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Taqueria vending machine? Say hola to Burritobox

A Los Angeles gas station is home to a new kind of convenient fast food. Grab five varieties of burritos made with ingredients free from hormones or antibiotics at the "world's first burrito kiosk."

Until we get Star Trek food replicators and robotic Iron Chefs, foodies will have to settle for Burrito Box vending machines.
Until we get "Star Trek" food replicators and robotic Iron Chefs, foodies will have to settle for Burritobox vending machines. Burritobox

In Los Angeles, a city full of taquerias and Mexican restaurants, you'd think a vending machine selling burritos at a gas station would be met with eye rolls from foodies and the burrito bourgeois. However, Burritobox appears to be one of those novelties that even the most jaded hipster can't help but try. After all, Burritobox is on Instagram.

The self-proclaimed "world's first burrito kiosk" (located at Mobile Gas, 8380 Santa Monica Blvd.) sells five kinds of burritos: chorizo sausage with cage-free eggs and cheese; uncured bacon with egg and cheese; roasted potato with egg and cheese; free-range chicken with beans and rice; and shredded beef and cheese. Sour cream, hot sauce, and guacamole sell for extra cost. Burritos are $3 plus tax by credit card.

After ordering the burrito with the touch-screen menu, the machine plays a commercial or music video while it heats up your food at around a minute and 30 seconds.

While this may sound like a tasty twist on an old favorite, reviewers at the site LAist don't agree. The roasted-potato burrito "didn't smell like a burrito or anything savory should," while "the sausage didn't taste like sausage, and it certainly didn't taste like chorizo."

"The bacon flavor came on strong like cheap perfume," said the reviewer of the uncured bacon burrito. "And when I say 'bacon flavor,' I actually mean 'bacon bits' flavor." The free-range chicken burrito came off slightly more favorably: "The cracked black pepper was a nice touch, but generally the filling was bland and it had a sort of canned tomato paste flavor."

The only positive review was for the shredded beef and cheese burrito. "The other burritos claimed to have jalapenos in them, but this was the only one that had any sort of kick whatsoever." Overall the burritos were more miss than hits with the discerning LAist reviewers. "Sorry to say, if you're hoping to get some flavor in most of the burritos, you're probably going to want to spring for the Tabasco sauce," one wrote.

While these burritos apparently leave something to be desired, they might still satiate the quick cravings of gas station customers and curious foodies wiling to give Burritobox a chance. A second Burritobox is planned for a 76 gas station at 10389 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, according to the locations section of the Burritobox Web site.

And now that vending machines dispense everything from Mexican food to caviar, steaks, and bike parts, we can't help but wonder what they'll be spitting out next.

Here's the Burrito Box in the wild at 8380 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA.
Here's the Burritobox in the wild at 8380 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. Burritobox

(Via Los Angeles Times)