The Hollenbeck Burrito

A burrito should strike fear when it is placed before you. That is the main difference between a burrito and some stuff wrapped in a tortilla. A burrito should necessitate a plan of action. You should have to take a second and realize that the plans you may have had for the rest of the day will go unfulfilled. That’s a burrito.

I happen to be indulging at the moment in what I and many others find to be the pinnacle of Los Angeles burritos, the Hollenbeck. El Tepeyac, Manuel’s to many, has always been a special place to me. My parents would take us when the mood struck and we were good. That’s right. When other kids were being taken to the circus or a museum I was being carted off to eat burritos.

The Hollenbeck is about a pound and a half of meat and rice and beans and guacamole all placed perfectly together in a tortilla like a boy band about to go on tour. Like said boy band they rock the shit out of my taste buds. The meat is stewed all day in a red chile sauce giving each bite a tender texture. You get plenty of meat throughout and a ladle is generously portioned on top of the burrito. That’s right. After they run out of room stuffing the burrito with meat they scoop some on top. Why? Because more meat won’t fit in the burrito, that’s why!

When you first get your burrito you immediately realize that it is as big as an infant. Sometimes I don’t know whether to eat it or raise it to be something in this world: doctor, lawyer, hell something honorable. I mean at the very least something better than me at this time. I often think my burrito could be a major league baseball star if it just applied itself. Burritos. Right? Ah, you have to let them make their own mistakes I guess.

Immediately after you eat this tortilla baby you are faced with two brutal truths: 1) You now realize you have no self respect and probably could have saved some of that burrito for later but were smitten with the taste of gently stewed pork chunks, and 2) You need to get home as soon as possible.


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