We tried Gordo’s. We tried La Burrita. We got desperate, and we even tried to make our own. But here we are, shaking like we’re going through a withdrawal and waiting for our fix.
Gordo’s put up an absentee effort. The sloppy burrito fell apart in our hands and left us with a mess; our burrito was akin to our hope for a delicious experience here — in shambles. La Burrita put up a fight, and we tried our best to soak in the experience, but two bites into our burrito journey, we knew the battle was lost — there was no flavor. And just like that, it was over. The lack of taste was deafening, and it was the diaspora of zest from the tortilla-wrapped homeland. Gordo’s doesn’t really have a California burrito, or a California burrito equivalent, and La Burrita doesn’t focus on California burritos, so it just can’t stack up.
We need a real California burrito.
Of course not all people have been to Southern California. Not everyone even knows what we’re talking about, but if you’ve ever had a California burrito made right, then you know exactly what we mean. It’s a religious experience. It changes you. Berkeley knows innovation. We have dozens of Nobel laureates, but not everyone knows the innovation behind the culinary revolution that is the California burrito.
Logistics: The California burrito is composed (connoting the piece of art that it is) by these essential ingredients on top of what normally makes up a burrito:
- Carne asada — If this meat was a type of music, it would be rock. Everyone loves rock music; everyone loves carne asada. Carne asada is as California as the beach, good weather, having an actor as an elected official, “dude” and organized protests (“Freedom’s Orator,” anyone?).
- French fries — This is the twist. Yeah, you didn’t expect it, but yeah, you love it. Honestly, why wouldn’t you? French fries are the best. You eat french fries with ketchup, with cheese, with regret — why not with your burrito?
But it’s the marriage — the combination of carne asada, french fries and regular burrito ingredients (tortilla, cheese, sour cream, shame from overeating, lettuce, pico de gallo, rice, beans and perhaps salsa) — that makes this experience special. And we don’t think we can find the magic here. Berkeley has given us so much already: good food (just not California burritos, or, colloquially, “Cali Bs”), the start of a great education, interesting experiences with the homeless and some great nights out, but maybe we won’t be able to satisfy our desire here. It might just be a Southern California thing, or maybe it’s an opening in the burrito market. In our wildest fantasy, we would see you lined up in front of our Cali B stall in a few years — our parents say we have to finish our undergraduate education — but hopefully someone takes the initiative so Berkeley can experience something so good that it’s worth writing a blog post about.
Contact Uday Suresh at [email protected].