6/04/2007

That Which Does Not Kill Me: The Chili Cheese Fries Burrito

I've had a long-standing fascination with edible products that come together, in Voltron-esque fashion, to become mega-foods. During my extended stay in Ithaca, I had occasion to eat every so often at a place called Viva Taqueria, which fancied itself a California-style burrito place. The one thing that stood out in the otherwise unremarkable Viva menu was something called the Chicken Taco Salad Burrito. Yes. Not quite four food items melding into a single unit, but close enough: a taco salad with chicken, wrapped up in a tortilla. I ordered it often, mostly because I enjoyed saying it out loud. Chicken Taco Salad Burrito. Throw in some commas and it would still make sense, though you might end up with a different end product. And, while it wasn't all that good, it didn't kill me. And so while I was home in Southern California this past week, I read in the paper about how Wienerschnitzel, a local hotdog chain (correction: apparently the world's largest hotdog chain!) that I hadn't been to since the late 70s, had a 99-cent menu that featured something called the Chili Cheese Fries Burrito. And well, that was that. I was gonna have to try it. My father, who recently admitted to being on something of a hotdog kick, offered to accompany me to the local Wienerschnitzel on a bright and warm Sunday morning. (That's him in the picture. Hi dad!) I don't think either of us realized the extent of the terror that awaited us. Neither of us had been to the 'schnitzel in a while, but we had these vague, pleasant memories of it. (Oh well.) Dad got a stadium dog -- an extra long, all-beef dog -- with the works, and I ordered the aforementioned chili cheese fries burrito. I would've taken a picture of dad's hot dog, but he managed to wolf it down in about 90 seconds flat, which was a bad idea. I was much more deliberate in the handling of my burrito, which essentially was a slop of chili cheese fries encased in a tortilla. I mean, it's weird -- you're eating fries wrapped in a tortilla. Besides the general carb overload that was awaiting me, there was the (un)certain hell of chili and cheese. And I was to board an airplane in a couple of hours. Long story long, the burrito was predictably disgusting. The chili -- I'm still not sure if it had meat in it. I think it did? The fries were mediocre. The combination of flour-y tortilla + chili & cheese + subpar fries just made for a strange, starchy, fried, beefy (?) taste that lingered way too long. But I suppose you can only get so far with a place whose new catch phrase is "Pushing the Boundaries of Taste," right? I mean, I took four meaningful bites of it. I tried. And then I had to walk away. Voltron this most certainly was not.

2 comments:

Carson said...

Wienerschnitzel - their whole chain is like an insult to food. wah!

ht said...

i mean ... if i came across a chili cheese fries burrito anywhere, regardless of chain or not, i'd probably still try it. don't think i haven't considered the possibility of a doner kebab burrito.