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Thunder Up meal time: WTLC reviews the California Burrito and its glorious french fried filling

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We introduce a new series today that analyzes some of the best foods we know about. First up? A California specialty! The California Burrito!

This California Burrito might be large enough for Steven Adams, but better order 2 just to be safe
This California Burrito might be large enough for Steven Adams, but better order 2 just to be safe
Adams photo via @OKCthunder, burrito photo via @thrillist

Since we are mired in the basketball dead zone, post Olympic basketball and pre-NBA training camp, we thought it would be fun to try a new experiment. WTLC is nothing if not a global community, where our writers hail from all over the planet. We come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing we all have to do is eat.

Inspired by the great Wall Street Journal article on Enes Kanter's observance of his Islamic faith's dietary regulations, known as halal, and subsequently how nearly the entire team became huge fans of halal food (Steven Adams - "Pretty much as soon as he came in, I just told him that I’m eating his food, so I told the guys to order double."), it is easy to see one of the significant ways in which the team was able to bond last season. Indeed, food is a bonding agent to nearly every culture. (And as an aside, why not turn "KD's" into a Turkish restaurant that features halal food?)

With this idea as inspiration, we're going to start a series, which may be ongoing as far as we know, where we highlight some of the food experiences we can find around the world, why it is important, and why we love it. Lastly, we want you to chime in to offer what you think and share some of your own culture through food. - Sherman


First of all, I just need to say that when J.A. recommended we write about food, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I like to consider myself a pretty passionate Thunder fan, but I'd be lying if I said I spent as many brain hours thinking about the team as I do thinking about food. I care so much about food that I basically made up a random segment for our Thunder podcast so that I had an excuse to ask a question about food. And don't even get me started on Nina Westbrook's Instagram. You mean I get to see what my favorite couple on earth is eating together?! Sign me up. Three times. I'd even pay for Instagram to see that.

What is your dish?

I live in Seattle now, and one of the inspirations for J.A. coming up with this idea was that he found out people in Seattle put cream cheese on their hot dogs. They do, and it's delicious. But that's not my dish.

My dish comes from my previous home of San Diego, where I lived for college and a couple of years after that. The dish that you absolutely have to get anytime you are in San Diego is the California Burrito.

You expect burritos from SoCal. So when I tell you that it is carne asada, cheese, sour cream, guacamole (sometimes), pico de gallo, etc. you shouldn't be all that surprised. But, what sets this particular one apart and makes it a California Burrito is the one, final, key ingredient: french fries.

When do you eat it?

When do you eat a burrito stuffed with carne asada and french fries? There are only 3 times when it makes sense:

  1. When it's late at night and you're drunk.
  2. When you're super hungover and need to soak up the previous night's debauchery (bonus points if you need to soak up a late-night California Burrito).
  3. When someone you loved just left you and you don't give a f--- about anything besides being a fat (i.e. when Kevin Durant puts out a dumb press release on the Players' Tribune).

And, OK, maybe just when you're super hungry because it's sooooo delicious.

Where can you find it?

In just about any taco shop with any integrity in San Diego. I've gotten lucky and found a place in Seattle that actually makes California burritos very well, but be careful of imposters. Some will use regular old potatoes and think that counts. It doesn't. french fries or bust, you posers.

With what do you pair it?

Always get one red and one green salsa, and alternate pouring some on for each bite. If I see you peeling apart the burrito to put the salsa inside, I'm going to pretend I don't know you.

What should you be listening to while you eat it?

"Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. I would say just any old random mariachi song that you typically hear at taco shops, but I like "Walk the Line" because you get those mariachi elements with the horns, but you're also walking the line between authentic Mexican food and that sweet touch that only Americans can provide. That is, taking something already great and making it even shittier for you so that you're so overwhelmingly full of joy/regret/wonder/french fries that you just want to take a nap and worry about the rest of the world another time.

Why is it so awesome?

Because it's french fries on a burrito!


Have you tried Hanneke's favorite burrito? What is your personal go-to tortilla-wrapped food? What's inside it, how do you eat it, and what do you love about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!