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Why Burrito Phile?

It's high time that somebody came up with a blog dedicated to all things burrito related.

I’m not talking about tacos, and I’m definitely talking about enchiladas either. I’m talking about just burritos. You know what I mean.
We’re talking about a tortilla that is stuffed with filling for the whole length of the tortilla and then expertly and deftly assembled to be rolled up and enjoyed. Whether you enjoy it in the form of a burrito wrapped in aluminum foil or wax paper or just plain naked burrito, this website has got you covered.
I remember the first time I tried a burrito, and it really is a life changing experience. It’s very similar to listening to the Beatles’ 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or listening to the 1967 Velvet Underground “Banana” album.

What We Have?

It really is mind blowing!

It changed what I thought was possible in terms of taste. The great thing about the burrito concept is that it’s so flexible. You go from one taco stand to the next, and you’ll be surprised as to how different their burritos could be. We’re still looking at the same form. We’re still looking at the same tortilla, but everything else in between has changed.

For example, in Los Angeles, it’s quite common for burritos there to feature beans that have been crushed. These are usually pinto beans or kidney beans that have been crushed and processed into some sort of puree. This form of refried beans can be a bit watery or it can be almost solid. This is the preferred bean in Southern California.

In Northern CAL.

In certain parts of Northern California, on the other hand, don’t be surprised to get watery beans. They, of course, have a way of counteracting the extra liquid of such watery beans, but that is the preferred form of beans in the burrito in Northern California.

Variations and Ingredients

There are also many different variations in the other ingredients. Some places would roast the onions first. Others would use fresh onions. Other places would use certain types of chilies. Others would actually use fermented or processed chilies.

The Basics

The only thing that’s really constant as far as the burrito form is concerned is that it has the basics. It has to have the meat or the main filling if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, the rice or beans and the onions and the salsa and the sauce. You can take some of this out, but enough of it would remain for you to remember that you are eating a burrito.

Gastronomic versions

Think of burritos as gastronomic versions of the blues. If you listen to the blues both as an aficionado or as a casual fan or as a total and complete newbie, you would quickly realize that there’s really not much differentiating one blues song from another. Whether that blues song is performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters or R. L. Burnside, the end result is the same.

Different Feels

It sounds great, but it feels different. You know that they use the same formula. You know that somehow some way they pretty much are bound within the tight formula as far as scale projection is concerned, but you appreciate the music anyways. It feels different enough. You can detect the artistry, the mastery and the improvisation.

The three-chord progression

The same applies to burritos. It may seem like we’re using the same three-chord progression because the ingredients pretty much remain the same.

It’s very easy to see why a lot of people think this way because if, for example, Hollenbeck Avenue burrito shops make a name for themselves, they don’t open another branch. Instead, people from all four corners of the greater Los Angeles basin would make a pilgrimage to these places.

I've had the distinct pleasure of having ox brains from Taco Llama in Los Angeles. Now, a lot of purists would say that Taco Llama is too commercial because they have more than five branches. There's kind of an unstated law among burrito fanatics that the less branches a burrito joint has, the more real and authentic it is. Why? It is all about the pilgrimage.

Some burritos distinguish themselves based on their fillings. They use the same formula as pretty much all burritos, but they distinguish themselves based on their fillings. For example, a lot of Veracruz burritos are very heavy on seafood. In particular, shrimp as well as grilled fish. As you can tell, these changes in meat in the filler really take the taste to a whole different direction.

That's what's so awesome about burritos because I've learned early on that you can actually take a tour of Mexico just by the burritos that you buy. I know it sounds crazy but it's true. A burrito that is Veracruz style is different from a burrito that comes the Michoacan region. It's also different from Oaxaca burrito.

You have this rolled tortilla with filling inside and you have some dips ranging from very hot salsa to that yummy green salsa and then some chips. Pretty straightforward. However, once you bite into it, you know full well where you got it from. One particular burrito is going to be very different from another burrito found in at another restaurant.

Factoring in traffic

It's All Worth It

Factoring in traffic, people might have spent two hours just to get to that place, and that’s what makes eating that burrito after all that time spent in traffic and all that time that you’re going to be spending in traffic on the way back home so worth it. There’s something to the process of going on a pilgrimage that really makes the actual act of eating the burrito so much more meaningful.

You Made That Pilgrimage

The actual taste may not be so remarkable that it would be classified as simply mind blowing, but that's beside the point. The point is that the burrito had such a hold on you that you made that pilgrimage.

Well, Taco Llama may have many branches but they offer the diversity of meats that really make them an amazing burrito find. It really is artistry that they could switch from pork cooked in shawarma style to traditional carne asada to ox brains.
The beauty of the burrito is that it appeals to many regional sensitivities, and it also delivers a cascade of flavors. It really is amazing, and it is a work of art, and this website is dedicated to all things burrito. It is a celebration of this authentically Mexican food that has become all American.


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