Monday, July 27, 2009

Burrito roulette.

There are many brands of frozen burritos (and, for "burritos", include various chimichangas, enchiladas, and any other individually packed, tubular tortilla-based container with variously-flavored contents.) There is only one, however, that I've ever been able to eat with anything like contentment: Patio®-brand frozen burrito food product.

I'm sure that the insides are the same blend of lips, sphincters, and texturized vegetable protein that all the other ones contain, but they have a much more palatable texture, and whatever blend of spices they use masks the flavor of packing plant floor sweepings nicely.

Now, make mock if you like, but in the convenience department, it's hard to beat a self-contained food item that requires no utensils be washed up, requires nowt but two minutes in the microwave in the way of preparation, is adequate stomach ballast to carry you through to a late dinner, and costs less than fifty cents (and are sometimes on sale, 3/$1.) They can be eaten one-handed while writing or gaming. If you're really busy, you can do something else during the two-minute prep time (try folding laundry while making a PB&J.) They're like MRE's for your freezer; a quick, no clean-up food item for when you're too in-the-middle-of-something for real food and are too busy to leave the house.

The only downside? I can't find them in Indianapolis.

I have sampled many different brands of burritos since I moved up here, standing in front of the microwave and muttering "Please, God, don't let this burrito suck," (which my roommate apparently thought was some existential philosophical statement until I emerged from the kitchen with an actual burrito on a plate.) Thus far, life has been a string of one disappointment after another, but I have not given up hope on finding another brand of edible frozen Burrito. It is my quest, my goal, my obsession.


Anonymous said...

What about donairs? Similar form factor, slightly more recognizable contents.


Mikee said...

Abandon all hope, ye who enter the Midwest looking for good prepackaged Hispanic food.

May I suggest you switch to pierogis?

Warthog said...

I think the brand is El Monterey and if you have a wal mart or meijer store down there, they have them in the frozen section.

Put some sour cream on them and they're good enough to hold you to a better meal.

Gnusnow said...

If you're successful in your quest, how's about a post to let us readers who fancy gastric roulette know about it.

Pretty please?

TxMakman said...

Back in the mid to late 70's Stop N Go has a Beef and Potato Burrto that was awseome. I used to get one of these and Icee of some sort on the way home from football practice everyday. I have not found anything like it in years. This was in th Klein Texas area.

og said...

Lord, it sucks to not be able to get food you like. Like a good instant burrito. Or a jar of Marmite. Or those eet-sum-mor biscuits I fell in love with in Africa. Here's hoping you have the very best luck finding a place that will ship you a crate of them, packaged in dry ice for your convenience.

Canthros said...

This link may or may not work, depending on how cookies are integrated. In any case, it turns out that ConAgra, which makes the Patio burritos, has a dealie for locating vendors.

Something seems skeevy about buying food at Dollar General, though.

breda said...

Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? All of their frozen food is awesome, including their burritos. (and tamales, and enchiladas, and floutas...)

Anonymous said...

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter the Midwest looking for good prepackaged Hispanic food."

The fresh Hispanic food (El Salvador and Mexico mostly) is much better in the Midwest, especially Indy and Chicago (heck even the smaller cities have better food), than anything I had in Arizona or Tejas while at gun skul (Mamacita's in Kerrville was close to what we have here--tortillas made next to my elbow and melt in the mouth! Yum).

Patio burritos are made in flippin Tejas by a family called Stumberg. Would not call that "Hispanic food". Hispanicesque maybe.

My neighbors used to cook a pig every Independence Day in September. There are all kinds of bodegas and restraurants in Central Indiana selling fresh non-frozen tamales and burritos so I don't understand the frozen thing, but everyone has a Jones.

I'll keep an ojo out for Patio burritos (as well as Progresso Manhattan clam chowder).

Shootin' Buddy

Vaarok said...

Aldi grocerymarts tend to carry such things. Admittedly they require a security deposit for use of shopping carts, but they do stock some good stuff wholesale alongside thirty-cent Ecuadorian canned hams and the like.

Kevin said...

I haven't eaten one of those things in years. I have to say they're not my first choice for a quick snack.

Chalkie said...

DANGIT! I was reading the description, starting to think, finally, good frozen burritos... And then you say I can't get them here. Boooooo.

NattyBumpo said...

Breda's right. Trader Joes frozen grub is my staple for lunch. I stock up every two weeks and they tide me over quite nicely. Given that I live by the IT food system, of coffee until I shake, food of some sort, Coke and water the rest of the day, go home make dinner. I need something that doesn't taste like the first gen MRE's that I was eating in 86. You might even find that you want to get classy and break out a spork to eat with.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the ConAgra Burrito Locator shows a myriad of Patio burritos in Indianapolis. Walgreen's, Wal-Marts, Aldi, inter alia.

Perhaps Patio is too low/medium brow for SoBroRip? Perhaps if ConAgra used industrial organic veggies instead of the industrial slime they put in them Patio would be sold in Broad Ripple? Maybe buy 6 burritos, get a pair of sandals?

Burrito Locator:

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

The Progressor Manhattan Clam Chowder Locator listed another friggin' myriad of purveyors of the yum. Here's just the Kroger stores:

2629 E 65th St
Indianapolis IN, 46220-1507
317-255-1498 01.94 Google MapQuest
4202 S East St
Indianapolis IN, 46227-1416
317-781-4245 10.24 Google MapQuest
5911 Madison Ave
Indianapolis IN, 46227-4726
317-783-4947 11.92 Google MapQuest
2420 N Lebanon St
Lebanon IN, 46052-1183
765-482-7274 23.15 Google MapQuest

Shootin' Buddy

Bruce H. said...

I like Don Miguel. They're bigger than most, at seven ounces, and the ones with meat have actual muscle tissue. But at $2.69 they aren't cheap, and my regular grocery quit carrying them sometime in the last year.

Tam said...

"FYI, the ConAgra Burrito Locator shows a myriad of Patio burritos in Indianapolis. Walgreen's, Wal-Marts, Aldi, inter alia."

The Burrito Locator is full of lies and fail.

Roomie pointed it out to me this morning, and all it led to was heartbreak and disappointment at the Walgreen's on the corner of Keystone & 62nd.

Anonymous said...

Do you always believe what the computer tells you? (If so, I have some GREAT ideas . . .).

Did you call before you go?

Curse you, Burriot Locator, you're not the boss of me!

Shootin' Buddy

Unknown said...

Come to Texas! We're up to our neck in this stuff. If moving is not an option, you could try rolling your own. I used to pick up the bulk stuff from Costco/Sam's Club, and roll together a week's worth of the stuff, and take it to work for lunch. It's even cheaper that way.

TheOtherLarry said...

You might try the El Monterey burritos sold in the deli section at Wal-Mart. They are huge, cheap, a are fairly edible by my taste.

If you like some heat, try any of the red chili or spicy red hot versions. They will thrill your taste buds.

Frozen, I think they have a shelf life equal to Spam - forever.

Brandon said...

You are not alone in your frozen burrito despair. Patio is the only brand I can stand to eat, too. The rest are as dung.

WV: crope. An intestinal condition which results from ingestion of frozen burritos.

PA State Cop said...

An edible frozen Burrito does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Burritos hah!! Try chimichangas!!

Old Squid

Brad K. said...


Um, this might sound iffy . . . but you might try making a dozen, and freezing them individually. Maybe set on a waxed-paper covered cookie sheet to freeze, then wrap in plastic then freezer paper the next day.

Make them in small batches at first, so you can play with a recipe to find a couple variations that you like.

Anonymous said...


Do you have Little Juan burritos there? Those are my favorite.

joe said...

Speaking of stuff resembling food....whatever happened to you learning to cook? Did Rx give up on you?

Tam said...

I commit some cookery, and a bit of grillery, but the new microwave at Roseholme sees a lot of use, too.

I don't see myself ever cooking for the fun of it. Like sleeping, time spent cooking is time that could have been spent reading or writing.

Steve Skubinna said...

"Please, God, don't let this burrito suck"

Okay, that right there is my new general purpose mantra/koan/whatever.