The only thing we know for certain in this world is that we like burritos.
The only thing we know for certain in this world is that we like burritos. (Andy Cross / The Denver Post)

It was difficult to write this. I started off with a brief history of the burrito, most of which I culled from a Wikipedia article (bad journalism, but good reading).

Then I pondered delving into some Descartian logic about the only thing I know for certain in this world is that I like burritos. It's true, but why launch into some pedantic, philosophical waxing about it? Just say it.

OK. Burritos are awesome. They are more portable than a sandwich, and without the burrito, there are no wraps, no hot pockets and no reason to continue living. In fact, the next time I see a matronly Hispanic woman walking down the street, I'm going to offer her a big hug and say, "Thank you."

In this particular fantasy, she will hug me and reply, "You're welcome, mijo," which every white guy should be called at least once in his life. I also enjoy being labeled a "pobrecito," which isn't the most flattering word. I don't know why. I'm weird.

Anyway, there are plenty of burritos to be had in Boulder County. You can hit up the unfortunately named Illegal Pete's at 1124 13th Street; Chipotle, 1650 28th St.; or QDOBA, 1625 28th St. for Mission-style burritos.

It's probably not cool to say this, but the beefy five-layer burrito at Taco Bell is good and a steal at $1.59. Fill up. It's OK. A little soylent green never hurt anyone.


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The Safeway grocery stores in Boulder offer bland yet arguably tasty breakfast burritos on Saturdays and Sunday for about three bucks. They actually use pretty high-quality meat in the ham variety. You have to get there pretty early, but there's a nice lady at the 28th Street and Iris location who will run to the back and grab you one should you arrive a little late.

I lived in Longmont before drifting into Boulder like a literary Henry Lee Lucas, and you should get out of Boulder occasionally to broaden your horizons. That's what college is all about, after all — experimentation.

Tortillas are the tabula rasa from which the greatest or most humble burrito may be born.
Tortillas are the tabula rasa from which the greatest or most humble burrito may be born. (Morguefile)

Las Palmeras, at 199 Main St. in Longmont, has a large offering of burritos, tacos and tortas, and a second location. Santiagos, 215 Main St., makes a decent and cheap breakfast burrito. They also have chicharrones, the crack cocaine of bacon. Try it. The chicharrones, not the crack.

Federal Boulevard, which will take you all the way to Denver, has about 5,000 Mexican restaurants lining it once you get south of U.S. 36. So if you are feeling adventurous, steal a Subaru and hit one up.

If you are living in a dorm, this might be kind of hard to pull off, but you can make your own burritos. Find a heavy pot — a dutch oven is great — and brown about a pound and a half of ground beef. Add some salt and garlic.

Chop up an onion and add that and simmer. Chop up a potato and add that. Buy a pint-sized carton of frozen New Mexico green chile, thaw it out and drain it and add it to the mix. Let the whole thing simmer about an hour, and roll it up in burrito-size tortillas with grated cheese. You're welcome.

John Bear: twitter.com/johnbearwithme