"[C]ritics Casey Deeha, Chipp Oatlay, Sal Savirdy and 'El Presidente Mole' promise to provide 'not merely a description of burritos, but a more writerly experience that gives the attention to burritos that they deserve.' Yep. You heard it here, folks. - Jay Barmann, SF Grubfest

"[Casey Deeha] also thinks it could be a matter of cultural heritage and sense of place why a Mission-style burrito is thought to taste the best in San Francisco." - Tamara Palmer, Zagat

"Bay Area Review of Burritos -a must read for anyone remotely interested in foil-wrapped tube food" - Kevin Montgomery, Up Town Almanac

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hi Tech Burrito, Ygnacio Plaza, Walnut Creek.

Written by Sal Savirdy

One might say 'like a fly to shit,' I find myself yet again in Walnut Creek and, not unusually, it's lunch time and this blue bottle's gotta eat. Although not listed on Hi Tech's tech-savvy and stream-lined website, I find myself at a mysterious, otherwise un media-referrenced Hi Tech Burrito location at the Ygnacio Valley Plaza. I am spurred on both by it's franchise reputation as a Pacific Sun award winning eatery and the fact that it's possible to get a free introductory leg wax at the next door parlor. Maybe it may serve as the appropriate pleasure/pain binary; who am I kidding? I just thought it sounded funnier.

This lunchtime, I've managed to reel in a gullible accomplice AND persuade them to go for the Fajita Burrito. They're not hairy enough to go for the free wax, so I've just had to entice them with Hi Tech's award winneriness. Inside the Hi Tech burrito shop, is in ghostly quiet opposition to the next door wax salon's busy line-out-the-door. I figure that this either reflects the demographic, or the food I'm about to consume.

I have : Fresh Veggie Burrito on Flour tortilla
The other fly has: The Fajta Burrito.

I'm excited; there are award winning placards literally, all over the shop, so this is surely going to be good. When they arrive, our burritos are wrapped all mission-like in foil as though we had to make decisions about ingredients or something. Personally, I only remember choosing the tortilla, but this is an award-winner so I'll give its embellishment of the truth the benefit of the doubt and go-with-the-flow. (I am also sometimes a liar).

My first bite reveals predominantly uncooked black beans and a mouth full of unintentionally (?) al dente (vaguely uncooked) white rice. The waxiness of the beans literally makes me urge a little, but I'll give it a second attempt, if not only to confirm my worst thoughts... Another bite reveals more of the same but with a bit of what must be boiled zucchini. The disappointment literally makes me want to hurt myself and thank god there is always the leg wax… I gaze out the window at the line and wonder if maybe all those women in line next door are disappointed by their Hi Tech burrito too, even if their thigh circumference says otherwise. My gullible companion doesn't look too pleased either- his Fajita burrito is marginally better because it has cooked meat and sour cream to make it a little wetter, but the marked disappointment is still facially downward-clown-smile evident. Resisting the urge to leap in to the nearest bathroom to purge myself of the burrito nightmare, I vouch a Yelp review catharsis instead. This is something that never actually happens but the thought of which suffices to defuse the rage enough to avoid a public humiliation ( I am messy at confrontation).

Ygnacio Plaza Hi Tech Burrito is a long way from it's Marin-based, Pacific Sun home, but nonetheless, I'm confused that anything this bad could get some kind of franchise blanket-review that conveys quite such mis-placed accolade. In fact, controversially, I'd probably demote any tortilla-embraced food stuff at a Hi Tech facility to that of 'wrap' status. Really, it's that bad.

Don't believe the Hi Tech hype and get your legs done instead. Or don't.

Salsa rating: RAW (bad raw, not pico de gallo raw).

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