El Monterey XXL Spicy Red Hot Chimichanga

Next up on dorm week, the almighty frozen burrito. For a little over $1, you, too can reap the bounties of authentic chimichangas from…California. Wait, wait, wait. California? That’s not where burritos come from. But my sources tell me there’s some damned good Mexican food there, so behold…the El Monterey XXL Spicy Red Hot Chimichanga.

In all actuality, a burrito and chimichanga are not twins, in fact, on the family tree, they’re more along the lines of kissing cousins. A chimichanga is just a deep fried burrito, which is a tortilla filled with Southwestern and Mexican fillings, like seasoned beef, chicken, rice, beans, and peppers, then wrapped up and eaten on the go. Or sopping up the alcohol after a late night bender at Pink’s.So how’s this? Well, it seems like they confused the chimichanga with its incestuous relative again, because what came out of the package, at around a foot long, was decidedly a burrito. The sandwich is ten ounces heavy, and to give you comparison, I’ve taken the liberty to disclose my weight as a newborn, a mere 11 ounces heavier. Two El Monterey chimichangas = 1 baby Foodette, give or take a few. (And around the same length, too.) The product description says it’s a lightly fried burrito, but when Swagger and I opened the package, we found no clues that it had ever been crispy aside from a distinct puddle of grease on the paper we used as a plate.The chimiburrito’s outside shell is no corn or flour tortilla, and instead flaked off periodically like your Uncle Milton’s dandruff. It was flavored like lard and broken fryers and reminded me of undercooked puff pastry. It sagged in a sad and flaccid manner when we tried to prop it up for the photo and later, while we were eating it, and dripped all over the napkin. This chimichanga needed some Viagra and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body.

Moving onto the filling, it was supposedly tons of ground beef, beans, and hot stuff to make it hot and spicy. Well, there was a lot of filling, though the amount didn’t create the perfect circle in the photo. But the ratio of filling to shell thing was actually not bad at all. It was just worryingly smooth, like puréed Spam. It shouldn’t be entirely smooth, so the entire eating experience gave us the notion of eating international entrées for infants. I feel like the entire appeal of a burrito lies within the variations of textures within the tortilla, and this missed the fence completely.

Of course, every rose has its thorns and the filling melted into the shell, causing it to mush up and get gloopy quickly and the hot and spicy flavor had already jumped the border back to Mexico. We recommend eating this with the wrapper for extra texture or throwing it out after it’s done cooking. It was like the world’s worst Taco Bell had made this and decided to call it a “Torpedo Burrito” or something. I’d rather visit Gigi in sunny California and get some real Mexican food.

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