Hey, GeekDame readers! We’ve got a Guest Post for you today – Andy’s giving us the low-down on supermarket chimichangas. Yeah. Prepare yourselves.
The favorite food of
Marvel’s Fox’s newest comic book super-“hero” to make the transition from funny books to the silver screen: Deadpool.
I was quite fond of Deadpool: The Motion Picture. It gave me tingles in all the right places, and seriously gave me a hankering from some good old-fashioned fried meals from America’s friendly southern neighbor.
Of course, getting a good chimichanga isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Well, I mean, I guess it is. You could go to a proper restaurant and get something that probably more than approximates the delicious meaty and cheesy snack that fuels Deadpool’s horrific yet fun murder-times.
But who wants to sit down and pay top dollar and actually have things like ambiance, good service and quality products?
I mean, what you get out of the freezer at the local Walmart has to be just as good. Right? Am I right?
Well, I set out to discover if I was right. On Monday, I purchased – for the exorbitant price of $.99 in United States Dollars (I’m sure Trump will cut that in half soon enough) – a seemingly delicious chimichanga from the frozen section at our local grocery store, Publix.
The brand, El Monterey, promised the complex and spicy tastes of Mexico in an affordable plastic package. Imagine my unfettered joy, looking over the package at this magnificently delicious meat – no, STEAK and cheese chimichanga. Rich cuts of clearly almost sirloin-quality steak. Monterey Jack and Mozzarella cheeses mixed lovingly into a crispy flour tortilla. Promises of Jalapeño, Chili peppers, and rich Mexican spices.
I mean, look at this thing! It’s incredible!
So, with this delicious-looking Mexican meal in my hands, $.99 spent wisely, I set out to take an adventure south of the border and consume an El Monterey Chimichanga.
Of course, I was not going to skimp on this Mexican delicacy. No way was I going to go for the Microwave-one-minute-and-thirty instructions. Oh hell no. After seeing the amazing steak and cheese delight on the package, I immediately declared that it was oven-only for me! Only the unwashed masses used the microwave. Such plebeians.
I was quite surprised, though, to learn the oven took a full forty minutes to turn out my soon-to-be delicious meal.
Oh well. I suppose Rome wasn’t built in a day. Twenty minutes on one side, then flip and another twenty. This was just another indicator of quality. I preheated the oven and got the party started.
Clearly, over the next forty minutes, I embraced the sounds and thoughts of glorious Mexico. Guantanamera blared from YouTube. Sombreros were worn. A hazy memory of a friendly donkey with a many-colored blanket, and perhaps a small and very, very speedy mouse. I gave a lecture on the significance of the Battle of Puebla to my Star Wars figures.
Finally, after a seeming eternity, the time was at hand. I pulled it from the oven, open wrapper still in place, and looked upon its works and despaired.
Aha! Clearly the chimichanga is done. It’s already ruptured a squirt of what are clearly its three cheeses onto the baking pan that I was instructed to use.
Now, I didn’t really see any other colors in the cheese, and I was slightly taken aback by the brown layer of grease that framed the cheese spooge. But, of course, once I poured this puppy out of its package onto a plate, it was going to make even the likes of Pancho Villa swoon. I imagine he’s here with me, at least in spirit. He’s joining me on his battle train the Cucaracha on a journey to victory for deliciousness!
Hmm. Well. This doesn’t look quite as appetizing as the picture. Small, very crisp and bleeding an unidentified goo from the bottom.
I poke at the goo with a fork. Not quite sure what it is. Seems to be swirling with yellows and browns. I suppose this is the “steak” I was promised, or at least its juices. Perhaps the tender cuts of USDA prime beef that linger inside are secreting their heated juices in such volume as to burst forth from its flour shell.
It’s time to cut into this puppy and embark on my tiny culinary vacation to the mysterious depths of Mexico.
I can say I was a bit taken aback after the first incision.
The chimichanga looks, well, like a low rent McDonald’s Apple Pie that somehow lost all its apple, and its pie. I see nothing that resembles steak, or peppers, or jalapeños. I suppose the yellow substance that is oozing forth is cheese. It smells a bit like cheese but it’s being protected from the environment and my olfactory senses by a coating of grease.
It’s time to eat. Since I’m apparently eating a real chimichanga, I am going to pair it with a glass of real Champagne. A meal fit for a King is only as good as its accompaniment, of course!
With my Champagne in hand, it’s time for the first bite. The smell of… well… it smells like something with meat. I can’t put a finger on it. It stings the nostrils. It’s Chimichanga Time!
I prepare for the first glorious taste. You can see the… I don’t know what it is, coming from the edge of the flour tortilla. It drips and giggles as I lift the Chimichanga. I wonder if it might have some arcane form of life in it. Still, I must soldier on. I take my first bite and…
It’s not quite what I expected from the promised gourmet meal on the package.
My first bite is, essentially, crunchy, chewy dough. It cracks and breaks on my teeth with a taste I can only describe as a pastry with no sugar, filling or real flavor whatsoever.
Well, I think, perhaps I have just sampled the edge. Clearly deliciousness lies within.
Second bite gives me something, I guess, that hints of bean, although there are no beans listed on the ingredient list. Cheese overwhelms my palate, but I can’t put a finger on what kind. Is it Monterey Jack? Is it Mozzarella? I was promised these, but I find nothing of them in a strange, greasy brown/yellow paste that is increasingly thick as I dig into my meal.
As I abandon the knife and fork and just start to eat the “chimichanga” out of hand, I wonder if the packaging had some false advertising.
I stare into the abyss of the chimichanga. It is almost mocking me. The interior resembles the incubation chamber of some non-euclidean horror about to birth a cruel bird-thing that will sup upon the souls of children.
I’m not sure where the steak is. I have seen no steak. I taste no steak.
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? Is there – is there steak in this chimichanga?
Quoth the Chimichanga, “Nevermore”.
I begin to wonder why I’m hearing the chimichanga speak.
My Mexican band has stopped playing. Earlier they played with such vigor, such exuberance. Now they now just look at me sternly, judgement in their eyes. I don’t think they approve.
My Star Wars figures have forgotten the Puebla lesson and will not be celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
My guest Pancho Villia has abandoned me to hit on an Austrian princess in the next room.
I’m alone with my chimichanga. I’m not sure what to do now. Ernest Hemingway, who is familiar with Spanish food, tells me “The only way out is through”.
Like Howard Carter, plumbing the depths of the mysteries of Egypt, I decide to dig further for the elusive steak…
I find it. My vision is as blurred as my camera. It’s a strange, stringy substance, dripping in sickly yellow grease, topped in what could only be described as cheese by a madman just come from years in seclusion in a 1750’s French Whorehouse.
Its tendrils undulate like a cosmic horror from the depths of the mind of Lovecraft.
I ask it “Do you dream? Do you Love?”
No answer. No hope.
All that is left for me is the act of consumption. Transubstantiation. The transformation from this strange form into steak is like water into wine, like wafer into flesh, like wine into blood. Or so I hope.
No. It tastes like beans, of which there are none. And processed old cheese. The pastry overwhelms everything.
Pastry. Endless as the void that has opened in my soul.
My Mexican band is now asking a Coyote for passage over the border. Later I learn they were shot by a rancher named Claude wearing a Trump 2016 T-shirt.
Pancho Villa swings from a rope, killed by the Carransistas.
I finish my lonely meal. My hope lost as I wolf down the last bites.
Is this a tear? I think. Perhaps yes. As empty and hopeless as my plate, covered in the remaining sickly yellow gore of my now finished meal.
I feel as if there is something off. This is not what I was promised.
I plumb the depths of my memory. Why? How? I was given such hope and delivered such despair.
Is this truly the best of all possible worlds?
This is not Deadpool. This is the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Deadpool. This is like Phantom Menace all over again. It’s like the new Ghostbusters trailer.
This is the end of hope. The end of dreams.
Hemingway tells me what I need to do. Tonight I will listen to “One is the Loneliest Number” by Three Dog Night. One round will be in the chamber of my .45. One spin. If this chimichanga is any indication, I’m coming up snake eyes.
CONCLUSION: A disappointing, if edible meal. The steak is stringy and limited to the center of the pastry. Overly doughy on the edges, underseasoned with the promised spices and woefully misadvertised on the packaging beyond the point of common puffery. Still, better than some supermarket fare and worth a try if you’re poor, starving to death or extremely high. We’re sure Deadpool sometimes ticks all three boxes.