As a San Franciscan, when I say “California Burrito,” what do you think? If you’re like me — not a native Californian, but one who has come to her current lifestyle by happy happenstance — you may have learned that a California Burrito is stuffed full of healthy deliciousness. My first experience of a California Burrito was at Boca Grande in Cambridge, MA. (Stop laughing, good burritos CAN be found on the East Coast! Sometimes.) That particular burrito had me blissfully chewing through fresh-scented sprouts, velvety avocado, melty cheese, and the usual rice, beans, salsa, and lettuce. No meat.
However, in San Diego, at a choose-your-own-location Roberto’s, a California Burrito is a carne asada (steak) burrito with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and…FRENCH FRIES! Seriously, french fries. Somehow, this just doesn’t strike me as a California type of thing. It’s, like, the polar opposite of all the fountain-of-youth-giving good fats/antioxidents/superfreak foods that one might expect to find in a stereotyped California burrito.
Roberto’s California Burrito puts me in delirious mind of the Brit après pub special of Chip Butty. For the uninitiated, a Chip Butty is exactly what you want on your way home from a lagered up night. It’s chips (fries) stuffed in a pita, slathered with mayonnaise, and doused with fruity HP Brown Sauce. It’s crazy, it’s artery clogging, but it’s so disgustingly good when you have a belly full of booze. Of course, if you’re feeling healthy, you might opt for the yogurt-based tzaziki over the mayo. I frequently did and staggered home feeling quite virtuous.