The History Behind the Legend . . . .

Our story begins...

American BurritoIn a remote desert town in eastern Oregon in 1996: It was an exceedingly hot day on the third of July and I was driving alone in my 1984 two-toned gold Toyota Celica GT when trouble began. Steam was pouring out of the hood and the temperature gauge was about to explode; I was on a dirt road with alfalfa fields and llama ranches for as far as the eye could see. With my car on the verge of combustion and no help in site I had one option, walk.

Through the thick dust of this no-laned highway, I could see a rancher on horseback cutting cattle and I approached him for help. He pointed me in the direction of the town and sent me on my way. I was walking for what seemed to be 10 miles from my broken-down car before I arrived. Not knowing what to expect, I surveyed my surroundings. The town consisted of a convenience store, a gas station, a very small post office and some type of eatery. My first order of business was figuring out how to get my car fixed and return to civilization. After visiting with the gas station attendant I realized it would be hours before my car was ready. He told me about the taqueria next door and I was on my way to take care of my second order of business, finding a bite to eat.

With the heat of the day driving me, my hunger out ranked my reluctance to eat at a dive joint in the middle of no where; I grabbed a seat and asked for a menu. A voice replied "Menu," the waitress snickered in the plainest English imaginable, she looked disgusted with my question, "we only serve 2 items; a beef burrito and a beef taco, what'll it be?" Nervously I responded, "Umm... I guess I'll take the burrito."

Not even five minutes later, while I was still contemplating what I was about to get myself into, the waitress emerged from the kitchen carrying a plate with two hands. My eyes lit up, I actually couldn't see the plate because the burrito was so enormous. My anxiety turned to excitement, I couldn't believe I was thinking it, but this burrito was a thing of beauty. As I dove face first into this soft flour tortilla, I was jolted by an explosion of flavors. I could taste fresh chilled Pico de Gallo with tomatoes as red as roses, crisp onions with a bite and the greenest cilantro (I later found out) picked right on site. The shredded beef was bursting out of this masterpiece and there were flavors I had never experienced before. At that moment in time, life was good, I was liberated from the anxieties of my current predicament and all it took was a great burrito!