One of the beautiful things about burritos is that you can stuff them with pretty much anything. Some versions celebrate minimalism with just one or two ingredients, but then there are the burritos absolutely bursting at the seams with fillings—one of them being french fries, as is the case with the California-style burrito or the recently debuted White Hot Nacho Fries Burrito at Taco Bell.
But just because you can add fries to a burrito doesn’t mean you should. Do french fries truly belong in a burrito, or are they a distraction from the stuff that really matters? We have some strong opinions on the topic.
I am staunchly against extra starch fillers in my burritos. Everything else is fair game, like veggies, beans, cheese, meat—you know, the usual suspects. But I’ve always felt like the addition of rice in Mission-style burritos (made extra famous by Chipotle) just serves make the burrito bigger than it should be, for no reason beyond aesthetics. It’s like dumping a bunch of water into a cocktail, and the result is that you’re sacrificing flavor for volume. Unfortunately, in the case of a Chipotle burrito, if you order it without the rice, you end up with a deflated and saggy-looking tortilla tube that feels skimpy, plus you’re paying full price. Boo! (Maybe I’ll stick to ordering the Chipotle quesadilla from now on.)
So when I see fries stuffed into a burrito, I immediately feel like I’m being cheated; I want that space reserved for other goodness. I totally understand that adding fries inside a burrito is a regional thing on the West Coast, where the Cali-style burrito is celebrated. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love french fries in any form, but only on the side. Stuff carbs into more carbs (don’t get me started on pasta-filled bread bowls) and you’ve already got me walking away, waving my hand at you. Give me beans, veggies, protein, cheese, and eight avocados. Just please ditch the french fries.
I want to say right off the bat that I’m allergic to avocado. While all of you guac-heads cram your burritos full of that green good-good, I’m stuck with flimsy fillers lest I risk anaphylaxis. At least, I was stuck with flimsy fillers—until I discovered the California-style burrito.
Unlike Dennis, I’ve never met a starch I didn’t like. Stuff carbs into more carbs, and you’ll have me skittering across the table to house that thing like Michael dang Phelps. If I had my way, we’d all be hiding tiny loaves of bread inside larger loaves of bread, Russian-nesting-doll-style. Every dish would involve at least one potato-based Turducken. Schoolchildren would dine on Macaroni Rolls, which involve stuffing Panera macaroni and cheese into a baguette. And all burrito joints would offer fries as an optional filling.
For me, cramming fries into a burrito accomplishes two things. First, it fills the avocado-shaped hole in my otherwise flimsy tortilla tube; second, it means I get extra starch in my meal, which pleases the monster within. Burritos are great. Fries are great. Put them together and you’ve got the kind of carb-fest that could fuel one of those lumberjack competitions they air on ESPN2. Nothin’ wrong with that.