The Burrito Blog


Burrito Inflation: Cheaper Than A Lawyer

Food prices are on the rise, and burritos are no exception. But it's not worth starting a riot. Especially not if you are:

A customer's rage was uncontrollable upon discovering that each of the seven Beefy Crunch burritos were no longer $0.99, but $1.49. He fired a BB gun at employees, escaped without the burritos, and barricaded himself in a hotel room with an assault rifle. Repeated for emphasis: without the burritos.

Police tear gassed the room and apprehended the suspect, who will be charged with three counts of attempted capital murder.

($1.49 - $0.99) x 7 = $3.50

$3.50 < Attorney good enough to get this guy off the hook

Full story here. Thanks to Jessie for the tip.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 by Jonah. Permalink for Burrito Inflation: Cheaper Than A Lawyer

Burritos for Economic Recovery

Mint put together an interesting infographic on burrito ingredients, consumption, and domestic production. With sources including the Census and USDA, Mint claims:

Guacamole in 2009:
Average consumption per capita: 4.1 pounds
Production value: $345.4 million
Production weight: 269,000 tons
Ingredient buttons have a healthy serving of economic info.

The text is a little small above. Read the full size.

Thanks to Rich for the tip.

Monday, January 10, 2011 by Jonah. Permalink for Burritos for Economic Recovery

Speed Rolling With The Spoon Ninjas

Joshua Walovitch of the Boston Herald has been making news as 'Burrito Boy', seeking Boston's best burrito.

His claim as "the foremost burrito expert in the world" leaves me as "the former foremost," but hey, it's not a contest.

What is a contest is the burrito speed rolling event held at Anna's Taqueria. Josh says:

Five Anna's rollers and myself faced off in a time trial 'rito rolling challenge and the winner was crowned the 2010 Spoon Ninja and awarded the Golden Spoon. They're known as spoon ninjas because of their quick spoon skills when making burritos.

Burrito expertise aside, I concede this: Burrito Blog cannot compete with the video production muscle of the Herald. Great job Josh.

See also: Evidence Of Ninjas, Pirates Seen At Anna's

Tuesday, December 07, 2010 by Jonah. Permalink for Speed Rolling With The Spoon Ninjas

Burritos Only Look Boring

The kind t-shirt vending fellows at No Star got in touch to share their appreciation of the endless possibilities that lie within the sealed tortilla.

product page

In exchange for spreading the word, they hooked me up with a shirt with parabolas and Cartesian coordinates.

Burritos and geekery go together like beans and rice.

See also: Burritos Before Tables and Graphs and the Chipotle Caloric Frequency Distribution.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 by Jonah. Permalink for Burritos Only Look Boring

Cinco De Mayo, My Birth

To new readers of Burrito Blog, please get acquainted with our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. It goes like this:
  1. I encourage you to eat some beans and drink some tequila.
  2. I remind you that I was born on this day.
  3. I ask you to buy me lunch via paypal or buy an I Heart Burritos t-shirt.
Seriously, I've got so much cotton piled up in the closet. I've got to get rid of them. Someone you know will think it's funny. Help me out.

See also: Happy Birthday to Me and Snubbed by MSNBC on My Birthday

Sunday, May 04, 2008 by Jonah. Permalink for Cinco De Mayo, My Birth

Time Running Out On Taco Truck Parking

Junior Burrito Analyst Dave Stuart brought this Los Angeles tragedy to attention:

...taco carts would be required to change location every hour, with violators facing fines, misdemeanor charges and, possibly, jail time.
As if Los Angeles traffic weren't bad enough, now you'll have to drive around until you spot a taco truck, then hope it's still there by the time you find a place to park.

Sometimes government interference with business gets a bit ridiculous. This time, they're messing with your lunch.

Sign the Carne Asada is not a Crime petition.

Friday, May 02, 2008 by Jonah. Permalink for Time Running Out On Taco Truck Parking

Lost Burrito Revenue For Casa Sanchez

This news archive in from Junior Burrito Analyst Dave Stuart.

Martha Sanchez hung a sign in the front window of Casa Sanchez, the family's Mission District taqueria (Map), offering a free lunch for life to anyone who had the restaurant's logo tattooed onto his or her body.
Full story.

That was back in 1999.

The Sanchez family estimated that the marketing tactic could cost $5.8 million in lost sales. That's based on 40 free $8 meals per week over 50 years. That was back in 1999. It doesn't get much more permanent than a tattoo for compelling customer loyalty.

If anyone's heard an update on Casa Sanchez and their logo tattoo for food giveaway deal, please leave a comment below.

Saturday, December 01, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Lost Burrito Revenue For Casa Sanchez | Comments (2)

Tacocat Is A Palindrome

Taco Cat...taC ocaT. Well it was news to me.

See also: La Gata Likes Pork Tamales

Thursday, November 15, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Tacocat Is A Palindrome

Food Prices Outpace Inflation, CPI

In response to the recent increases in price at Anna's, Boca Grande, and others, John Pepper of Boloco emailed to give me the scoop. So cast out theories of greed, tortilla shortages, or tariffs. The culprit is food cost.

First, a little background.

The buying power of the dollar measured by the Consumer Price Index, which reports no unusual movement. Inflation has been moving month to month between around 2% and 4% over the past year - also within a normal range. During that time, the cost of food has skyrocketed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So what's behind the climbing cost of food? Climbing cost of seeds? Water? Fertilizer? Labor? Well, it's not that simple, and I'm a casual student of economics at best.
It's partly because of corn prices, driven up by congressional mandates for ethanol production, which have reduced the amount of corn available for animal feed. It's also because of tougher immigration enforcement and a late spring freeze, which have made farm laborers scarcer and damaged fruit and vegetable crops, respectively. And it's because of higher diesel fuel costs to run tractors and attractive foreign markets that take U.S. production.

Seems like this problem won't reverse itself anytime soon. Time to pick up a second job to satisfy your burrito cravings.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Food Prices Outpace Inflation, CPI

A Word On Baby Spinach

This past weekend I ran into Ethan, Chicago's Junior burrito analyst, at a Cystic Fibrosis fund raiser. Though Ethan is on a permanent leave of absence from burrito reporting duties, his curiosity in all things burrito and regular readership of Burrito Blog remains strong.

Regarding a recent post, he asked why only the Anna's MIT location has spinach, and why does it have spinach at all?

Anna's MIT has spinach because only that location has the breakfast burrito, which contains the aforementioned leafy vegetable as an optional ingredient. But if you want spinach on your Mexican plate or burrito get there early, because they put the espinacas away at lunch time.

As Popeye would say:

I'm Strong to the Finish 'Cause I Eats Me Spinach

Monday, July 23, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for A Word On Baby Spinach

Burrito Blog Is Out To Lunch

As some may have noticed, it's been a little while with no new tales of tortillas. It's because I'm stupid busy with work right now and have been eating canned food at the keyboard.

Be patient, por favor. The burrito journey will resume shortly.

Friday, June 22, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Burrito Blog Is Out To Lunch

Happy Cinco De Mayo

Dear Readers,

I got you a Cinco de Mayo card. Some of you may remember that today is my birthday (proof). So have a drink for Burrito Blog!


See also: Good birthday, bad birthday.

Saturday, May 05, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Happy Cinco De Mayo

Captain America Stuffs Tights With Burrito

A burrito supreme was used to augment the captain's apparent lack of manliness and heroism. Getting arrested complements his lack of good taste.

[The man dressed as Captain America] had a burrito stuffed below the waistband of his costume and was asking women if they wanted to touch it. When one refused, he took out the burrito, and groped her...the burrito was found in his boot and he was arrested.

It's a bad day to be a super hero.

Of course, this wacky business takes place in Florida. Thanks to Kevin for the tip.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Captain America Stuffs Tights With Burrito

Not Sedentary, Paralysis - Burrito Blamed

Wacky stuff like this always seems to take place in Florida. Quoting from WKMG Orlando:

TAMPA, Fla. -- A man who can no longer feed himself said an uncooked chicken burrito put him in a wheelchair.

Roger Anderson said he ate the burrito at a Moe's Southwest Grill in Land O' Lakes in September and became sick with stomach cramps, diarrhea and joint pains.

Anderson's attorney said the burrito caused a bacterial infection, which led to a disease that affects the body's nerves.

Anderson and his wife filed a lawsuit against Tampa-based GCF Ventures LLC, which operates the restaurant.

The company said all of its employees are trained in safe food handling and preparation practices, and the restaurant is regularly checked by health inspectors.

I think it's sensationalist garbage that they blamed the burrito. If this whole gag is even true, obviously chicken was the culprit.

Thanks to Chris for the tip.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Not Sedentary, Paralysis - Burrito Blamed

Burritos Inspire Music Videos

Title: Opportunity Doesn't Knock
Inspiration: Taco Bell
Choice line: The aftertaste of hot sauce it just burns down to my soul.

Title: Felipe's Is Over There
Inspiration: Felipe's Taqueria
Choice line: Wrap it up all in a tortilla. It's 2am I'm in a taqueria.

I think this rules. I made a website about food, these kiddos made music videos. If you know of any others, email me, por favor.

Sunday, February 11, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Burritos Inspire Music Videos

Globalization, Agriculture, Trade, Tortillas

Here at Burrito Blog we pick up on mainstream news stories that, while typically very stupid, have something to do with burritos. This story has to do with tortillas and is fascinating for dorks like me.

Here's my bulleted interpretation:

  • Many people depend on tortillas for sustenance, like half of Mexico's 107 million residents that live in poverty...and me. Fortunately I do not live in poverty; I just love tortillas.
  • Tortillas come from corn, which is grown and traded internationally.
  • The cost of tortillas in Mexico grew 14% last year, far outpacing the country's 4% inflation.
  • Trade agreements limit the amount of corn that can be imported into Mexico.
  • Industrial sized Mexican growers are accused of price fixing and blocking competition to limit the corn supply.
  • Mexico has penalized corn growers for anticompetitive practices six times since 2004.
  • The company that owns the Mission brand of tortillas you see in the US controls 70% of the market in Mexico.
  • Ethanol production from corn adds to the strain on the tortilla supply.
  • Mexico authorized duty free imports of corn from around the world to boost supply.

Read the full story here. It's really interesting.

Thanks again to the #1 tipster of burrito news, Greg Danilowski.

Friday, January 12, 2007 by Jonah. Permalink for Globalization, Agriculture, Trade, Tortillas

Happy 21st To Burrito Day in Los Angeles

Back in 1985, Tom Bradley, the late Mayor of Los Angeles, proclaimed that December 19th would be the official Burrito Day of LA. That makes 12/19/06 the 21st birthday of Burrito Day.

Have a cerveza for me, Los Angeles.

Disclaimer: The authenticity of the above document is unknown. Burrito Day began in 1983, allegedly, by an independent LA radio station, KXLU, and I did not find mention of Burrito Day on the official Los Angeles site.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Happy 21st To Burrito Day in Los Angeles

You Call That Guacamole? I'll Sue!

A Los Angeles woman is suing Kraft Foods for passing off some slimy green dip as guacamole. The offending dip contains less than 2% avocado, what should be the main ingredient.

The avocado industry is powerful, but doesn't have the lobbying power of the peanut industry, which fondly points out that US law requires all products sold as 'Peanut Butter' to contain at least 90% peanuts. The FDA has no mandatory minimums for guacamole.

From the LA Times:

Like much of the prepared guacamole sold in supermarkets, Kraft guacamole is essentially a whipped paste made from partially hydrogenated soybean and coconut oils, corn syrup, whey and food starch. Yellow and blue dyes give it the green color.
Yummy. Reminds me of this:

See also: burrito litigation.

Saturday, December 02, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for You Call That Guacamole? I'll Sue!

Burritos Freed From Sandwich Shackles

The sandwich was named after 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat who frequently claimed credit for the work of others.

Somewhere along the way, Earl #4 thought he could take credit for the wrap, the pita pocket, and the burrito. Rumor has it he tried to claim the crepe as well, but was rebuffed by French nationalists.

Well, the tyranny of Earl #4 has ended, citizens of the world.

From the gavel of an activist Massachusetts judge came the decision: a burrito is not a sandwich. This unelected official brazenly defied the wishes of the Earl and his followers, Panera Bread. Allow to explain:

Panera, one of the country's biggest bakery cafes, argued that owners of the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury violated a 2001 lease agreement that restricted the mall from renting to another sandwich shop. When the center signed a lease this year with Qdoba, Panera balked, saying the Mexican chain's burritos violate its sandwich exclusivity clause.
The judge cited Webster's Dictionary and testimony from a Cambridge chef in his decision. Will Hickox, Burrito Blog's go to guy for culinary commentary, was unavailable at the time of press.

Update: Jessie, Adjunct Burrito Analyst and law student, sent me the entire opinion in the case, because she rules. Yeah, she rules the library!


*1 Plaintiff White City Shopping Center, LP ("White City") brought this declaratory judgment action against defendant PR Restaurants, LLC ("PR") seeking a declaration that it is not in breach of its commercial lease with PR. PR counterclaimed against White City for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violation of G.L.c. 93A. PR now moves for a preliminary injunction, seeking to enjoin White City, its partners, employees or agents, from taking any action which would violate the exclusive use provision of its commercial lease with White City. Such actions include White City taking any action that would permit Chair 5 Restaurants, ("Chair 5"), the intervening party, from operating a Qdoba restaurant at the White City Shopping Center ("Shopping Center"). For the following reasons, the defendant's motion is DENIED.


Defendant, PR, is a Massachusetts limited liability company that operates 22 Panera Bread ("Panera") restaurants in the New England area. Panera is a café-style restaurant chain that sells sandwiches, coffee, and soup. Mitchell J. Roberts is the manager of PR. PR is a tenant under a commercial lease for approximately 4,469 square feet of retail space in the Shopping Center located on Route 9, in Shrewsbury. White City, a limited partnership, is the landlord of the Shopping Center. Chair 5, the intervening party, is a Delaware limited liability company and franchisee of Qdoba, a Mexican-style restaurant chain that sells burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. Both Panera and Qdoba compete in the same "fast-casual" restaurant market. [FN1]

FN1. The fast-casual market offers high quality food within the convenience of a traditional fast food setting.

On March 14, 2001, White City entered into a ten-year lease ("the Lease") with PR for retail space to operate a Panera restaurant in the Shopping Center. Lease negotiations lasted several months partly because of PR's request to include an exclusivity clause in the Lease. PR authored the clause which underwent three revisions prior to the Lease's execution. The exclusivity clause that both parties initially agreed to restricted White City from entering into new leases with businesses that primarily sell sandwiches. In its first iteration, Section 4.07 of the Lease states, in relevant part:
Landlord agrees not to enter into a lease, occupancy agreement or license affecting space in the Shopping Center or consent to an amendment to an existing lease permitting use ... for a bakery or restaurant reasonably expected to have annual sales of sandwiches greater than ten percent (10%) of its total sales or primarily for the sale of high quality coffees or teas, such as, but not limited to, Starbucks, Tea-Luxe, Pete's Coffee and Tea, and Finagle a Bagle ... The foregoing shall not apply to (i) the use of the existing, vacant free-standing building in the Shopping Center for a Dunkin Donuts-type business, or for a business serving near-Eastern food and related products, (ii) restaurants primarily for sit-down table service, (iii) a Jewish delicatessen or (iv) a KFC restaurant operating in a new building following the demolition of the existing, freestanding building. No new building shall violate the no-build provision of this Lease.>br>*2 Lease § 4.07 (emphasis supplied).
The Lease contained no definition of "sandwiches" or "near-Eastern" food. [FN2] During lease negotiations, PR and White City did not discuss the definition of "sandwiches" or the type of food products they intended the term to cover. Furthermore, the parties never indicated, specified, or agreed that the term "sandwiches" included tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.

FN2. At oral argument, the parties compared near-Eastern food to Middle Eastern food, but did not provide any specific examples of either types of food.

Following the Lease's execution in March, the parties amended the exclusivity clause to include additional restrictions. On December 30, 2005, Section 4.07 of the Lease was amended, as follows:
The foregoing restriction shall also apply (without limitation) to a Dunkin Donuts location and to a Jewish-style delicatessen within the Shopping Center, but shall not apply to (i) use of the existing, freestanding building in the Shopping Center partially occupied by Strawberries and recently expanded for a business serving near-eastern food and related products, (ii) restaurants for primarily for sit down table service or (iii) a Papa Gino's restaurant (provided the same continues to operate with substantially the same categories of menu items as now apply to its stores and franchisees generally).
Lease § 4.07.
Sometime after the amendment, PR learned that White City had entered into discussions with Chair 5 to lease commercial space. Chair 5 planned to develop and construct a Qdoba restaurant in the same Shopping Center as Panera. After learning of the parties' plans, PR had its attorney contact White City to express concern and seek an assurance that White City would not enter into a lease with Chair 5. PR believed that White City's leasing of space to Chair 5 violated Section 4.07 of the Lease. Specifically, PR believed, and later asserted that tacos, burritos, and quesadillas fell within meaning of "sandwiches" and therefore, White City was prohibited from leasing to Chair 5 under the Lease. White City refused to provide the requested assurance when PR's attorney contacted it about the pending Chair 5 lease. On or around August 22, 2006, White City executed a lease with Chair 5 for 2,100 square feet of retail space in the Shopping Center. On September 28, 2006, White City filed an action against PR, seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not breach its lease with PR.
Since the execution of the Chair 5 lease, Chair 5 has spent over $85,000 in planning costs, and it is further contractually obligated to spend over $300,000 for the construction of a Qdoba restaurant in the Shopping Center. According to Chair 5, it has yet to schedule an opening date for its restaurant.


Under the well-established test of Packaging Industries Group v.. Cheney, 380 Mass. 609, 617 (1980), a preliminary injunction is warranted only when the moving party establishes both a likelihood of success on the merits of the claim, and a substantial risk of irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction. Once these factors are established, the Court must balance them against the harm that an injunction will inflict on the opposing party, and must also consider the impact on the public interest. See T & D Video, Inc. v. City of Revere, 423 Mass. 577, 580 (1996).

A. Likelihood of Success on the Merits
*3 To demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits, PR must establish as a reasonable interpretation that the Mexican-style food products which Qdoba sells fall within the Lease's restrictions. Absent an explicit and broad definition of "sandwiches" in the Lease itself, PR has not shown a likelihood of success to establish a right to injunctive relief under relevant contract principles.
The interpretation of a contract is question of law for the court. Sarvis v. Cooper, 40 Mass.App.Ct. 471, 475 (1996). A contract is construed to be given reasonable effect to each of its provisions. Id. "The object of the court is to construe the contract as a whole in a reasonable and practical way, consistent with its language, background and purpose." USM Corp. v. Arthur D. Little Systems, Inc., 28 Mass.App.Ct. 108, 166 (1989). The starting point must be the actual words chosen by the parties to express their agreement. Id. If the words of the contract are plain and free from ambiguity, they must be construed in accordance with their ordinary and usual sense. See Ober v. National Casualty Co., 318 Mass. 27, 39 (1945).
Given that the term "sandwiches" is not ambiguous and the Lease does not provide a definition of it, this court applies the ordinary meaning of the word. [FN3] The New Webster Third International Dictionary describes a "sandwich" as "two thin pieces of bread, usually buttered, with a thin layer (as of meat, cheese, or savory mixture) spread between them." Merriam-Webster, 2002. Under this definition and as dictated by common sense, this court finds that the term "sandwich" is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans. As such, there is no viable legal basis for barring White City from leasing to Chair 5. [FN4] Further, PR has not proffered any evidence that the parties intended the term "sandwiches" to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. As the drafter of the exclusivity clause, PR did not include a definition of "sandwiches" in the lease nor communicate clearly to White City during lease negotiations that it intended to treat burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and sandwiches the same. Another factor weighing against PR's favor is that it was aware that Mexican-style restaurants near the Shopping Center existed which sold burritos, tacos, and quesadillas prior to the execution of the Lease yet, PR made no attempt to define, discuss, and clarify the parties' understanding of the term "sandwiches." Accordingly, based on the record before the court, PR has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits.

FN3. The parties have submitted numerous dictionary definitions for the term "sandwich," as well as expert affidavits.

FN4. Further, PR's reliance on Sabritas is misplaced. PR argues that a flour tortilla qualifies as "bread" and a food product with bread and a filling is a sandwich. In Sabritas, the International Trade Court applied the commercial meaning, rather than the ordinary meaning of bread, to corn tacos shells for purposes of levying tariffs. 22 C.I.T. at 59 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1998). Here, the commercial meaning of "bread" is inapposite where it is the ordinary meaning that is relevant when interpreting an unambiguous contractual term such as "sandwiches." Ober, 318 Mass at 39.

B. Irreparable Harm
Irreparable harm occurs when a loss of rights cannot be remedied even though the party seeking an injunction prevails after a full hearing on the merits. Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Operation Rescue, 406 Mass. 701, 710 (1990). Economic loss alone, however, does not usually rise to the level of irreparable harm which a party must establish to obtain a preliminary injunction. See Hull Mun. Lighting Plant v. Mass. Mun. Wholesale Elec., 399 Mass. 640, 643 (1987).
*4 Here, PR has alleged irreparable harm on the basis that money damages will be difficult to quantify. However, this allegation is unsupported by any data showing that the profitability of Panera will disappear once Qdoba opens. Absent a showing by PR that Panera's survival is dependent upon enjoining the opening of Qdoba and where both parties sell distinct and different food products, preliminary injunctive relief is inappropriate.

C. Balance of the Harms
This court further finds that the potential harm to the plaintiffs is outweighed by the harm to the defendant where plaintiffs have expended considerable time and money to plan and develop a Qdoba restaurant at the Shopping Center, in light of the fact that this court finds that White City did not breach its lease with PR. Even though PR vigorously argues for a broad definition of "sandwiches" under Section 4.07 to include food products sold by Qdoba, this argument does not change the fact that burritos, quesadillas, and tacos are not commonly understood to mean "sandwiches." Because PR failed to use more specific language or definitions for "sandwiches" in the Lease, it is bound to the language and the common meaning attributable to "sandwiches" that the parties agreed upon when the Lease was drafted.
Having heard the parties and reviewing their filings, this court is not convinced that defendant, PR, has carried its burden in showing a likelihood of success on the merits; that it will suffer irreparable harm if the injunctive relief sought is not granted; or that its harm, without the injunction, outweighs any harm to plaintiffs from being enjoined in the operation of its restaurant.

For the foregoing reasons stated, it is hereby ORDERED that the Defendant's motion for preliminary injunction be DENIED.

White City Shopping Center, LP v. PR Restaurants, LLC

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Burritos Freed From Sandwich Shackles

Tortilla Supply Chain: Harbar LLC

Back in high school I dreamed up dumpster diving plans to find the producers of Anna's raw ingredients. They never materialized, but I do see the Famoso Foods truck outside the Harvard Street location all the time.

The Boston Globe ran a great article about restaurant suppliers last week. By restaurants I mean taquerias, and by supplies I mean tortillas.

Harbar LLC tortillas, available in stores under the name Maria & Ricardo's Tortilla Factory - and as the shell of choice at Anna's Taqueria, Boloco, and many other local places...the reasons that the demand on Harbar's 60 employees for 250 kinds of tortillas is so high.

Harbar tortillas are sold under private labels in many markets. Maria and Ricardo's brand are available at Harvest Co-op Markets and Whole Foods Markets (10 wheat or corn tortillas cost about $2.50)
The full article goes into some serious depth about tortilla manufacturing.

Heidi Maria Hartung, founder of Harbar, you are the Henry Ford of my world.

Friday, October 13, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Tortilla Supply Chain: Harbar LLC

Zest Fest 2006

Nick over at Hot Sauce Blog has some coverage on Zest Fest including the Fiery Food Challenge Winners, as well as tons of pictures like the one at right.

It looks like a real hot sauce lovers' convention. Well, that's because it is, I guess.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Zest Fest 2006

Not Just For Dessert Anymore

Regardless of your opinion on Twinkies (I love Twinkies) it may interest you to know that in June of this year, The Hostess company released a Twinkie cookbook commemorating the 75th anniversary of the cream-filled dessert. Apparently, the cookbook contains about 50 different ways that you can mutilate a Twinkie and rebuild it into something people can take more seriously. They call these "recipes."

Why should you care? In addition to some interesting dessert-related recipes such as "Strawberry Twinkie Jubilee," "Banana Java Twinkie Supreme," and, of course, "Twinkie-misu," Hostess also offers "recipes" for creative, non-dessert sounding items such as "Twinkie Kebobs," "Twinkie Lasagna," and "Hostess Twinkies Sushi."

Included in the latter category are also "recipes" for "Twinkie Tacos" and "Twinkie Burritos." So far my imagination has been unable to wrap itself around what a Twinkie Burrito might look and taste like, but my initial reaction is that I'm a little grossed out. Twinkie's website does however provide a picture and recipe for the Twinkie Tacos, available here.

If anyone finds a picture and/or recipe for the Twinkie Burrito, please let us know. I'm unwilling to pay the $10 it costs to buy the cookbook on Also, if anyone gets the opportunity to sample either the Tacos or the Burritos, I'd love to hear feedback.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for Not Just For Dessert Anymore

400 Posts, Cleaning House

Burrito Blog has reached 400 posts. Amazing, ridiculous, and true.

To celebrate, I decided to clear out all the spam from comments and the Mexican Restaurant Directory. That took half the day. Look for some changes to Burrito Blog in the coming weeks.

The aspiration and horchata have been flowing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for 400 Posts, Cleaning House

Ready, Set, Tortilla Toss

A few Sundays ago in San Francisco, the annual Bay to Breakers race took place. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it's a 12k race that began in 1912. Over the years, it developed from a serious athletic event to something of a drunkfest/parade.

Sure, there are still some serious athletes who run out in front of the pack, but they're followed by a mass of about 70,000 drunk, costumed (sometimes nude) partiers.

To kick off the race, thousands of tortillas are hurled into the air at the starting line in the annual "Tortilla Toss." To get a picture of the flying tortillas, this burrito analyst would have had to wake up at about 7am on a Sunday. Not likely.

Instead, I provide you with a picture of the Tortilla Toss aftermath, where the streets of San Francisco become blanketed by burritos that will never be.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for Ready, Set, Tortilla Toss

Mice Are Not Ingredients, Even At Taco Bell

Some moron thought that he could plant a dead mouse in a burrito and get Taco Bell to pay him big dollars. Extortion.

Taco Bell might not make everyone's favorite burrito, but that's just ridiculous.

The muerta mouse plan landed Ryan Daniel Goff 16 to 30 months in the big house. Casa grande!

Source: CNN.

Friday, June 02, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Mice Are Not Ingredients, Even At Taco Bell

I Am Brown Like Pinto Beans

Readers, I must apologize. I've been completely delinquent in my posts. I've been getting brown by the beach, and have had little access to the blog.

I am still a burrito loving gringo, just a very tan one.

Many thanks to San Francisco analyst, Phil, for picking up the slack before embarking on his bicycle ride from San Francisco to LA on a quest for good tortillas and good deeds.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for I Am Brown Like Pinto Beans

Crunch Time

Fellow burrito addicts, this is one of the few times you will see me use the word "crunch" not referring to tortilla chips or the crunchwrap supreme. Instead, I am referring to the mere days I have left to raise enough money to qualify for the AIDS/Lifecycle Event, the 585 mile bicycle ride in which I'm participating to benefit people living with AIDS.

I still have a lot of money I need to raise before the June 2nd deadline. Please help me meet my fundraising goal. Let's bind together as the burrito-loving community and do our part to end the AIDS virus. Details and the donation form are a here.

I would like to give a huge thanks to those burrito fans who have already donated:

"Big" Mike Schwimmer
Cathy Hsu
Nick Lindauer of Hot Sauce Blog
David Szabo
Mary Mazzocco of
Dov Sharon

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for Crunch Time

Speedy Gonzalez Can't Eat This Fast

This, a burrito speed eating contest from Cinco de Mayo at Hardee's Red Burrito, impresses even the most seasoned burrito eaters.

Thanks to Larry (a.k.a. Puzz) for the tip.

In preparation for a head to head Burrito Blog speed eating contest, I suggest Phil and DJ Turbz learn from this example.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Speedy Gonzalez Can't Eat This Fast

Cinco De Mayo Recap

An historic day, many people celebrate different events.

Multiple choice. Please select from the following choices:

  1. Mexican Day of Independence (though false)
  2. Commemorates victory of Mexican forces over the French
  3. American drinking day sponsored by Cuervo and Corona
  4. Date of highest avocado sales in the US - source
  5. My Birthday - source
Whatever you chose to celebrate, I hope the burritos were delicious and plentiful.

Sunday, May 07, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Cinco De Mayo Recap

585 Miles for a Burrito And A Cure

Burrito Analyst rides a bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to fight AIDS.

I'm sure most of us realize how serious and widespread this HIV/AIDS epidemic has become. To that end, I, Phil Jonas, Northern California Burrito Analyst, am taking part in the annual AIDS/Lifecycle event on June 4-10. The event is a 7 day, 585 mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. To qualify for the event, I have to raise a significant amount of money, the proceeds from which are used to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

This is hopefully where you come in. Burrito Blog faithful, I need your help.

Please make a donation and help Burrito Blog raise money to fight AIDS. It doesn't have to be a large donation, whatever you can do to help would be greatly appreciated. Let’s see the burrito community band together to make this happen.

As a special thanks to you readers, I will eat a burrito in your honor upon arrival in Los Angeles, and blog about that meal.

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for 585 Miles for a Burrito And A Cure

America Needs Burritos

My heart skipped a beat. What would a life without burritos be like? What would you eat everyday?

Is America prepared to give up the beloved tortilla lunch and go back to burgers?

Of course not.

Imagine a world without burritos. Putting aside my own personal plight, consider how burritos are good for America.

  • Burritos increase worker productivity.
    • Establishments often have long lines and limited seating. When lunch is ordered to go, workers return to work more quickly. So says my old boss.
    • The speed at which burrito creators operate inspires me to work harder, faster.
  • Burritos are good for the public health.
    • Most burritos are grilled or steamed, not fried.
    • Carbs in the rice and tortillas give you energy. See also: worker productivity.
    • Protein in the chicken / steak / carnitas is good for your muscles.
    • Salsa is a serving of fruits or vegetables. (Allegedly corn tortillas are not a serving of vegetables. I have checked with a dietitian.)
    • Without sour cream or enchilado style serving, burritos can be heart healthy.
  • Burritos are economical food for the masses.
    • With an average price under $5.00, burritos are affordable for almost everyone.
    • Like the unfulfilled promise for a study on Guacamole pricing, Burrito Blog will conduct a frequency distribution on burrito pricing...when we get around to it.
I need burritos. You need burritos. America needs burritos.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for America Needs Burritos

Taquerias Nationwide Close In Protest

As feared, burrito lovers across the country are faced with fewer options while taquerias close in protest for the Immigration Reform March.

Today, I found myself tortilla deprived as I arrived at Romano's. Rich emailed me to say Boca Grande was closed, too.

After calling some of the more reputable Boston area taquerias (Boca, Anna's, Romano's, Tacos Lupita, and Taqueria Cancun) only Anna's was open for business.

One should note that Anna's has had labor disputes with employees in the past, though it is unknown why they chose to remain open.

Politics aside, the tortilla consuming community felt the pinch of today's strike.

Monday, May 01, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Taquerias Nationwide Close In Protest

Flatulence Free Frijoles

Many burrito lovers share common spaces (car, cubicle, bed, elevator) with others, and claim that gaseous emissions following burrito consumption creates unpleasant social circumstances.

Science to the rescue.

Writing in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Granito and colleagues found that adding these two gut bacteria [Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum] to beans before cooking them made them even less likely to cause flatulence.
Source: CNN.

How soon this breakthrough will find application at your local taqueria, and its impact on taste remains unknown.

Learn more about flatulence here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Flatulence Free Frijoles

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Eat That Burrito

Some burritos are worth fighting for.

Some, perhaps those from El Amigo in Valparaiso, Indiana, are even worth going to jail for.

Burrito Blog speculates (without knowing any facts related to this unfortunate arrest) that alcohol may have been involved, as a high percentage of bar patrons visit all night burrito establishments.

From the Northwest Indiana News:

Battery arrest. Police said a fight over a burrito at 1 a.m. Monday on Wayne Street led to the arrest of 24-year-old Matthew Zikesch on a battery charge.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Eat That Burrito

The Gauntlet

Phil's response to a challenge:

Lest it be thought that I didn't notice, or chose to ignore, the challenge bestowed upon me by Matthew James (DJ Turbz), let me assure you that neither of these is the case.

Clearly, Mr. James thinks that while he can not best me in feats of quantity burrito eating, he may be able to ingest a burrito more rapidly than I. Well, the gaunlet has been thrown down and I accept the challenge.

When next we meet, Mr. James, you and I shall square off at Anna's Taqueria. Only one of us will emerge the Burrito Speed-eating Champion.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for The Gauntlet

Burritos: The San Francisco Treat

Oh yes. This place is like Disney World for people who love burritos as much as I do.

There's a taqueria on every corner. Visit.

Sunday, April 09, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Burritos: The San Francisco Treat

Happy First Birthday To Burrito Blog

It's been exactly one year since Burrito Blog's first post. What a great time we've had so far.

We've traveled the country, ate a few hundred tortillas, appeared in major newspapers and on television, and shared our work just shy of 500,000 times. That's not bad for a website dedicated to tortilla cylinders filled with rice and beans.

Monday, March 27, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Happy First Birthday To Burrito Blog

Road Trip: 3000 Miles

Dear Readers,

I apologize. I have been derelict in my duty as a burrito analyst for the past few weeks. However, I have a good explanation. I, Phil Jonas, have just left the drab, burrito-lacking city of Miami, for the burrito-rich shores of San Francisco. The trip, made via rented moving truck, was long and difficult and involved an obscene amount of gas money, and several Red Bulls.

Now here I am, living in the heart of San Francisco's Mexican neighborhood, the Mission. Burrito establishments surround me. It seems like there's one on every corner. It's almost dizzying.

I'm not sure where to begin, but over time, I will visit each and every one of them, and report my findings back to you, the interested burrito enthusiast, or lost internet surfer.

No longer shall you call me Phil Jonas, Miami Burrito Analyst, for I am now Phil Jonas, Northern California Burrito Analyst.

Monday, February 06, 2006 by Phil. Permalink for Road Trip: 3000 Miles

A Letter For Lovers

Dear burrito lovers,

On this upcoming Valentine's day, scrape together $15 and buy the one you love an I Love Burritos shirt. If the one you love is yourself, that's OK, too.

We love our readers, but not enough to give shirts away for free.

-Burrito Blog

Sunday, February 05, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for A Letter For Lovers

Hot Sauce For A Cause

Our friends over at Hot Sauce Blog just unveiled Hot Blog Sauce, a rocking potion that has the approval of the aficionados. It's flavored with habanero and serrano peppers, garlic, vinegar, limes, and salt.

All the proceeds (over $5 per bottle) will be donated to the American Cancer Society. It's $7.95, sold at the best hot sauce site around.

Saturday, January 28, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Hot Sauce For A Cause

Return To The Internet

As one of Burrito Blog's original Junior Burrito Analysts, Anthony figured it was time to actually show up to work for a change.

With a new laptop and Internet access for the first time in 18 months, he is expected to author his first review shortly.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 by Jonah. Permalink for Return To The Internet

Burrito Blog Moves To Santa Monica, CA

What started in Boston, then moved to Manhattan, has now settled in Santa Monica. That's right, the quest for burritos and a year without snow continues.

Junior Burrito Analyst, John Furnari was kind enough to provide housing for this epic journey.

In the coming weeks, I plan to catch up on old burrito experiences and share tales of the West coast. Don't be surprised when entries come in from all over the country. That's right kiddos, Burrito Blog just went national.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Burrito Blog Moves To Santa Monica, CA

Adios New York

It's been a great four months, and this town rocks. Sadly, it is devoid of quality burritos. As a result, I am forced to flee.

Boston awaits, to be followed by California.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Adios New York

Al Pastor Dyslexia

My subway stop is Astor Place.

I see burritos all around me.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Al Pastor Dyslexia

Avocado Sales, Half Birthday

Some may remember my birthday is Cinco de Mayo from the burrito cake post. That makes my half birthday November 5th. In honor of this event, I wanted to share with you a little information:

According to the California Avocado Commission, more avocados are sold in honor of my birthday than any other holiday.

Sadly, my half birthday did not make the chart.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Avocado Sales, Half Birthday

Mass Transit Mariachi

Today, on the way home from a long day at work, a one man performance caught me by surprise on the train. And by 'on the train' I do not mean 'in the station.'

Out of nowhere, some guy just starts singing up a storm between stops. That earned my smile, and earned him a donation.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Mass Transit Mariachi

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Bad weather just came to New York, and I just left.

Los Angeles. Tanning and tortillas await...and Minus The Bear.

Perhaps I'll finally rid myself of Californian hate mail.

I just found your website and love it. My favorite food is burritos also. However, I just thought I'd let you know that you are missing out. Nothing compares to the burritos you can get in SF's mission district or in any number of taqueria's you can find in California.
You'll never look at burritos the same again.
While living here in California I believe I have found the best burritos in the world.
Ok west coast trash talkers, let's see what you've got.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Rain, Rain, Go Away

From The Roads Near Santa Fe

Tonight I got a call from Junior Burrito Analyst John Furnari, who is en route to Santa Monica, CA, where he will be reporting from the West Coast for the foreseeable future.

Right now he's just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The conversation went like this:

Jonah: Hello?
John: I've found it!

This must be good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for From The Roads Near Santa Fe

Burrito Blog Moves To New York

It's true.

Please tell all your friends that I'll be writing about the local tortilla selection in this town, and to start embracing my adventures in NYC.

Also, if anyone has strong felings for Manhattan's burritos, please be sure to let me know and email me.

Goodbye Boston!

Monday, August 29, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Burrito Blog Moves To New York

Kid's Tabe Reunion

The Kid's table consists of the non-partners from my old job. The cast of characters includes John, Nikhiel, Greg, Zach, Sara, Me, and Kevin, pictured at right.

The reunion will take place in New York, and will likely include many cervezas and tequila.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Kid's Tabe Reunion

Happy Birthday Al Pastor

Nikhiel, who is the man, is celebrating his birthday today.

Following John's and my evacuation from our employment in Brighton, Nikhiel is the latest captain of the ship. He enjoys the Al Pastor, exclusively.

This picture was taken probably six weeks ago, which should give you an idea of how far behind I am on my posts.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 19, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Happy Birthday Al Pastor

The Eagle Has Left The Nest

Today is my last day of work, and we've got one last place to check out.

When I started working at Overdrive, I ate Anna's almost every day. While some might think that's a fitting way to finish, I offer an alternative hypothesis. Overdrive has helped me explore my horizons/lunch options, and that's how we're going to end it - with something new.

This is certainly not the end for Burrito Blog, only the end of Brighton, MA as a base of operations.

Friday, July 22, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for The Eagle Has Left The Nest

Weekend In Chicago

I hit the windy city this weekend to visit Ethan, see the sights, and taste the tortillas.

This city is amazing. Reviews to follow.

Sunday, July 17, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Weekend In Chicago

Free Slurpee Today Only

While unrelated to all foods Mexican, it is my obligation to report on the slurpee give away available today only at 7 Eleven.

Details are available here.

The no cost slurpees are smaller than shown at right.

Monday, July 11, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Free Slurpee Today Only

I Love (Heart) Burritos T-Shirt

I love burritos. That's no lie.

Get one of these T-shirts and show the world how much you love 'em, too! They're only $15.

There's no printing on the shirt other than I Love Burritos, which means there's nothing on the back, and no mention of Burrito Blog.

Sorry, all sold out. I probably will not be printing up any more.

Monday, June 20, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for I Love (Heart) Burritos T-Shirt

I Am Off The Vanilla

Bloggers have a true burden these days. The internet is unforgiving, and the readers are expect perfection.

Pressure, pressure.

I'm very proud of this project, but criticism is inevitable:

NO EAST BOSTON? Get off of the vanilla (Anna's, Boca, etc.) and try some authentic. Check out Taqueria Cancun. Come on boys, you've got a lot of responsibility if you're going to have a blog. Kick it up a notch.

The important thing is to listen and improve.

East Boston: I've been to Taqueria Cancun and Taco Mex, and the vanilla is no more. Reviews to follow.

Friday, June 03, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for I Am Off The Vanilla

More To Love

I redesigned Burrito Blog for your viewing pleasure.

I cut the default setup in place of three columns. We've just been to so many places (and plan to visit so many more) that the restaurant list was messing up the page layout.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for More To Love

Give A Man A Fish, Or A Taco Plate

You all know I hate wasting food.

When Sean didn't finish his taco plate on Saturday, I was faced with a decision: make myself sick or make someone's day.

We chose plan B.

Being that it was the first nice day of the year, we skipped our plans to catch Star Wars in favor of Newbury Street.

For whatever reason, the less fortunate were in hiding. After over an hour, we finally found a guy who looked like he could use a hand, or a taco plate and a fist full of plantains.

He was very happy. So were we.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Give A Man A Fish, Or A Taco Plate

Burrito Blog Reaches 100 Posts

That's right. This is the 100th entry. I hope you've enjoyed it so far.

We have so, so much more to eat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Burrito Blog Reaches 100 Posts

I'm Phil, I Believe You've Heard Of Me

I'd like to introduce you all to Phil, the latest addition to Burrito Blog. He'll be covering Miami. Here's his big hello:

Bienvenido a Miami. So here I am, in the land of Cuban food, writing about burritos. No problem. As one of the original patrons of Anna’s Taqueria around the time of its opening, I have been taught by the best the power of the almighty burrito. I have been shown that Heaven or Hell can be wrapped up in a tortilla. As a result, I will search high and low in the barrios of Miami for the perfect burrito, stopping everywhere along the way, and I will take you with me.

-Phil Jonas

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for I'm Phil, I Believe You've Heard Of Me

Bad Journalism, Bostonians Outraged

Yesterday, Kyle Smith of Northwestern University had an article published in the school newspaper called, 'Ode to Chipotle' mentioning Boston Burritos.

Please allow me to quote the author:

While in Boston visiting my sister over spring break, I found myself parched and dizzy. I asked Kelly where the nearest Chipotle was; she responded by saying that there were no Chipotles in Boston. I nearly fainted.

Noticing my paleness and shortness of breath, Kelly dragged me to a curious restaurant called Qdoba. It was the dollar store to Chipotle's K-Mart.

Dear Bostonians, please let Kyle know that we have more to offer than Chipotle and Qdoba. I encourage you to email him at

Thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Bad Journalism, Bostonians Outraged

Gargantuan Burrito Mistaken for Bomb

A false alarm caused the evacuation of a New Mexico middle school yesterday. Apparently a burrito was mistaken for some kind of weapon or bomb.

Thanks to Zach, Chris, and Adam for the tip.

Someone called authorities Thursday after seeing a boy carrying something long and wrapped into Marshall Junior High.

The drama ended two hours later when the suspicious item was identified as a 30-inch burrito filled with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos and wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt.

...After the lockdown was lifted but before the burrito was identified as the culprit, parents pulled 75 students out of school...the burrito was part of Morrissey's extra-credit assignment.

Whether the burrito contained sour cream is unclear at this time.

Friday, April 29, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Gargantuan Burrito Mistaken for Bomb

Harvard Business School (Burrito) Review

I came across this neat little article in The Harbus that pits these four gladiators against each other: Anna's Taqueria, Boca Grande, Real Taco, and El Pelon. The Harbus is the student newspaper from Harvard's Business School. It should be noted that Real Taco no longer exists in Harvard Square, as it has been replaced by Felipe's.

The winner? They chose Boca. We, the burrito consuming people of Boston are the real winners. Competition breeds excellence.

Monday, April 18, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Harvard Business School (Burrito) Review

Father, Camera Return Home

My dad just got back from a three week dive trip off the West coast of Australia (near Perth). He brought back some great pictures, although not the one at right. You know sometimes I really miss that place. I've been lied to all my life. The beaches in Massachusetts are not nice. No matter how many lobsters you get to eat, there is nothing nice about a water temperature of 58 degrees.

In addition, he brought back my camera, which means John's will be returned as I continue my burrito hunting mission.

Friday, April 15, 2005 by Jonah. Permalink for Father, Camera Return Home