cross street: 1st St./2nd St.
Map Visits: 3
Shrug: meat (7); vegetables (7); rice (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: beans (5); sauciness (5); temperature (5); cheese (1)
Intangibility bonus: 0 (of 2)
So what if the tortilla was nicely grilled? Who cares if spills were minimal and our lunch was fairly sized? Such details mean little when a burrito sucks so early and so often, as this foiled disaster demonstrated with style and ease. It started with one of the worst first bites on Burritoeater record — cold and full of overly dominant salsa — and weathered some merely mediocre mid-slab moments to retain the ultimately lousy rating for which it was clearly aiming all along. Ominously chilly bites punctuated each end of the burrito, and dry, overly abundant rice wormed its way into most bites as well. The grilled chicken was harmless and just happy to be there, and we pegged all the lip-scalding spiciness as a failed distraction against the horde of clang-level elements on hand. Sub-profile refried beans and a complete absence of intangible charm were the nails in the coffin. Then we were grumpy for a bit.
Shrug: meat (7); beans (7); sauciness (7); rice (6); cheese (6); ingredient mix (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)
Long and slender dimensions. Thick tortilla folds. A wrapjob tighter than a Trembling Hills straitjacket. It all added up to minimal wasted space inside this burrito’s tortilla at the stealth Los Compadres truck on a summer Friday. It also all added up to eight-mustache respectability. Our panel braved adequate (if austere) pinto beans, bland Spanish rice, and an ingredient mix that dipped in the middle but held its own up top and down low; other elements that were fine enough but could have performed better included capably juicy steak strangely short on flavor, and a squadron of Jack cheese that never fully got it together — fully melted goo here, half-melted lumps there. Los Compadres’ mobile kitchen, however, nailed the basics of hot bites and error-proof construction, not to mention rich levels of intangible radness. Punchy guac, diced/grilled onion, and even a couple of avocado slices spearheaded the sharp veggie attack, while the grilled tortilla hit on the nines all slab long. A few rice-dominated moments were guilty of dryness, but those moments passed quickly, to everyone’s relief. Also, go-getter spice stood up early, got noticed throughout. Also, Red Bluff is the seat of Tehama county.
Shrug: size (7); rice (7)
Clang: beans (5)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)
Its sole flub a set of drab pinto beans in dire need of a flavor injection, our first burrito from this particular Los Compadres truck was otherwise a thorough success. A firmly grilled tortilla made introductions, and despite the bean fiasco, relations between burrito and judges panel remained cordial throughout. The richly sauced pork was a signature ingredient, and although there should have been more of it on hand, the minor meat shortage was by no means a fatal error. Cheese was mighty melted most of the time, and mostly melted the rest of the time; spice remained a positive contributor from one end to the other. Long, if markedly slender dimensions left us wanting a few more bites by the end – the proof of this burrito’s underachieving size was in all those unnecessary tortilla folds. Still, sky-high intangibility sealed the deal.