I didn’t want to do it. I really didn’t, but you all pulled me back in. I tried to ignore it. I wanted to avoid it, foolishly thinking it would blow over in a few days and things would return to some semblance of normalcy. Well, it didn’t blow over and now here I am. Yes, I broke down and ordered the Burrito Sandwich. Before I get into that, I want to talk about how things got to this point.
A couple weekends ago—coincidentally, while I was on my way to partake in something else advertised on a nearby establishment’s exterior sign—I first saw it promoted outside of The Gyros Stand. “BURRITO SANDWICH” read the plastic tiles affixed to the Bay View restaurant’s towering sign facing out towards Oklahoma Avenue. The mind reeled. What could it be? I wasn’t the only person wondering.
— Rachel Seis (@rachelbernhard) August 17, 2023
A few days later, the dining critic for the city’s newspaper of record posted a picture of the Burrito Sandwich sign. Around that same time and in the week or so that followed, I saw other folks post their own Burrito Sandwich pictures—always of the sign, never the item itself—and speculate what this mysterious foodstuff (that’s apparently deserving of attention on an iconic Bay View sign) could possibly be.
Was it a sandwich with traditional burrito toppings pressed between two slices of bread? Maybe burrito ingredients on a sub bun or hoagie roll? Was it a tortilla stuffed with, like, club sandwich ingredients (and if it was that, how wouldn’t it just be “a wrap”)? My pals at Semolina volunteered a guess that it might be a torta, but just as quickly said they were “not willing to find out.” It seemed as if nobody wanted to find out for themselves…at least based on the recent wave of texts, DMs, social media tags, and in-person asks that made their way to me lately.
Big if true pic.twitter.com/Ufd3brEFLw
— Chris Luecke (@CWLuecke) August 17, 2023
A segment of Bay View’s population needed clarification about a food they thought could potentially be disgusting, so naturally they reached out to Milwaukee Food Bag from that website they read on the crapper at work. It was like they were throwing up the Bat Signal, except it was related to food. The Fat Signal, if you will.
I’m extremely busy. I’m trying to eat better when possible. Most importantly, I literally JUST DID a first person article about going to a Bay View-area restaurant and foolishly asking for the thing that was featured on their sign. Again, I didn’t want to do it, but the steady stream of asks and, more so, the curiosity gnawing at me finally caused me to cave in yesterday. Shortly after its 11 a.m. opening time, I drove to The Gyros Stand (which was still promoting the fabled Burrito Sandwich), parked in its empty lot, walked into the business, and acted like I was examining the menu even though I was actually just mustering the courage to ask the question Milwaukee as a whole was too afraid to ask.
“So, um, what’s the Burrito Sandwich?” I asked the employee, who seemed borderline surprised to have finally been asked this query. I felt time halt. The room was already silent, but it felt somehow even more quiet in that instant resting between question and answer. Eventually, the words floated through the humid 82-degree interior air within the 1991-looking restaurant and reached my eager ears.
“It’s just, like, a burrito with your choice of beef or chicken,” she said, likely unaware she had dashed countless dreams and felled fantasies of otherworldly food combinations for DOZENS of curious regional entertainment website viewers. On one hand, I was disappointed. On the other hand, I thought I could actually go for a burrito about then. So readers, I went the extra mile and ordered Burrito Sandwich for you, for myself, and for The Gyros Stand. About 10 minutes after paying $9.38 before tip for my Burrito Sandwich with beef, the cook broke the silence in the dining room by bellowing “Okay!” I took that to mean my order was ready. We exchanged thank yous and I took Burrito Sandwich back to my booth.
Damn! It was huge. The above photo might not do it justice, but Burrito Sandwich was massive. I’d say it was bigger than most Qdoba or Chipotle burritos, and for roughly the same price.
Here, maybe this is a better indication of what this beast was like.
While it took some consistent tucking of one side to keep the innards intact, I’m both pleased and proud to admit to you all that…BURRITO SANDWICH IS PRETTY GOOD! This veritable tortilla football contained an abundance of refried beans, fresh lettuce, raw chopped onion, diced tomatos, sour cream, and shredded mozzarella cheese. The kicker is the beef, which consisted of thick pieces of chopped skirt steak sauteed on a flattop with a liberal spread of decidedly Greek seasonings. It was reminiscent of the seasoning you’d find on gyro meat. Suffice to say I’d never had a burrito—or Burrito Sandwich—quite like that before, but dammit if it wasn’t a nice change of pace.
So yeah, that’s it. I was basically pressured into ordering something on a sign in my neighborhood and it turned out to just be a burrito (and a darn decent one at that!) that was called “Burrito Sandwich.” And while it’s probably not worth a full-ass article on its own, I hope what you’ve read here today helps inspire you to take that risk, follow your dreams, and throw caution to the wind sometimes. In short, just close your eyes and order the Burrito Sandwich. And even if you just get a burrito at the end of it, you could do a lot worse than that. Or I don’t know…something cooler and more poignant than that. Whatever.