost immediately. #756 followed a minute later, then #758, then #757. I was very impressed with the speed of the construction of my burrito, and I believe the delay that caused #758 to cut was due to my chips and guac.

The Unwrapping: I had to walk all the way down the C concourse to the D concourse (which annoyingly were in the same building, not really unique concourses at all. My mouth was watering with the thought of a good burrito. I sipped intently on my lemonade as I negotiated the throngs of people in Dulles. When I arrived at the waiting area, I set my belongings down, and peered inside the bag. On top was a stack of napkins (5 to be exact) with the phrase “IT’S A PARTY IN THAT DISPENSER, LET ME TELL YOU”. I was initially boggled by the use of the word “dispenser”. What was this dispenser they were referring to? Is a styrofoam clamshell carton considered a “dispenser”? I suspended my disbelief, and read the smaller text below, “If you’re having a party outside of this dispenser, call us to cater it or go to” Hmm, so maybe the whole bag is a dispenser? Then it clicked. I was supposed to have removed the napkin from a napkin dispenser. However, the placement of the napkin in the bag without my interacting with said napkin dispenser ruined the effectiveness of this phrasing. Okay, enough with this dispenser nonsense. I noted that the side of guacamole was outside of the clamshell, and that there were no other items in the bag. I opened the clamshell and was greeted with an assortment of tortilla chips, a black cup of salsa, and a rather large burrito wrapped in tin foil with a green “Veggie” sticker on it. I paused my explorations to take a quick photo.

In order to make room for the burrito, I moved the chips into the top of the clamshell. I then grasped the burrito, and began unwrapping. I was surprised that the foil was actually paper backed, meaning it ripped like paper rather than tin foil. Upon opening, I was quickly impressed by the scale of this burrito! While not very long, it had a massive radius. Briefly, I was worried that I would be unable to eat this burrito without the assistance of utensils. I paused once again to take a picture of the naked burrito.

The First Bites: Perhaps I was simply famished, but the first couple bites were pure bliss. I encountered a large pocket of guacamole mixed with delicious, somewhat spicy, black beans. Yum, I thought, this is a lot like a Chipotle burrito! I continued taking healthy bites from my prey, encountering a mix of sour cream, Mexican rice, and black beans.

Continuing Onward: Around the 10th bite or so, I encountered an onion. What an outrage! Onions were nowhere on the list of purported ingredients! I continued eating, and encountered more undesireables. Lettuce was on the ingredients list, so I can’t really complain about its presence, but I don’t like lettuce, so I will complain anyway. The worst was about 1/3 from the end, when I excavated a humongous hunk of zucchini. ZUCCHINI?!?!?! In my bean burrito? Angered, I removed the large, green, invasive vegetable from my burrito and dropped it in the clamshell. I soldiered on, determined to like this burrito. My efforts were for naught though, as I encountered more large chunks of onion and another large zucchini piece. Discouraged, I gave up. The reward was no longer worth the hassle. Result: roughly ¾ consumed, ¼ remaining. In retrospect, I don’t believe there was any sour cream in the burrito.i

Post Burrito: I turned to my other food items: chips with guacamole. At a glance, the chips looked bad—somewhat like your run-of-the-mill Tostitos chips. However, a closer look and taste revealed that they were quite tasty! The taste was equivalent to Baja Fresh chips, however, the texture was a bit more crunchy. Some chips showed uneven amounts of grease. The guacamole was quite good, as well. It was a bit saltier than my preferred guacamole; however it was not offensive to me in any way. It featured well ground avocado and small, cube sized chunks of tomato. I noted the lack of chunks of avocado, which dinged it a couple points in my scoring system. I finished the guacamole before I was half done eating my chips—proof it was pretty damn good. I didn’t touch the cup of salsa. I ended up not finishing the chips, as the meal filled me up.

Closing thoughts: Things started out great, California Tortilla, then you betrayed me. The first half of the burrito was pure, unadulterated burrito bliss. But, why did you have to include the things! I hate things! Especially when things appear in my burritos that aren’t on the list of ingredients on the menu!

And now some arbitrary ratings!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 3.5/5 – Fast shipping, excellent seller, product not as described, might buy again.
Ordering Experience: 4/5 – HABLAN INGLES! Y me ayudan mucho.
Waiting Experience: 4.5/5 – Quick, prompt
Presentation: 3/5 – confusing slogan, crappy foil wrapper, ugly black clamshell
Quality of Lemonade: 4/5 – typical fountain minute maid
Size: 5/5 – This was the black penis of burritos
Build Quality: 3/5 – some ingredients were spilling out, some tears occurred in the tortilla
Burrito Taste: 4/5 – Good balance of spicy and delicious
Burrito Texture: 1/5 – GTFO ZUCCHINI
Ingredient Quality: 4/5 – Quality all around
Ingredient Mixing: 2/5 – Highly unbalanced
Chips Taste: 4.5/5 – nearly flawless
Chips Texture: 3/5 – Bit too crunchy, too mainstream Tostitos
Amount of chips: 4/5 – Could’ve used a bit more
Guacamole Quality: 4/5 – solid taste, missing yummy avocado chunks
Amount of Guacamole: 2.5/5 – Maybe I just love guacamole, but it really didn’t last
Burrito cost in terms of value: 3.5/5 – Not a bad price for such a huge burrito
Drink cost in terms of value: 5/5 – Combo #2 was an amazing deal
Chips cost in terms of value: 5/5 – Combo #2 was an amazing deal
Guacamole cost in terms of value: 3/5 – Not enough! But I understand Guacamole is expensive
Number of napkins supplied: 5/5 – I had just the right amount of napkins
Location: 4/5 – Mighty convenient, I didn’t even have to change concourse
Outlet Interior: 3/5 – doesn’t really apply, but it was bright and cheerful on the outside

3 Responses to “Reilly’s Burrito Bash Extrrrravaganza 2009 – Day 1, Part 1”

  1. Haris Says:

    thi is the funniest thing ive read in a while , u kill me

  2. Clara Says:

    “Angered, I removed the large, green, invasive vegetable from my burrito and dropped it in the clamshell. ”

    My favorite part! I also like how you described the burrito size…very interesting.

  3. Dylan Says:

    “Size: 5/5 – This was the black penis of burritos”

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