Friday, October 28, 2005

paper bag buffer

I often eat burritos from a Mexican-ish restaurant nearby called “Laughing Planet.” They have good food there, the quality of ingredients is excellent. They offer everything but beef or seafood burritos, mostly a choice of chicken, turkey, tofu or tempeh. They do a mix of cheeses and other stuff, both traditional Mexican additions, as well as non-traditional ones such as mashed potatoes, peanut sauce, and plantains. It’s quick, easy and affordable, so I probably either eat there or get something for take out at least once a week.

One annoying thing I find consistent in all of my experiences there, if I get something for take out, they are real reluctant to give you a paper bag, and really chintzy about giving out their containers of salsa. But if you eat there, you can slop on as much salsa as you can stand. If you’re getting take out, you have to ask for one, and they have two varieties, so if you want both, they charge you 50 rip-off cents. The paper bag thing is the most annoying, though. When your food is ready, they just hand you this hot aluminum foil wrapped burrito, which resembles a small, hot football. You have to ask them, “Can I have a bag, please?” and the underpaid disgruntled hipster working the counter sighs and rolls his eyes before casually finding a bag and putting the burrito in there. The paper bag is the buffer; if you are transporting that in a backpack or shoulder bag, you don’t want to risk any kind of leakage or smushing without that buffer.

Whenever possible, I ask for a napkin, too, just in case there is a breach the napkin can serve as extra absorption. Now that I think about it, there are no napkins around, you have to ask the servers for a napkin, and they only give out one. I totally make a mess, and definately need more than one napkin so I’m like “can I have another? can I have a few?” and after about 5 minutes of negotiating I have a handful and the servers are conferring and talking about my gluttonous napkin consumption.

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