What's up with giant overstuffed burritos?

I’m thinking about places like Chipotle or Moe’s Southwest Grill where the burritos are gigantic rice-and-beans crammed monstrosities. Isn’t the point of a burrito that it’s hand-held food? Chipotle even serves it wrapped up like a sandwich. But they’re so big and messy it’s nigh well impossible to eat them without putting them on a plate and getting a fork and knife.

As discussed in the other thread about Chipotle, there is a skill to properly wrapping a large burrito that Chipotle’s employee’s plainly lack. A lot of their ingredients are also overly wet for the take-along format.

I would conclude that you aren’t really expected to eat a Chipotle burrito on the go.

I usually get the burrito (well, fajita) bowls.

I remember a few years back at a Chipotle, three EMTs each got two of them and hopped back in the ambulance. The driver, holding one in each hand, (half) jokingly said “How am I supposed to drive while I’m holding these?”

Depends on the restaurant. In my experience, in “normal” restaurants with table seating and service, burritos are served on a plate and usually covered by a sauce of some kind. Even though they are wrapped, they are clearly not intended to be picked up and eaten like a sandwich. On the other hand, fast food and carry-out restaurants will treat them like sandwiches intended to be eaten out of a hand.

Wouldn’t that make it an enchilada?

They’re burritos on the menus.

Technically, yes, but not in the Tex/Mex-based parlance of our times. Therein, an enchilada is a specific thing (normally contained only “primary filler” (meat or vegetable or cheese, never rice or beans or tomatoes or sour cream). Not just any ol’ anything, with sauce.

Once upon a time I had a trainee with me in my beer truck. We delivered to a large carniceria/mercado/panaderia/lunch counter in the barrio. I noticed some huge disgusting looking cow’s tongues in the cooler and had a craving for lenguas tacos. We got paid for our order and I mentioned everything smelled so good and breakfast was so long ago and got hooked up with 3 street tacos and a coke. My trainee was a hefty boy from Kentucky and when the manager asked if he was hungry too he said “s’y’all got like ‘em bigol’ b’reedos I seen on the teevee like 'bout the size’a ma head?” There was a language barrier and he repeated and rephrased and he ended up with about an 8 pounder. I took a picture of him eating it and sent it to my boss who printed it up and posted it next to the time clock with a caption about eating babies.

Back halfway on topic though, he just unwrapped about the first 3 or 4 inches and was able to eat 1/4 of it with his hands without making a mess. He took the rest home and probably had it for dinner and breakfast and maybe dinner again.

A properly made East LA/Mission burrito is meant to be consumed by hand, but not while driving. It will be tighly enough wrapped that you can peel back the foil bite by bite and enjoy structural integrity until the last bites.

Unless you get heavy with the taco sauce or salsa. Then you’re on your own.

I concur … Mission Burrito
I had one in the Mission District a couple of weeks ago…mmmmmm.

These are also pretty tasty. La Bamba
Found them In Carbondale IL.

I hate 'em - they give a totally unbalanced ratio of various fillings to tortilla. Ick. I only get the tacos or the bowl offerings at those places.

Considering that La Bamba advertises as a selling point “Burritos as big as your head!” I think they’re a spectacularly bad counter-example in this thread.

Especially when compared to Chipotle. I have absolutely never had the sorts of problems there that most people seem to mention - neither the drippiness or the falling-apart-all-over issues.

What is your preferred balance? To me this = gustatory heaven.

While it’s nowhere near what I’d call a quality burrito, to me Taco Bell pretty much has a good balance of filling vs. tortilla.

A properly made “super burrito,” be it from East LA or the Mission District, should be firmly packed enough that it can be eaten without too big of a mess by peeling back the foil (which is there to provide structural integrity.) The fillings should not be too wet- beans should be fairly well drained, and salsa well distributed.

Burritos fail when they are poorly packed, poorly distributed, or just too saucy.

The correct reaction. I love it when others are grossed out by tongue because that leaves more for me.

Chipotle’s problem mostly seems to be in wrapping the burritos, for whatever reason. I like them, don’t get me wrong, I just have to have napkins on hand when I eat them because a mess will eventually ensue.

Now, a much better burrito place is Freebirds World Burrito, mostly seen around Texas (though I understand they’ve expanded into Oklahoma and California now). Great great freaking burritos. Not even remotely pretending to be Tex Mex or Mexican food, given that a feature of the restaurants is a display of the Statue of Liberty riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, carrying a wrapped 'Bird as a torch.

Anyhow, they’re basically a whole meal packed into a tortilla. Think of it as kind of like those half pound three-bun burgers covered in bacon and sauce and whatever else that you see sometimes.

Yeah, I’m with Zsofia. Overstuffed monstrosities they are. I can understand why people like them. I’m just not one of those people. Hell, I find most of the tacos I get here to be way overstuffed, too.

I once heard a bus driver refer to one of those white bundles that lazy mothers of infants sometimes casually discard as a “Mexican burrito”, maybe that is why they make them so big.

God, I pretty much lived at Freebirds in college. And there’s one not far from where I live now–halfway through this thread I’d decided I’ve got to go get a Monster tomorrow. I like Chipotle burritos okay, but places like Freebirds give you so many more options for fillings.