I suppose we would be remiss as food journalists if we didn't weigh in on the Jonathan Gold burrito throwdown. I know he's offering up some bait, and I will knowingly take it. In his blog yesterday he wrote:
"Bay Area residents tend to have peculiar ideas about burritos, which they regard as monstrous things wrapped in tinfoil, and filled with what would seem to be the contents of an entire margarita-mill dinner, including grilled meat, rice, beans, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, orange cheese, and probably a lot of other things that neither God nor man ever intended to see the inside of a tortilla, much less the soggy steamed pup-tents that are but mandatory up north."
Doesn't that make you fighting mad, NorCal burrito lovers? How dare Mr. LA call our burritos soggy steamed pup-tents (now you see why this guy won a Pulitzer for food writing)! Well, go on and get fired up on my behalf, because as a native New Englander, I have no claim on the burrito. I didn't even eat my first burrito (come to think of it, it may have been called a wrap) until I was in college. I am no authority. If you like it, if it tastes good, isn't that enough? The quest for authenticity—currently a buzz-word in gastronomic circles—is so loaded as to be almost ridiculous. Hold your El Farolito tin-foil-wrapped monstrosity up high, like the Statue of Liberty's torch! Life, liberty and the pursuit of rice, bean and orange cheese stuffed pup-tents!
However I, for one, have big plans to dig into L.A. burritos—from El Tepeyac, Burrito King and Al & Bea's, mais oui, the next time I head South. After all, information is power.