I’ve written several blogs over the past couple of years under the general heading of “burritos behaving badly.” I don’t know why I find burritos to be an amusing topic, but you’ll just have to put up with it as an off-bubble glitch in my personality. This blog focuses on a personal burrito adventure, conducted in the interest of science.
On a recent trip to my local burrito joint on South Main, I glanced at the menu even though I had already ordered a gastronomic bomb that my digestive system could tolerate. And there it was on the menu: “NEW. WOLVERINE. $10.94. Brisket, potato, green chile, bacon, milanesa, cheese.” A burrito for more than $11 (with tax) for Pete’s sake!!! And it’s not even from the trendy Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe or one carefully crafted by culinary masters Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse or Giada De Laurentis.
With a name like “Wolverine,” how could a guy with a reputation for eating disgusting things pass up a taste test? And to be truthful, I was short on blog topics at the time.
“So do many people order these?” I asked the woman behind the counter who was wearing her required “Body by Burrito” T-shirt uniform.
“Well, no, not really,” she said.
That should have been my first clue to back away from the experiment.
Then I asked her what the ingredient “milenesa” was. She pointed to a metal tub with something reddish colored and lumpy simmering on the grill. She said she didn’t know exactly what it was. I looked it up. Wikipedia identified it as “a South American variation of Italian cotoletta or schnitzel, where generic types of meat” are used to make it.
“Generic types of meat” should have been another clue.
I watched it being made, and I think she got distracted and forgot the bacon and the green chile.
I carried it out of the store to my car, impressed by its heft. When I got home, I weighed it on our food scale — 1.097 pounds.
Then I ate it for lunch. As I mentioned, I could not detect any bacon or green chile and the “generic types of meat” ingredient did not lend any clue as to what kind of animal had been sacrificed to make it.
You may remember the guy who wrote a book several years ago about eating only McDonald’s food for an entire year in which he gained an enormous amount of weight. Maybe I thought my experiment might result in a book deal. Nope — one burrito was enough. I did, however, feel his pain for the rest of the day and well into the next morning. The burrito seemed to swell up inside me after I ate it. It wasn’t terrible, but its taste wasn’t memorable.
So, as a self-appointed food critic, I can recommend that you stay away from the “Wolverine.” Order my personal favorite, “The Undertaker” which was discovered by my son a few years ago. (Maybe they could sell the Wolverine at the “Big House” stadium in Ann Arbor every fall when Michigan plays football there.)
Oh, and by the way, if you want a brisket burrito, our other nearby Mexican food outlet famous for its mystery cheese sells one for just $4.50 and can add green chile, potato, bacon and exotic cheese for just a buck more. You can add your own milenesa if you can figure out how to make it. For starters, there’s a roadkill squirrel on a nearby street in the neighborhood.