Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Green Burrito (was) Neato

Place: Carl's Jr/Green Burrito
Lunch: 2 beef tacos, side of beans, Famous Star (no tomato), Coke

Green Burrito used to be a small California Mexican chain that was known for its signature "Green Burrito"...a massive burrito with green sauce and pretty much every conceivable Mexican ingredient on hand.  It weighed well north of a pound.

Green Burrito's growth largely came through co-branding with Carl's Jr outlets, who eventually came to own the brand.  In the early days of co-branding, they had one of the best commercial campaigns ever, featuring a simple green dot pouty face on a black screen singing acoustic emo jingles that included...

Green Burrito is neato
Green Burrito, packed with meat-o
Green Burrito, good to eat-o
Green Burrito, smell my feet-o

(I can't find the actual commercials on YouTube, but I did find the audio for them.)

They've done a lot of modifying to the menu over the years.  You can't even get the Green Burrito anymore.  Rice is gone too.  No more platters...just combos with chips or fries.

So it was with some confusion that I walked into Carl's Jr/Green Burrito on Sunday.  I noticed no more "deluxe taco", which was nothing more than their standard taco with sour cream added.  Tried to order it anyway.

"Do you still make deluxe tacos?"

Mediocre Counter Girl shouted something in Spanish to the back.

The back responded in Spanish.

Mediocre Counter Girl then turned to me and said "Ya, okay."

"Okay, I'll have two in a platter."

"A what?"


"Oh, we no have platters no more.  We just have chips."

I look over the menu to see if beans are still present.  They are, as a "side of beans".

"Okay, two deluxe tacos and a side of beans."

"What kind of tacos?"

At which point my level of frustration went past the boiling point.  I turned around and walked out the door.

So today, I went to a different Carl's Jr/Green Burrito.  Because I apparently have a fetish for punishment.

Smiling Counter Guy:  "To stay or to go?"

(NOTE - "To stay" is what they say instead of "For here" in the Intermountain West.  This is a universal rule.  If somebody in the Intermountain West says "For here" to you, you know they're one of them furreigners from the Midwest or worse.)

So I give him my order, which includes the language "Two crispy beef tacos".  I notice that as he enters the tacos, the price for two is WAY cheaper than the price of one on the menu board.

Me: "Did you ring one taco or two?"

Smiling Counter Guy: "Two.  You want the crispy tacos, not the beef tacos, right?"

Me: "What?"

Smiling Counter Guy: "Well, there's the cripsy tacos, which are two for a dollar, or the beef taco, which has beef, lettuce, cheese, and salsa."

Me: "What's in the crispy taco?"

Smiling Counter Guy: "Beef, lettuce, cheese, and salsa."

It's times like these that I'm really impressed at how well I've gotten at controlling my temper.

So I tell him to go with the "beef taco".  He does.  Order complete.

So the food comes.  I had also ordered a side of beans, which were delivered, but no spoon was included to eat them with.  So I go to the counter.

Me: "I need a spoon for my beans."

Smiling Counter Girl: "We don't have spoons."

Yes.  Seriously.  They fully intend for you to lick them out of the bowl.

Smiling Counter Girl, after noticing I'm coldly staring at her: "Sorry...would you like a fork?"

The sad part about this is the Green Burrito refried beans are my favorite thing on the entire Carl's Jr/Green Burrito menu.  They're soupy and wonderful.  I could go there and just order like a half dozen bowls and be happy.

I went online to see if the Carl's Jr website would have a better description of the "Crispy Taco".   They did...even including a picture (which the Carl's Jr menu board does not).  They are apparently clones of Jack in the Box tacos.  With the American cheese slice and everything.  

Apparently there's no soft shell beef taco anymore, so in Green Burrito speak, there's no point in specifying whether or not you want a crispy or soft taco.  I firmly believe the marketing genius at CKE who thought of this arrogantly believes anybody who doesn't catch onto this immediately is an idiot.  That's certainly how the counter help acts.

What makes me even angrier is that I now want to try the Jack in the Box clone tacos too.


Spent the morning taking pictures of the spring flowers at Temple Square and checking out the new City Creek Center, the new outdoor mall/lifestyle center that replaced two shopping malls...the ZCMI Center and Crossroads Plaza.  The highlight?  The new Harmon's, which is a grocery store.  But I'm really into grocery stores.  Also chatted with a friend who manages one of the City Creek stores.

Weather has just been beautiful the past couple of days.  Perfect for being outside.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lazy Town Update

Place: QuikTrip
Lunch: Chili dog, Pepsi

Lunch was SUPPOSED to be at Hardee's, who announced on their Facebook feed that the Grilled Cheese Bacon Thickburger (beef, cheese, cheese, cheese, bacon, mayo on buttered and toasted sourdough bread) was returning today.  Naturally, the local Hardee's didn't get the memo and weren't offering it.  I'm betting it'll be two weeks before they can be bothered.

Yet another example of the laziness that ensues around here.

Speaking of laziness, here's an update on the laziness I blogged about in early April.

Taco Bell - The new pre-fab Taco Bell that's taken months to build is FINALLY opening May 23rd.  I found a newspaper article written months ago where the franchisee claimed they'd be opening in early April, and that the old store would be closing "a few days before" to move some equipment over.  That store will have been closed about two weeks once the new one opens.

Whole Foods Market - Apparently July.  Was originally supposed to be "Spring".  The whole thing was already enclosed by the time last year's construction season ended.

Taco John's Broken Facade because Some Idiot Drove Their Car Into It - They're replacing the glass today...something like two months after the incident.  It's just glass and glass framing for crying out loud.

The next one that might be interesting to watch is the re-debut of Dunkin' Donuts into the market after a decades-long absence.  They're rehabbing an old Kum & Go (actually, I think it was originally a QuikTrip, then later became Kum & Go) that Kum & Go later replaced with a new location.  Franchisee is pegging September for the opening.

Uh huh.  I'll believe it when I see it.