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?)
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.
What type of meat? Chicken, steak or pork?
What type of beans? Black or refried?
What type of salsa? Mild, hot and verde?
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.
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.
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)
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