“Bagel boy” surprises readers with a burrito twist

Student mixes up the palate with this week’s review of the “El Rey” burrito from The Porch


Rains Draper, Contributing Writer

Review: The Porch’s “El Rey” Burrito from the Upper Quad P.O.D.

Price: About $9

Rating: 7.25/10

Prep Time (microwave): 2 ½ minutes

We interrupt this program with a rare, non-bagel food review!

While some may believe that my diet consists entirely of bagels due to my so-called “bagel obsession” (thank you, editors!), I do occasionally venture out into the bleaker world of slightly less carb-laden food.

This week’s subject is the “El Rey’’ burrito from The Porch Kitchen and Cantina, a wonderful Tex-Mex establishment down the road from campus. As far as I can tell, this particular burrito is not available on their regular menu but is exclusively offered at the P.O.D.

For students without the convenience of cars, or those who are are wary of eating inside due to COVID-19 concerns, here is a treat for you.

Microwaveable food usually sits pretty low on the culinary totem pole for foodies like me. In my opinion, Trader Joe’s has the best lineup of microwavable foods, but they still don’t compare to the real deal. However, this burrito manages to make a convincing exception. It’s sold refrigerated (not frozen), which helps with both preparation time and taste, and it tastes fairly fresh right out of the microwave. For a little bit of context, the one I’ve reviewed here is the third one I’ve enjoyed devouring this semester, I doubt it will be the last.


There is distressingly little information available regarding what goes into this wonderful creation. Still, I’ve put my best detective skills to work in order to figure it out. Working from the outside, we have a flour tortilla, cheddar cheese, jasmine rice, ground beef, chorizo, corn, salsa, queso and various seasonings. Usually, the burrito comes with a side of chips and salsa, but I was unlucky this time around.

The Good:

-Quick and easy. If you want Tex-Mex and you’re just looking to take something back to your dorm room, it doesn’t get much easier than this.

-Incredible seasoning. thanks to its seasoning. This thing pushes flavor to the limit for a burrito that’s essentially just rice, beef, corn and cheddar cheese.

-All-around good flavor. That’s about all I have to say about that.

The Bad:

-It falls apart. If you’ve read my last two reviews, you know that I’m not a huge fan of food that falls apart. While this is a classic problem with burritos, it was absolutely insufferable this time. Maybe it had to do with the burrito not being completely fresh, but it underwent a lot of wear-and-tear throughout the refrigerating/microwaving process. In any case, I was forced to go full weirdo-mode and eat it with a knife and fork until I whittled it down to the point where I could safely pick it up.

-Somewhat stale chips. This is understandable, given that the meal has probably been sitting in the refrigerator for a few hours. However, it’s still a bit of a disappointment if you’re expecting the crunchiness of normal Porch chips.

-No chips included with the third one. I know, I know — I just complained about the chips’ staleness, but please note that I did eat them all to discern that last point. I like a side with my burrito, so missing that little crunch that the chips provide to offset the softer texture of the burrito was a huge letdown.

The Conclusion:

This is a delicious burrito. Based on the length of the sections above, you may assume that the bad outweighs the good, but I assure you, dear reader, that it does not. The cons do little but chip (pun intended) away at the flavor and convenience of this dining option, which is unexpected for a microwavable burrito sold a few miles down the road from its place of origin. I’ve given it a 7.25 out of 10, which could be bumped up to a 7.5 if the chips return.