Cycle 14 – Item 152
6 (Tue) June 2023
(“Korean-Style”) Chicken Burrito (sans Pepperoni) (with Cheese!)
at Loco Taco
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
On Memorial Day last year – when I finally learned what “Hyeonchung Il” (as it’s called in Korean) signifies – IZ and I spent the free afternoon watching a movie (see 13.152 Gold Combo).
This year, we took Louis Le Pieux to a spa treatment and got a snack while waiting.
As we entered the restaurant, the name of the place sounded vaguely familiar, but I wasn’t really paying attention – just grateful that it was close to the spa, open on a national holiday, and serving non-Korean food, as well as beer.
While I appreciate in principle the proliferation of burrito/taco joints these days, most of them clearly don’t know what they’re doing (see for example 14.083 Tacos). I suspect that restaurateurs are getting into Tex Mex because, among other things, they think that the food is easy to pull off, or at least the bar has not yet been set very high. Cilantro is a bellwether: any place that charges for it is highly likely to be crap.
Loco Taco charges 1,000 won for cilantro.
The chicken burrito was sliced in half and served with the cross sections facing up. As I was angling the camera to take a photo, I noticed a pink sliver down the middle on each side. Pulling it out with a fork, and discovering that it was a piece of pepperoni, I suddenly realized that I’d experienced the same bullshit from this place before, though that time via delivery (see 13.294 What the Motherfuck). Oh-ho, I had them by the balls now.
I called over the manager to complain.
Me: What is this?
Manager (naively chipper): It’s a pepperoni.
Me: Why is there a pepperoni in the burrito?
Manager (somewhat confused by the question): To make it taste good.
Me: But I don’t like pepperoni. In fact, I don’t eat any pork products.
Manager (sensing trouble): If you had informed us, we would’ve omitted it.
Me: How could I have anticipate that a burrito would have a pepperoni in it?
Manager (now on the defensive – having heard us conversing in English, she’s assuming that we’re from the States): This is not an American-style burrito, but a Korean-style burrito.
Me: There’s no such thing as a “Korean-style” burrito. And even if there were, why would pepperoni be a default ingredient?
Manager (wise enough to realize that she wasn’t going to convince me): We can remake it for you without the pepperoni.
Me: Yes, thank you.
When the new burrito was served, I noticed a yellow sliver down the middle. “We replaced the pepperoni with cheese!” the manager proudly proclaimed. For an instant, I was tempted to do it all over again but resisted.
The restaurant remains BANNED.
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)