I’m usually quite mild-mannered. I’m not easily riled and I definitely don’t dash off many testy letters to the editor—heck, I even let that stupid “Bitch Hunt” (10/25/96) article slide by, precisely because it was so stupid. But I reached my limit with Young & Hungry’s latest column on that Wrap Works place.

Vesuvio’s closed to make room for this pretentious piece of crap? Excuse me while I go toss my refried frijoles. I am not anti-burrito. I like burritos; hell, with just the right green salsa I find them close to orgasmic, but when soulless corporate types start using them as yet another marketing ploy then something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. I am by no means a burrito historian but I’m pretty sure it got its start as a travel-friendly food for migrant workers, people who spent 10, 11, 12 hours a day working their culos off in the fields for close to no money and who figured out that they could adapt staples from back home—tortillas, beans, and rice—into lunch and dinner to go. Something tells me that mango salsa and toasted coconut did not make it on to their list of ingredients.

Sure, some would say Vesuvio’s had its problems—kinda dingy, the random cockroach or two, and the pizza was left under those heating lamp thingamabobs a little too long, but at least it had character. At least it knew it was a fast-food place and seemed OK with that.

Instead, now we’ve got overpriced, foo-foo burritos dressed up as “wraps” and trademarked by Pepsi. “Everyone eats them in California.” Well, hell, send the damn things back to California, or in this case, Arizona Bay, as Bill Hicks, the now dead but still right-on comic preferred to call it. I’m sure a hefty percentage of the folks out there who dig “wraps” also voted for Prop 187 and wouldn’t be too depressed if today’s migrant workers and their urban counterparts headed back to Mexico and left the burritos for us gringos to continue to massacre.

And what’s this business of mixing in other ethnic treats like kung pao chicken? Is this some feeble metaphorical attempt to say we all gotta learn to get along? The only way I can make any sense out of this Wrap Works nightmare is to think the Scientologists are somehow behind it. They do live right down the street. Come to think of it, they’re probably behind California Pizza Kitchen, too, with its cheerful, lobotomized wait staff. Whatever. If it is the L. Ron Hubbardites, I wish they’d all hurry up and get in touch with their thetans, vacate the planet, and leave the rest of us who just want to eat greasy pizza and normal burritos alone.

Dupont Circle