I watch in awe as my favorite culinary team masterfully prepares my food. Hot oil and vegetables sizzle on the flat top grill until the onions are perfectly charred and the spinach begins to wilt. The veggies are transferred to an enormous tortilla along with Mexican rice, black beans, a mountain of cheese and a generous drizzle of ranchito sauce.
The whole pile is rolled up, grilled and delivered into my outstretched hands. This massive meal, for only $10, is the 32nd Street Farmers Market burrito.
Nearly every week since my freshman year, Taco Loco Mexican Food’s Veggie Burrito with No Peppers, my usual order, has been a reliable source of unadulterated joy. When classes are at their most stressful, the burrito is often the best part of my week. Many have described my love for it as an obsession. I wish I could deny this, but four years later I still spend the entire week looking forward to my Saturday morning burrito.
Burritos are one of my favorite foods, so I speak with some expertise when I say that eating Taco Loco’s burritos is an unparalleled experience. The tortilla is dark brown and crispy from sitting on the grill, and the rice and beans come alive with savory and smoky Mexican spices. The abundant onions provide a musical crunch with every bite, and the spinach contributes an earthy freshness.
It’s the homemade ranchito sauce, however, that elevates the dish from excellent to life-changing. The creamy and indescribably flavorful sauce often seeps out of the burrito and drips down my hands, but I don’t waste a drop.
There’s a lot I’ll miss about my college experience. The Taco Loco burrito competes for the top of the list. I have four years’ worth of fond memories from that little burrito stand, from wolfing down the much-needed carbs after a night out to watching my friends’ delighted faces as they tried it for the first time.
As excited as I am to move on to the adult world, I can’t help but feel that I’ll be leaving Baltimore with a burrito-sized void in my life.