Monday, May 13, 2013

The Dissection of the Psyche via the Chipotle Burrito

Freud and his Chipotle
Growing up in Colorado, home of the Chipotle Burrito, I started my love affair at a young age. Throughout the years I'm shamed to admit I've cheated on Chipotle more than a few times with cheap, easy imitations. But every time I get wise and return, Chipotle welcomes me with that warm feeling of home (it could just be those steamed tortillas). When one loves something for so long, that love becomes part of you. In other words, the burrito is a window to my soul.
The process of identifying one's Chipotle burrito is really the process of identifying one's self. For instance, you can tell a lot by a man/woman's choice in rice. Now there are three "scientific" ways to really get to know a person: Talk to them (What is this the 20th Century?), Walk a mile in their shoes (Keep in mind they may have athletes foot or tiny feet! and what kind of mile is this? like straight uphill? or does it provide a little relief?) or eat their Burrito (Winner Winner... chicken burrito dinner).
I've asked my friends, and a few responded, what their burrito of choice is. I then went about trying each burrito twice to get an accurate feel for the kind of person who orders this burrito. Finally, I psychologically probed and sliced up these individuals, inspecting their inner most secrets with every bite. I've also included my burrito of choice to allow the same psychological dissection from my peers.
(Note: all burritos were ordered with an Arnold Palmer (AP) unless otherwise stated, and all prices are Oregon "no sales tax" prices.)

"The Mongo" or "El Mongo"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, barbecoa, corn, sour cream, cheese, and Chipotle Tabasco sauce. $6.70, $8.30 w/ AP.
"The Mongo" is audaciously unique. Aside from the cilantro you might be surprised it's a Mexican style burrito. "The Mongo" derives its name from Mongo of "Blazing Saddles". Mongo is an incredibly strong, dim-witted henchman/cowboy. "The Mongo" makes you feel like a cowboy herding cattle across the Texas state line into Oklahoma. It's like sitting by a camp fire, chewing on some tabacky worrying about them coyotes (pronounced Ky-oats). The Chipotle Tabasco even gives this burrito a smoky almost campfire-y taste. It's Wild and Rugged and sometimes temperamental and never to be confused with a Caballero (Mexican gent), but it will stick by you when the going gets tough. This is a MAN's burrito, but like Mongo it's got a little sweet (provided by the corn) and sensitive side.
2.2 Soggy Bottom Boys on a scale of 5. (0 represents no napkin necessary, 2 represents napkins needed, 5 represents fork and towel.)

"The Poor Man's Andrew Garfield"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, chicken, corn, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and a specified cup of water instead of the AP. $6.25.
"The Poor Man's Andrew Garfield" is simple yet classy. There's nothing particularly over or underwhelming about it, it's just whelming (this happens sometimes in Europe). "The Poor Man's Andrew Garfield" is more sweet than spicy and goes down easy. It's fresh and not overly filling, although eating three in one sitting still seems like Everest. It's smooooth, very smooth, very classy. However, near the end  "The Andrew Garfield" is actually kind of a mess. It's a sneaky mess and you don't really notice it until you're three-quarters of the way done and your hands start dripping with its juices. Mr. Smooth and Classy has a touch of slime, and let's not forget he's cheap. But these traits are easily overlooked by the quality ingredients, although a little more spice wouldn't hurt any.
This baby's a little sticky (but not quite Spiderman sticky) 3.8 Soggy Bottom Boys.

"The Nick Cage"
A burrito bowl with the tortilla on the side, white rice, fajitas, chicken, pico de gallo, corn, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and Green Tabasco. "Like.... 10 mini tacos!" $6.25, $7.85 w/ AP though I feel like this particular diner would prefer a coke.
"The Nick Cage" is having some serious identity crisis issues similar to everyone's favorite actor (Good Cage vs. Bad Cage vs. Good Cage vs. Bad Cage).  It doesn't know whether it wants to be a burrito bowl, a burrito, or mini tacos. Regardless of what this "burrito" really is, it's always satisfying. Plus, you don't have to worry about an uneven burrito (pockets of only rice and what not). Although entertaining, "The Nick Cage" arguably tries too hard- it's twice the work, takes twice the amount of time to eat, and has the same amount of calories as the burrito form. And I think I'm actually okay with this because it means that you're not denying yourself the sight of the steam pluming over the soft features of "tortilla girl's" face... I mean if you're into that shit and stuff.
Although this is kind of a bowl, it's still a mess so I'm gonna give it "2 soggy bottom boys".

"The Adam Banks AKA The Cake Eater"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, corn, salsa verde, guacamole, light sour cream and cheese. $8.15, $9.75 w/ AP. (Known to drink an AP before he starts his meal)
"The Cake Eater" is a privileged burrito, but don't be fooled, it won't cut any corners. It was born on third base, but it doesn't pretend like it hit a triple and works hard to score the run. It may be worth more than the other burritos, but it's willing to hang with anyone it deems worthy.  How does one become worthy? They devote themselves to the Chipotle cause (becoming a Farm Team Member has it's perks... free burritos and stuff!). Be warned though, "The Cake Eater" ain't a piece of cake, this is a big boy burrito. Big, with some serious talent. Plus, stating "guacamole extra is fine" and meaning it make's you feel like somebody, like you aren't just another dangled ankle bender off the bench... you feel more like this guy.
Grab extra napkins and a fork. A burrito this big ain't easy to wrap. And make no mistake the Guac and sour cream will sleep walk their way out of that sleeping bag tortilla. 4.6 Soggy Bottom Boys

"The Morrissey"
A burrito with brown rice, black beans, fajitas, pice de gallo, corn, guacamole, and lettuce. $6.25, $7.85 with AP.
"The Morrissey" named after Steve Morrissey of "The Smiths" is vegetarian! No animals were harmed while making this burrito. One might equate vegetarians with being weak, and for the most part they're probably right. But the real Morrissey and "The Morrissey" both have a quiet, unexpected power to them. While eating "The Morrissey" I couldn't help but notice all the textures jumbling in my mouth (the slightly under cooked texture of the brown rice, the mushy guac, the crisp fajitas) and thinking to myself  'I wish there was meat in here to balance out the chaos'. But after I finished, I couldn't stop thinking about it. "The Morrissey" snuck into my subconscious and tried to shut down all my predatorial instincts. I found myself wanting to saunter through a field and chew on some grass. "The Morrissey" is surprisingly tasty but its ulterior motives worry me.
It's mushy therefore its messy 2.8 Soggy Bottom Boys.

"The Pool Boy"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, carnitas, salsa verde, pico de gallo, corn, cheese, sour cream, and Green Tabasco sauce. $6.70, $8.30 w/ AP
"The Pool Boy" sounds sexy, and when you order it you feel sexy. Imagine Antonio Banderas ordering "Carnitas", "Salsa Verde", and "Pico de Gallo". "Un poquito crema y queso por favor." Carnitas Burrito has a muy guapo(?) sound to it. One rarely sounds sexy ordering a "Chicken Burrito" or a "Steak Burrito", and someone ordering a "Pollo" or a "Carne Asada Burrito" sounds sad and desperate- like they're trying to impress the native Spanish speakers in the room. They probably recently returned from a week long vacation at a very protected "Mexican" resort run by Europeans on the Yucatan. But the "Carnitas Burrito" is on the menu so no translation necessary. "The Pool Boy" is a solid burrito but uncharacteristic to its name, it's dry even with the sour cream and pico. The Arnold Palmer and the Green Tabasco are crucial.
Like most pool boys, "The Pool Boy" has a sexy title but underneath that aluminum cocoon it's just like everyone else. And like all Chipotle Burritos, it satisfies.
0.67 on the Soggy Bottom Boy scale... might dash a bit of Tabasco on your hand instead of in the burrito.

"The Kevin McCallister"
A burrito with white rice, chicken, hot salsa, cheese, and lettuce. (Sometimes with Twice of Everything) $6.25, $7.85 w/ AP extra ice.
"The Kevin McCallister" is Home Alone. It's just a little guy in a big house. Despite its small stature, this burrito claims to never be smaller than "The Cake Eater"... I have trouble believing it. However, like the "real" Kevin McCallister, this little burrito packs a big punch. The Hot salsa holds true to its name, and there's not a lot of other ingredients to balance out that spice. But Chipotle isn't Chipotle because they provide lack luster ingredients, "The Kevin McCallister" is what the french call Les Incompetents Les Delicieux. This burrito doesn't need heavy artillery (like beans, guacamole, or sour cream) to prevail, it does fine with what it's got. But it will always be smaller than "The Cake Eater"!
Other Great Small Things: Daniel Radcliffe, Barry Sanders, Stuart Little, Kid President.
Don't worry about napkins, 0.40 on the Soggy Bottom Scale.

"The Oliver Twist"
A burrito bowl with brown rice, chicken, guacamole, hot salsa, cheese, and lettuce. $8.15, $9.75 w/AP (but typically gets a water)
"The Oliver Twist" is the product of the battle between mind and body. In the war of "The Oliver Twist", calories were shed (and so was the tortilla) with a victory awarded to the mind, but the taste buds won the battle of the guacamole. "The Oliver Twist" gets its name from its consistency. It's a glorified slop bowl like the gruel served to poor Ollie in the orphanage. Of course this is a delicious slop bowl (probably more delicious than the gruel although only Oliver and the other orphans would be able to attest), but a slop bowl nonetheless. However, whatever you do, Do Not Ask For More! Because (God forbid) the taste buds win, and like gluttonous Oliver you're forced to live on the streets. The mind is unmerciful in its' punishment.
0 Soggy Bottom Boys since it's a bowl, but grab a spoon!

"The Martin Q. Blank", "The Point Blank", or "The Blank"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, steak, corn, cheese, Green Tabasco and "No Fucking Mess!" $6.70, $8.30 w/ AP.
"The Blank" is a burrito that's not messing around. "The Blank" a seemingly structured burrito, get's its' name from everyone's favorite professional hitman comedy movie "Grosse Point Blank". It provides most of the major menu items (beans, rice, meat, salsa, dairy) and just about nothing more. This almost basic burrito represents a man of few words with a cheek full of sunflower seeds (plain). He knows what he wants and doesn't want it fancied up - "The Blank" represents the want for simplicity. But this burrito isn't quite simple. The Green Tabasco wild card suggests that this burrito's not completely structured. "The Blank" subconsciously wants a little spice, a little abnormality to the routine. This hitman might be going rogue... and in the safe world of Chipotle Burritos, that's a good thing.
0.25 Soggy Bottom Boys... won't need a napkin.

"The Richard Alpert"
A burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, salsa verde, corn, and cheese *currently. $6.25, $7.85 w/AP.
"The Richard Alpert" has admittedly adapted throughout the years (transitioning from burrito to a burrito bowl, and switching from white to brown rice) in pursuit of one thing, never aging. Richard Alpert, the character, also went through a series of adaptations (transitioning from a married man named Ricardo to a convicted murderer/slave to a ship wrecked survivor named Richard, and switching from working for the Man In Black to working for Jacob AKA The Man In White) all resulting in never aging eternal life. "The Richard Alpert" is going to keep it fresh (quite natural for Chipotle), young, and relevant. But whatever you do, do not confuse "The Richard Alpert" with Peter Pan. Richard Alpert's pursuit of never aging is fueled by knowledge and power, Peter Pan's pursuit of never aging is fueled by the crippling fear of growing old.
0 on the Soggy Bottom Scale because it's a bowl, but this can still be a tricky meal to eat. The brown rice isn't very sticky and there is no sour cream or guacamole to hold things together, it's like a dance.

"The Mr. Incredible"
A burrito with white rice, black beans, steak, pico de gallo, salsa verde, a little hot, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and Green Tabasco. $6.70, $8.30 w/AP
"The Mr. Incredible" is my burrito, and if I were to psychoanalyze myself it would look something like this:
Equal parts J.K. Rowling, Shel Silverstein, Steven Spielberg, and Douglas Adams.
A Dash of Bruce Lee.
A Drizzling of Steve Martin.
A Dollop of Jay-Z.
Allowed to simmer in a Martin Short broth.
With a Sprinkling of Taylor Swift.
A beautiful soul, a brilliant mind, and stunningly modest.
4.77 Soggy Bottom Boys, I hope you have a bib.