Movie rental kiosk service Redbox—with a major assist from Netflix—pretty much murdered the traditional video store experience. Why waste a bunch of time browsing through a brightly lit, clean retail outlet when you can step over bum piss and cigarette butts in a dank liquor store parking lot to rent one of the hot new release motion pictures on DVD? The Box Brands, the company behind Burrito Box, aims to bring this experience to the time-honored rite of passage called "eating shitty food at a gas station."
Two Burrito Box locations exist in America at the moment, both in Los Angeles. While other bloggers waste their time covering the new TVs at the CES convention in Las Vegas, I went to check out the next step in burrito delivery technology.
Telemundo, a Spanish language TV station, was already on the scene when I arrived. Obviously, their staff was as concerned as I was at this blatant molestation of their culture... or they were just hungry as fuck too.
A cameraman and reporter lit up at the sight of me, the lone customer with the guts/stupidity to try a burrito that comes in a giant plastic tomb. They tried their damnedest to get me to talk on camera while I quietly muttered to myself, at last, my shot at fame has arrived!
Oddly enough, the burrito machine is not the first thing you see walking in. It's positioned beside the front door, so you have to turn to look at it. However, as I entered the store I could feel its presence. It spoke to me, like a long-lost cousin. I'm home, I thought.
Also like a long-lost cousin, it was not as exciting as I thought it would be. It looks just like a Redbox, but orange, with a video screen flashing enticing photos of burritos. There are five options you can choose from: Roasted Potato, Egg & Cheese, Chorizo Sausage Egg & Cheese, Free Range (LOL!) Chicken, Bean & Rice, and Shredded Beef & Cheese. Each one was a reasonable $3 a pop. Convenience and affordability. Points to you, Burrito Box.
Of the five, only two were not breakfast options. I went with the potato one, so as to avoid a possible meat-related food poisoning situation. I was eager to chow down, but the cameraman for Telemundo was on my dick the whole time, recording everything I was doing, like "Big Hermano" from Jorge Orwell's classic dystopian novel, Los 1984.
I clicked the button for my burrito, and the next screen showed me the nutrition facts of the burrito, as if I really wanted to know how many dumb carbs I was stuffing in my dumb face.
Another screen asked me if I wanted guacamole, sour cream, and/or hot sauce on the side. Each side costs extra. So much for a $3 burrito. Not a good sign when you have to pay extra to make your meal not taste like total shit.
I got guacamole, and yet another fucking screen told me to pay up. I slid my debit card, and as soon as it processed, the kiosk started playing me a music video featuring an unnamed pop star. The music was obnoxiously loud, and I'm betting that the employees of this gas station store are days away from setting the Burrito Box on fire out of sheer annoyance.
I was a bit impatient waiting for my meal to heat up, but in that idle time, I had a flash of brilliance. It occurred to me that if a burrito-making device can have a TV screen on it, very soon our home TVs will be able to make burritos. That's chill.
The burrito plopped down to the bottom of the machine along with the two sides. I just prayed there was actually a burrito inside of the extraneous orange wrapper.
The Telemundo camera guy wanted to get a shot of me unwrapping the thing, which was damn near impossible. Not only was the burrito incredibly hot, but the thing was wrapped in plastic tighter than Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks. If you are making bad food for drunks, don't make them struggle. Someone is bound to get hurt.
I did a quick interview where I asked the reporter how to say "fucking awful" in Spanish, then walked out for some respite from the bright lights of fame. I begrudgingly finished my burrito, which was not even Taco Bell quality. I briefly considered drowning myself in the above fountain, but resisted the temptation.
I cracked open my guacamole, which looked like it was recovered from Fukushima.
And the inside of my burrito looked like the remains of a hamster that got run over by a taxicab. Honestly, this thing was no different than getting a frozen burrito at the gas station and microwaving it, like in the old days. The only new feature is a loud music video to drown out the voice in your head telling you to change your life before it's too late.
I'd tell you to avoid Burrito Box, but chances are these monstrosities won't make it out of Los Angeles. Taco Bell, Chipotle, Del Taco and the others need not worry. Their place in our culture is safe, as is your colon if you don't eat from Burrito Box. Oh, and be sure to catch me on Telemundo tonight during the evening news! Ole!