Welcome to Pino de Gallo!

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Hola! Mucho gusto. My name is Mase Pino and I eat burritos. That is actually a gross understatement. I LOVE burritos. (see picture left) It got to the point that I needed to set aside a portion of my budget just for them… rent, credit card, cable, burritos… So this is Pino de Gallo, a clever wordplay on pico de gallo, a type of delicious salsa. Literal translation of pico de gallo is “beak of the rooster,” which makes Pino de gallo mean

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“Pine of the rooster,” or even better, when you put it into google translator it comes out as….. Pine Cock. Faaaaantastic. Warning: This is not family programming.

So what am I doing here and where is this going? I grew up in a small pueblo outside of Mexico City. We led a simple life, but it was a good life. The burritos flowed like wine, we played futbol in the fields (or as you Americans would call “boring sport that kids play and eat oranges during halftime” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-apigHJC3I ).  But then came NAFTA and the burrito blight of ’91 and times were tough.  No longer could we survive in our little pueblo, so my parents sent me into the big city to make some money for the family.  After trying unsuccessfully to peddle flip-flops made from stale tortillas, I was smuggled into this country in the back of a radish truck. I smelled like radishes until I was 12 and was relentlessly teased by my classmates about this unfortunate fact. Let’s just say that I didn’t attend many sleepovers during those years. To my great relief, the smell eventually faded away, but to this day if I find myself in the radish aisle of the supermarket, I have ‘Nam style flashbacks to that Mexican cargo trunk bumping along through the desert.

After living in Connecticut and Texas (where I first encountered truly epic burritos), I settled in Boston where I lived for the last 6 and a half years. There I lived an alcohol and debt fueled life. The highlight of my time in college may have been when the burrito bar became a permanent fixture at our dining hall.  But again, the good times wouldn’t last.  Apparently, credit cards and student loans have to be paid back… and not in burritos. Who knew? Finally, a group of “banditos” got together and ran me out of town. (pictured right)

Group of Banditos

As you can see... a terrifying bunch!

The result was that I ended up in Washington, DC… the Windy City! The Big Easy! The phoenix city! The City of Brotherly Love! The Big Apple! The Bean! The City of Angels! Oh wait, that was Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Well, I’m sure DC also has a nickname, but I just don’t know it. I lived on a couch, and now in a windowless room with a mattress on the floor. I’m living the American dream!
So here I am, in a new city that is not exactly known for its Mexican cuisine. My friend the Bonesaw is aware of my ethnic heritage and my insatiable quest for the ultimate burrito, he suggested that I focus my attention and create a blog! (“Welcome to 2006, Mase”, yeah, I know, but better late than pregnant… or something) The name was suggested by one of my roommates, the Cat Herder, and the tag line provided by my former host Sethward J. And as much as you enjoy reading my rambling life story seen through the eyes of a burrito, time to get down to business.
I am going on an burrito eating tour of DC with the goal of delivering to you, the people of this fair city, a rundown of every burrito I am able to consume. I’m going to give you my opinion of the establishment, the creativity of the burritos, quality of the ingredients, and value (cost to taste ratio). I’m only one man (although probably more of a man than you are), so I can only review one to two burritos per visit. This means that I’ll have to rely on some feedback from friends that accompany me  and I’ll probably have some repeat visits. Thankfully, I’ve been graced with a camera phone, so I can try to provide a complete multimedia experience. I’ll be rating the burritos on a 5 sombrero scale. 5 tips of my sombrero would be the ultimate burrito. El burrito del Dios…. if you will. This is the story of the quest for that burrito.
I want feedback and suggestions. Grammar nazis – e-mail me corrections… and I’ll e-mail a description of what it’s like to have friends.
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3 thoughts on “Welcome to Pino de Gallo!

  1. Yeagsy

    Texas has given many people many good things, and I’m very glad it sparked your love of burritos. Burritos are the bomb diggity.

    Good luck on your adventure!

    Like

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