This post is a demonstration of my loyalty to my tens of readers and Pino de Gallo. When you attach your name to something, you better make for damn sure it is the best product you can put out. I believe that is why Jimmy Dean personally slaughters every pig for every sausage. What a guy! (citation needed)
Anyways, some of you may be familiar with the tourist trap/racist Mecca known as South of the Border. Well, Pino de Gallo made a special trip down there just for you. I was driving around the beltway in DC when I saw a billboard that said, “Pedro says ‘Come to South of the Border’ – only 373 miles away!” And with catchy advertising like that, how could I say no?
When one is finally “drawn in by its awesomeness” (a direct quote from mr stone), one can’t help but be amazed by the small oasis of Mexico right in the heart of the Confederacy. I half expected Madre Mase to greet me with freshly made tortillas as I pulled into the gas station. Would the food at South of the Border compare to the homecookin’ of Madre Mase? Only one way to find out…
As famished as I was from my journey by donkey pulled VW Jetta, I had to take in the sights before I sat down to a hearty meal. I have passed by South of the Border many times in college on our way to spring break, and even stopped for a fairly extended period of time once, but this time… it was business. Burrito Blog Business.
I went into the establishment that offered such a range of products like foot long hot dogs, tacos, Mexican beer, french fries, and a litany of other options. Hmm, appeared authentic enough to me. The people who were eating and working in this fine establishment must have been speaking a dialect of Spanish that I didn’t know, because I could not understand a single word they said.
The burrito options were listed as follows “Beef-Beans-or Beef and Beans.” That is actually how it was formatted on the menu, and it took me a minute to figure out. ME! Have I mentioned I have a Master’s degree? Anyways, how am I possibly supposed to make a decision with so many options? I go with beef. Simple. Straightforward. I’m informed by the register attendant that probably has an 8th grade level education that my burrito will come with tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce. “Ok,” I think to myself, “That’s simple and a pretty good base for a burrito. Can’t mess this up, right?” Oh, how naive I was. The cost was also nice; the exchange rate to pesos must have really helped me, because it was only $3.85. Of course at the time it did not cross my mind the old saying “Big players make big plays” which was good because that saying was completely irrelevant to this situation; but the saying that should have crossed my mind is “you get what you pay for,” and I wasn’t paying that much…..
After an inexplicably long wait (I mean, it’s meat, cheese, tortilla, lettuce and tomatoes! I’m sure that all of those things are already prepared and just sitting there!), I finally get my food and go outside to breathe in that sweet Mexican South Carolina air. It had the rich aroma of marinating meat, gasoline, and racism. I believe those are also the primary ingredients in many Martha Stewart soups. Anyways, I open my wrapper to find a fairly small burrito. Again, I paid a low price, so I shouldn’t expect a monster burrito.
I begin to dive into this burrito, and I am… how do you say? Less than thrilled. The meat is bland and probably grade F meat (tasted lower quality than Taco Bell, no offense to the chihuahua), the cheese was generic processed shredded cheese, and the tomatoes and lettuce at this point can do nothing to salvage this unmitigated disaster. I try to power through it, knowing that I will need the strength to make my journey home and because I like to play a game I called “let’s see if I can make it to the next rest stop without shitting my pants after I ate something I shouldn’t have.” (I’m undefeated… so far, but this gave me a run for my money)
This was the first burrito I’ve ever been unable and unwilling to finish. I tried, I really did. I made it down to a few remaining bites and just could not bring myself to eat this greasy tortilla wrapped turd. I threw out the rest, started to walk over to the bathrooms, then realized that probably everyone else who ate here did the same thing, so those bathrooms couldn’t be in very good shape either.
Thankfully Pedro sells sand pails….
Verdict: 1/2 sombrero out of 5.
South of the Border
Hamer, SC 29547