From their perch in Sharkatraz atop the tallest apartment building in Astoria, Max Robinson and Mike Pfeiffer are The Trash Boys. In this feature, The Trashford Files, they investigate and review foods that are normally best eaten alone drunk in the dark after a breakup.
The Gastronomic ArtifactWhat are we putting in our talk holes?
Mike: Today, Max and I literally got up at 8 in the morning, showered, and put on nice clothes to go to the Union Square Taco Bell and asked a human being to hand us a Smothered Burrito combo, and then we payed him for it. When this is all over, when the courts have their say, at least that will be found as “The Truth.”
Max: It was a sobering moment, walking into a Manhattan Taco Bell well before noon to buy synthetic burrito product.
Mike: The last time Max took me to a Taco Bell it almost ended our friendship. He promised me this time out would be different. This time… It’s war.
PresentationHow it look?
Max: The Smothered Burrito comes in a hermetically sealed bowl-thing, like a rotisserie chicken you’d buy at the grocery store, and covered in some kind of blood sauce. When I opened mine, I got a face full of flavor-steam.
Mike: It came to us in a troubling nutrient-bath, seemingly an undercooked sapient larvae still taking in a protein-rich sauce to develop its various organs. The first step was to autopsy the creature and examine the strata, and we took some pictures that I don’t…know if we can publish.
Max: It’s got a wonderful defense mechanism. You don’t dare kill it.
Mike: It was visually troubling to look at. This is not a glazed donut sandwich where you kind of laugh at the image of it. If I saw this in a gutter I would call the police and then they would have to send a shrink for me and another shrink for the first shrink when he saw it, too.
Max: I bet this burrito was alive once. It had a mother, it had friends that it cared for. It longed to look at the blue sky outside its isolation cage. You could tape some googly eyes to this thing and put a placard under it that says “a pokemon” and everyone would applaud.
TasteDoes it satisfy?
Mike: This question requires a goal-oriented approach. If you are trying to put something in your body that will not change form at all from eating it to its inevitable expulsion at high speed then yes, I can heartily recommend this burrito. I encourage physics teachers to use it in lessons about laws of conservation of matter where you require a flavorless sodium slurry.
Max: If you’re like me and you enjoy Taco Bell’s signature blend of inorganic mexi-matter, you will likely enjoy this burrito. As with all Taco Bell menu items, it’s a bunch of cheese and beef-plasma wrapped in a tortilla plus rice and bean-paste.
Mike: Max, you know I am a Taco Bell booster. I continued to frequent the Taco Bell near our college despite its store policy that I be verbally abused when I went in after sundown. But still this felt evil once it entered my body. I got that sinister feeling that it was all part of the burrito’s PLAN to get captured, to be able to sabotage my body from the inside. I can feel it being interrogated in a glass cell by a sassy enzyme (Voice of Donald Glover) who is slowly realizing that this burrito is only biding its time in my stomach and will escape whenever it wants.
Max: It was only a matter of time before you’d somehow work some tumblr fanon bullshit about Loki into one of these reviews.
Mike: I don’t like what this burrito is doing to you. Did you look into its totally kawaii gaze? Is the burrito your new headmate?
PracticalityHow easy is it to put in your talk hole?
Max: Not….that trying by our usual standards but it’s a rare fast food offering that you have to eat with a fork and knife. It felt like I was using chopsticks to eat cheese curls. It certainly isn’t messy since it comes in a little medical dish that holds all the cheese and sauce and byproduct.
Mike: I’ve never had to use a fork and knife to eat at Taco Bell before because most Taco Bell sawdust-and-beef-broth mucilage comes wrapped in a sterile and edible form of floury saranwrap and just cram in there, so having to actually devote brain power to cut this thing into pieces and put it in my mouth made me feel like I was in Se7en. There was also a constant ad for “Forever Stamps” on the radio in the Taco Bell we were in so yeah, you can safely assume I’m going to be reporting this shit to infowars as a false flag psyop once Dylan approves our expense reports ($1000 per burrito, including psychological reconciliation).
Max: They’re stamps that last forever, Mike. Taco Bell wants you to save money on postage. Taco Bell wants you to be happy. You…want to be happy, don’t you Mike?
Mike: I’m just pissed because it runs counter to my foundation, “Forever Terence Stamp” which donates orphan body parts to keep National Treasure Terence Stamp alive until he finally stars in the Face/Off sequel I wrote for him and Malcolm McDowell.
Max: You will kneel before this burrito. You…and then your sons, Michael. I now owe Terence Stamp a check for $450.
Mike: Listen, the appeal to me of Taco Bell is that somebody shoots taco parts out of a caulking gun into a delivery chute and I can order eight of them and shovel them in my mouth without looking and then they fall directly out of my ribcage and hit the floor like I’m a skeleton that doesn’t know he’s a skeleton yet. Making me think about every bite I’m taking is like one of those PETA videos where they show how there are drill sergeants who call all the cows racial slurs before they turn them into ribeyes.
Shame FactorWould I eat this in front of a date or in a job interview?
Max: No way. Maybe if I was interviewing with Carlos Luis Alfonso Gordito, the immortal billionaire who founded Taco Bell 5,000 years ago and, to get the job as his personal biographer, I had to playfully eat one of these in front of him in a one-piece.
Mike: Man I had trouble with the intense feelings of personal doubt and hate I had when I was eating this across from my roommate and criss-cross murder collaborator. If you put me in front of a person I had to actually impress my entire body would give up and age instantly. I wouldn’t tell my spouse I had eaten this until we were in a life-or-death situation where I wanted to go to the grave with no secrets. I think I have eaten actual trash and I would share pictures of that with an employer before revealing this.
Max: Even though I don’t have a girlfriend, I did feel like I was committing some kind of adultery. It’s possible it’s because the burrito looks like the sex organ of an H.R. Giger alien. In the beta-phase roll out, a few of these probably woke up and attached themselves to a human host.
Mike: Oh yeah, I routinely google “Elle+Fanning+Ankles” but I did not look up a picture of this while we were waiting for the train. Max and I placed orders under our Internet Generated Sexting Names: Félipe Evil and Javier Gamble. I know that joke will age about as well as some Franzia Special Reserve© but you gotta strike while the trash is hot.
The Voigt-Kampff TestTell Me About Your Mother.
Max: You’re in the desert. You see a Smothered Burrito laying on its back.
Mike: I um… let the cheese keep melting. It soothes me.
Max: *takes long drag on Slim Jim, exhales smoke* Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about the Smothered Burrito.
Mike: Hot… Bean… Look… J-Jaundice? Caramel. Very.
Max: You’re reading a magazine and you come across a full-page photo of a Smothered Burrito. You show it to your husband. He likes it and hangs it up on the wall. The burrito is laying on the hood of a Chevy Camaro.
Mike: LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GASTROINTESTINAL DISTRESS
Mike flips the table, slips on a puddle of Mountain Dew Baja Blast© and is Retired by a trained Bellrunner.
Final RatingIs it worth feeding your self loathing to purchase?
Mike: No. God no. I would give money to an NRA fund to defend youtube comments before I bought another one of these, and I would send the check to them with a brownie stapled on. I would serve Hitler lemonade in hell first. But just eating it wasn’t the point, was it Max? You were going to smuggle the burritos back to Sharkatraz, inside me and you.
Max: Ha. I. Do…do you have any idea how crazy you sound right now? I mean, you didn’t even finish your burrito, how would I smuggle all the necessary components inside your stomach cavity and back to my lab for study? That Smothered Burrito has a right to be enjoyed by all of us. Frankly, I think you’re being really selfish about this. It’s PATHETIC.
Mike: I don’t know which species is worse, Max. At least you don’t see the the burritos fucking each other over for a god damn fourth meal. One rat out of however many rats.
Max: In all honesty this is a good burrito if you like going to the bathroom a bunch/feeling like you ate science for lunch. 3 rats out of a possible rat-king (5 rats).