The Beefy Crunch Burrito incident

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Finally something worth fighting for! You see that Libya? We yearn for things too!

This past Sunday in San Antonio, there was a Mexican standoff… of the fast food sorts. While not technically a “Mexican Standoff” in the traditional sense, but rather one between authorities and a man who wanted some Taco Bell. I’m going to breakdown this story courtesy of  My San Antonio.com.

“The price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito had gone up from 99 cents to $1.49 and the man at the Rigsby Road Taco Bell drive-thru had just ordered seven.”

Well, where to start? First of all, I blame Obama for driving this country into the ground behind his secret Muslim communist Nazi policies. It is my right as an “American” to be able to stuff myself with cheap “meat” until I get morbidly obese, type II diabetes, and demand Medicare! Is it really a surprise that San Antonio is consistently one of the Top 10 fattest cities in America?! (Please note that Washington DC is the 2nd fittest according to this metric).

“The fast food customer was so disgruntled by the price hike he shot an air gun at the manager, displayed an assault rifle and pistol while in the restaurant’s parking lot, fled as police were called, and pointed one of his weapons at three officers who pulled him over. Fleeing when they opened fire, he barricaded himself in his hotel room — all over $3.50 plus additional tax.”

Psh, who needs gun control? I can tell you who doesn’t need it, and I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “T” and ends with “exas”. But obviously it’s ridiculous to put restrictions on gun use and ownership, because people are reasonable and responsible. And pulling out one or more guns is a totally reasonable reaction to a price change that was probably a decree from corporate anyways. I’m sure his response would have been even more reasonable (read: bigger guns) if he was allowed to carry in a bar, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that guns and alcohol mix really well.

And on a similar note, when I moved to Texas, I was shocked by so many things, but amongst them were the following – 1) On my first day of class, wait, not just first day, but very first class, after I walk in and say I’m in this class, some girl says “Oh! You just moved here? From where?” “Connecticut,” I reply. Her follow up question? It wasn’t “what’s your name” or “when did you get here”, it was “What religion are you?”; And 2) People in Texas were shocked that I had not a) ridden a horse and b) fired a gun. When would I ever have to do either of those in suburban Connecticut? I guess if I was a true yuppy, I would be big into polo and the biathlon (yes, you ski and shoot of course!). Anyways, that never made much sense to me.

“All three of his weapons were found to be air-powered and not firearms.”

Well that was kind of anti-climactic. If you’re going to be brandishing firearms… they should be actual firearms. Especially over something as important as burritos.

“Restaurant manager Brian Tillerson, 41, said his employees told him a customer was upset about the price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito.

“They did use to be 99 cents, but that was just a promotion,” Tillerson said. “He pointed a gun at me, and he fired it. I leaned to the side and there was a pop but nothing happened.”

Tillerson said the police later found a BB, but the following five minutes “were pretty crazy,” he said.”

Pretty crazy, huh? The other patrons must have been thinking “these burritos must be pretty effin’ good if this guy is willing to take out one of his guns, so I better get one. Wait, it was just a BB gun? He must not be a real Texan. Never mind then. Thank Lord Jesus Christ (he died for our sins) that this is one of those dual Taco Bell/KFC’s.” That’s verbatim from a Texan. I swear.

“The final incident in the burrito-triggered spree…”

Vegas has set the odds of this being in my obituary at 3:2. “Pulitzer Prize Winner” is set at roughly 400,000:1.

“Fewer than two miles away, at W.W. White Road and Hershey Drive, officers spotted the suspect and two patrol units pulled over the car, Benavides said. As the officers got out of their cars, the man got out of his car carrying the assault rifle in his hands and pointing it at the officers.

From there, the man sped off to the Rodeway Inn in the 200 block of North W.W. White Road just a few blocks away from Interstate 10.

It was about 3 p.m., and the man refused to come out.”

Mexican standoff! As in a standoff… wait for it… with a Mexican! San Antonio sounds like a downright lovely place.

“Sharpshooters climbed up on the roof of the Sky Line Food Mart next to the motel. Police blocked off W.W. White in both directions. They evacuated some nearby businesses and some of the rooms in the motel.

Through a megaphone the negotiator could be heard telling the man to pick up the phone.”

This seems like a completely reasonable response to a ridiculous man and his totally sane reaction to a price change. Glad we’re all on the same page.

Pictured above: Totally reasonable response

“No one needs to get hurt,” the negotiator said.

Around 6:30 p.m., and without a reply from the man inside, SWAT used tear gas to clear the room, Benavides said.”

Yeah, from what I hear, tear gas tickles! Doesn’t hurt at all!

Is that really the best tactic anyways? This guy clearly has a high threshold for pain. He was attempted to buy seven burritos at Taco Bell. Maybe he’s not immune to tear gas, but he must have intestines of steel. Or a large supply of adult diapers.

“Ricardo Jones, 37, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault against a public servant.

Jones was in the Bexar County Jail on bail totaling $50,000. No one was injured in the incident.”

Ricky… you’ve got some ‘scplaining to do!

“The weird thing is,” Tillerson said, “He was here a week ago around the same time last Sunday. He yelled at me then too.”

Really? That’s the weird thing? A guy buying 7 burritos or brandishing a weapon or a standoff near your restaurant isn’t weird, but some lunatic  being rude on more than one occasion is? Well, I give up.

Plus, what I noticed most from the story was the restaurant the SWAT team chose to sit on. The Home of the Original Jalapeno Fried Chicken? That sounds amazing! Why didn’t he just go there in the first place?

"Alpha squad is holding position on delicious. I repeat, on delicious."

Original story (sent to me by Mabeuf!): http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/The-Beefy-Crunch-Burrito-incident-1226571.php

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Pino de Gallo is 1 year old!

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We recently passed the one year anniversary of Pino de Gallo. Just one year and a few days ago, I set out on a mission to find the ultimate burrito. I took my passion for burritos and did what all ambitious (but deep down lazy) young Americans do – I started a blog and forced all my friends to read it. Let’s take a quick look back at this journey.

Site Stats –

It has been a great year, even with my unwanted and unforeseen sabbatical this past fall. Hopefully, I won’t be forced to go through that again until the 2012 election cycle (amongst other things). We still have more in store for the rest of 2011 and you all know that summer is a big burrito eating season for me. A few delicious burritos have been consumed, photographed, and will be reviewed in the upcoming weeks. I will never tire (or get full) in my quest for that elusive 5 sombrero burrito. So despite overwhelming evidence that a 5 sombrero burrito may not exist, I’ll just going to have to keep the faith and keep searching (sound familiar Christians?).

 

Someday....

 

 

A Trip to the Homeland: Casablanca Grill & Bar

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Lineline in her Pino De Gallo debut. Not the last time you will see her, but probably last time in a bikini.

Ahh, Mexico. It’s good to be home where the tequila flows like wine and $10 gets you enough alcohol to last you a week (or an afternoon in Mase’s case). I come to you from the beautiful island of Cozumel, a small diver’s island near Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. I write this to you, readers of Pino De Gallo, while on vacation with my lady (who will be referred to as Lineline).  We have been enjoying the beach, cervezas and tequila, and most importantly, comida Mexicana. This means I am obligated to review a burrito (see: “Travel” clause of my Pino De Gallo contract).  Unfortunately, this will be my only official review of any burritos in Mexico, because I wanted to eat as many different things as possible, but I’ll be sure to mention a few of the other dishes.

After leaving our hotel one evening so that our maid who looked way too much like Consuela could clean our room, we walked over to the main plaza to try to decide on a place to eat. We walked around the plaza for a bit and were accosted by countless street salesmen and drivers yelling “taaax-iii?” out their windows before we decided on a place called Casablanca (not an homage to the 1942 film set in Africa). It was 2 for 1 margarita hour, so that certainly made Casablanca a bit more appealing and ultimately made our decision for us.

The restaurant itself was pretty cute. It had only outdoor seating (unless you wanted to drink at the bar), and also had a roofdeck. The menu was also pretty extensive, and obviously included just about every mexican dish you can think of (and some you probably wouldn’t. I was almost tempted to get the chimichanga…but this was a burrito mission).

This is neither white NOR a house...

The one problem I was having was actually locating the “Burritos” on the menu. I asked the waiter where they were, and he said they were called “alambres” on the menu. So, thats what I ordered.

On the menu, it was described as “beef with onions and green peppers.” Hmm…seemed pretty plain. It was also the only option. So like the Wisconsin Democrats, I didn’t really have a choice. It came with fresh guac and beans on the side. Also a bit disappointing that it wasn’t already inside.  “But whatever,” I thought, “I’ll just stick them into the burrito. No need to lose hope.” On top of that, we were quickly served home made tortilla chips with some deliciously home made pico de gallo, which I could always add on to the burrito as well.

As a sidenote, Lineline and I had already eaten at a number of places, and every place had extremely fresh and tasty guacamole, beans, and pico which is why I was not giving up hope….plus, it didn’t EVER cost extra. As promised, a few of the other meals we had included chicken tamales (probably one of my favorite meals of the week), enchiladas, fajitas, and quesadillas; all of which were extremely fresh and well made. This theme carried over to Casablanca, where not only the guacamole was crazy fresh, but so were all the other ingredients.

*Fork and knife recommended....but I suppose not required

However, when we were served our food, I was a bit surprised at what was placed in front of me. It looked like a set of 3 enchiladas with their open ends and red tomato sauce on the top. However, I was assured by the waiter that this was in fact the “alambre” and not a mistake by the chef. As stated, it was served with Guacamole and beans on the side (and a chip in each to use as a faux spoon) and were delicious as expected. But back to the “burrito(s).” I dug into these things with a fork and a knife since they were open ended and covered in sauce, which was a bit disappointing to me, but what ended up in my mouth was a pleasant surprise…..unlike that one game of “Who’s in my mouth?”

The beef was juicy and very well cooked, and the green peppers and onions seemed fresh and added a nice touch to the beef. The tortilla was particularly delicious, and I was told that they were made in-house, which added some extra authenticity. The sauce that it was topped with was also pretty good, but not nearly as good as the other ingredients. The only things I could really find wrong with this “burrito” was its lack of other amenities. There was no lettuce, no tomatoes, and no cheese(!). With all the other ingredients being so tasty, I could only bet that if these others were added we could have had a pretty superb burrito.

Either way, I did still enjoy my meal, as did Lineline. She gave me a taste of her delicious fish tacos, but seeing as she is a vegetarian she did not put any of my beef in her mouth (all puns intended).

In summation, Casablanca had deliciously authentic food/ingredients and was practically dirt cheap (about $5 per plate), although these were certainly different kinds of burritos than I was expecting, so I’ll give Casablanca a 3 of of 5 sombreros.

Casablanca Grill & Bar
Corner of 1st St. and 5th Ave.
Cozumel, Mexico

And just to make you jealous, here is what the beaches look like in Cozumel.

No, I did not steal this from the internets. (Photo Credit: Lineline)

The Last Frontier – the Burrito Factory

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We welcome back to the program Mabeuf for part 2 of our Alaskan Burrito series. Buen provecho! -Mase

Our tour of burritos in the “Last Frontier” continues at the Burrito Factory. That’s Alaskan for “bewildered contiguous Americans thirsty for reality shows.”

Yes, the Last Frontier (aka Alaska to the rest of you), mistakenly known for penguins, bobsleds and sobriety, so isolated it’s nearly impossible for avocados to travel further for the construction of guacamole. Decades ago a guac-hungry barrel chested lumberjack would have to chase an avocado like the Lions searching for a Superbowl appearance. (Editor’s note: You mean with Joey Harrington and 2 terrible wide receivers in tow?)

Pictured above: not Alaska

In modern times… Said lumberjack can hop in his jacked up F-350 with 28 inch chrome rims and a rear-windshield decal worthy of a dirty magazine and find a burrito with ease. Stopping at a local Chevron to fill up his metal stead and grab the latest discontinued flavor of Mountain Dew, the lumberjack can score his burrito.

Yes. This is a review of a burrito place in a Chevron station. And it’s not the microwave burrito you can find this author eating at least twice a week for his “Fourth meal.” PS… as a sub-review… the shredded chicken and green peppers microwave burrito gets 1 out of 5 sombreros.

To drop some history on you, Burrito Factory was not named after all of Bon Jovi’s relationships between 1982 – 1986. It was originally burrito Joe’s. While I did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Joe, I discovered the ‘Factory’ still uses his original recipes for all the ingredients, including the homemade salsa.

One more time… Say it with me… Homemade Salsa.

So… After dismounting your vehicle, tossing the premium diesel into the gas tank and flipping the self dispense switch you wish existed on all soft serve ice cream machines, you head inside. Getting to the counter at Burrito Factory is rough. You have to navigate past so many hunger quashing items. It’s still a miracle that I walked past the two foot long Slim Jims which could easily have been slammed into a makeshift hotdog with a slice of wonderbread. Eating one of those bad boys would make you forget why you came to Burrito Factory to being with.

At the counter the staff is friendly and all the ingredients are laid out infront of you. The assembly is quick and easy. You have four decisions to make.

Artist rendering of Mabeuf

What type of meat? Chicken, steak or pork?

What type of beans? Black or refried?

What type of salsa? Mild, hot and verde?

Cheese?

That’s right there’s no veggies in this place. This burrito is a meat torpedo. (Hope that doesn’t get blocked by your work firewall) I considered asking them to crack open one of the gas station chef salads. But the day’s mission was writing a burrito review, not spending the day on the toilet after mixing shredded chicken with a hard boiled egg.

Meat only, bitches. Wolf, moose, or caribou.

For the record, I went with Chicken, black and tan, and both salsas.

The chicken is impressive. Instead of being diced, it’s finely shredded and allowed to marinate in juice all day. My theory is traditionally that flavor and juice are inextricably connected. I will continue to subscribe to this theory, but Burrito Factory has added a caveat: There’s a clear line between moist succulent proteins and a burrito gusher.

Like a compromised dental dam… juice rushed forth. No combination of floral print napkins or quilted brawny paper towels could keep this beast from sharing its flavor with my tabletop. Consuming the rest of the burrito was a careful balance of managing the water table and actually drinking. While the phrase ‘burrito aquifer’ sounds entirely appealing, it’s forgettable when experienced.

Open the flood gates!

Aside from the burrito’s faucet-like qualities the salsa hit the spot. It obviously ended up diluted, but you could tell that the staff makes it fresh on a regular basis. They obviously avoided the urge to take the Pace Picante off the gas station self. Instead they’ll leave that for us unwitting patrons.

In the end… this burrito was desperate for two things: 1. a crisp element and 2. a moisture absorbing adhesive. Without peppers, onions, lettuce or Golden Grahams this burrito had no crisp refreshing elements. The black and tan beans and the wet meat gave this burrito a yogurt like consistency. Like every Linkin Park album since Hybrid Theory, this didn’t deliver. (Editor’s note: Did Linkin Park ever really deliver? I was plenty angsty in my formative years, but they never did it for me. Too whiney)

You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus. Not even drippy burritos.

Without rice the aforementioned juice was allowed to flood out the meal. Much like the Dude needed his rug to pull the room together, Burrito Factory needs a few more frames at the alley to respectably “fuck with the Jesus.”

2 out of 5 sombreros


Burrito Factory
c/o Chevron Station
2801 Boniface Parkway
Anchorage, AK 99504-3130
(907) 333-3663