If you head east on 34th off Slide, pass the beauty supply shop, beyond Bangkok’s metal palm trees and a baseball field, you will find El Ranchito Burrito. Look for a line of cars into 34th Street leading between strip malls and across from the Chinese message. It’s a green and red little sliver of a building squeezed in right next to an old lawnmower repair shop. It is worth it to turn in and navigate through the maze of ginormous potholes even though each one threatens to swallow your vehicle whole.
When you see the red and green letters, you’ve found this quaint hole in the wall. And that’s not a disparaging remark as I love holes in walls. I love all holes in all walls. In fact, if there’s a hole in any wall… I want to be served a burrito through it. You order on one side of the building, off a menu on the wall, then navigate through the Baghdad parking lot, careful for landmines, sink holes, and hidden portals to otherworldly dimensions. I always recommend ordering as close to the time you’ll arrive as possible. Sometimes it may even be worth it to order and wait for freshest results. There are several menus and promos on the walls around the building (possibly covering holes?). Inside is the same way — a rich tapestry of well-utilized space for conveying information. El Ranchito is maximizing every square inch well… No telling what they’re keeping in some of these potholes.
It generally takes 10-15 mins to get a burrito which is a pretty good thing if you’re looking for fresh and made-to-order. However, do not let the wonderful aromas of the breakfast burrito being through your window cause you to lose sight of the treacherous parking lot you will have to continue traversing to your final dining place. I repeat: do not let your guard down. You need to get your ass out of that parking lot before you dwell any longer on the scent of scrambled eggs and caramel, crisp tortilla. The last thing you need to be dealing with right now is getting a bead back on your tire rim. As I made my way back onto Slide street and away from the failing infrastructure of 34th street businesses whose property owners may have forgotten that they actually owned anything inside the loop for the last 20 years, I was reminded once again of the mission at hand.
I unwrapped a well-packaged burrito from a nice piece of aluminum, not crammed and crinkled into every wrinkle of its contents. I immediately notice it needs salt. So much food is under-seasoned these days, I’m not sure this is even worth mentioning. The burrito has the perfect amount of cheese, but is under-baconed slightly. Maybe they thought the saltiness of the cheese and bacon could carry it seasoning-wise, but this burrito is too heavy on potato and egg to not benefit from an extra shake from the umbrella girl in the yellow dress. The tortilla has the marks of a nice Malliard reaction on its insides from hitting the griddle, which adds a nice depth of flavor and texture. The hot sauce is bomb. It’s medium heat and garlicky. Overall this burrito is pretty one-dimensional. Egg is a little dry and overcooked which is normal for breakfast burritos, that’s why you gotta have the cheese. For some reason the bacon seems to have mostly settled at the bottom of the burrito as if the builder held the rolled tortilla in one hand and filled it from the top with the other, starting with bacon. The bacon is good and soft, but minced small into specks like a salad topping. The potato has been almost steamed, not like a crispy homestyle, cubed potato, but similar to a mashed potato. This is not necessarily a ding in the taste department, but it definitely presents as a texture problem.
Overall this Bacon, Egg, Cheese, and Potato burrito is good. However do not skip the salsa, it is an absolute requirement for the added flavor.
The best breakfast burrito at El Ranchito Burrito is the special with green Chile and sausage links. That one needs no salt, no sauce, and is really on point.