When people think of eating in Southern California, typically the first things that might come to mind would be high end: Wolfgang Puck; locally grown, organic produce; sushi; and maybe veggie-topped pizza.
But we do junk food really well in California. After all, we here on the West Coast gave you Animal-style fries, Hot Dog on a Stick, fish tacos and now...
The San Diego Burrito.
This is a new addition to the menu at the Green Burrito, a dual brand of the Carl’s Jr. chain owned by CKE Restaurants Inc., based in Carpinteria, Calif. There are 589 dual-branded locations of Green Burrito and Carl’s Jr.
The San Diego Burrito is a twist on what has long been called a Cali Burrito, typically found in Mom-and-Pop Mexican restaurants around the San Diego area.
At Green Burrito, it’s a burrito made with charbroiled steak, salsa and guacamole, shredded jack and cheddar cheeses and – wait for it – French fries, all rolled into a flour tortilla.
It’s surfer food, best eaten when wearing a wetsuit with sand in places the sun won’t see.
John Koncki, director of product development at Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito, said in a statement, “Many Mexican restaurants offer steak burritos with French fries in them, so, of course, we had to try them and they were great! The French fries go really well with the taste of marinated steak, freshly prepared guacamole and salsa, adding a nice crunch and potato flavor to the burritos.
“So I guess Green Burrito’s answer to the age-old question, ‘Do you want fries with that?’ is ‘Si,’” he added.
Green Burrito/Carl’s Jr. isn’t the first chain to tap the San Diego put-fries-in-it trend.
Del Taco, based in San Diego-adjacent Lake Forest, Calif., is a California-Mexican hybrid with burgers and fries alongside burritos and tacos. On the menu: the chili cheese fry burrito, with beef chili and cheddar cheese on crinkle-cut fries and wrapped in a tortilla.
And Taco Bell next week is bringing back as a limited-time offer its Beefy Crunch Burrito, stuffed with seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, rice, sour cream and Flamin’ Hot Fritos corn chips. Same idea.
We dip fries in ice cream (Wendy’s) and smother them with poutine (Canada). So are we really that far from French fries as pizza topping?