We live in a time where innovation happens so fast that it's easy to not even pay attention anymore. Our phones function as tiny computers that do almost anything we ask, cars are going to drive themselves pretty soon and 3-D printers are on the cusp of completely revolutionizing the world. Yet there's one invention that blows pretty much everything else away: Burritobox, billed as the world's first burrito vending machine.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the future. And it comes wrapped in a tortilla.
What is Burritobox? It's a Redbox-esque kiosk that prepares burritos in 60 seconds. The very first location happens to be inside of a gas station close to my house, so I went to check it out for lunch. I say this with utmost sincerity: I was blown away by how good it was. I was expecting a bland microwave burrito, but I got something else entirely. That's because their system uses a proprietary steam-cooking mechanism to churn out a product that's head and shoulders above the microwave alternative. That's totally by design, according to co-founder and CEO Denis Koci. “Anything frozen isn't going to taste good,” he says. “You can't get the quality we have from a frozen product.”
Here's how it works: You walk up to the machine and choose between five different options, all from all-natural burrito company EVOL Foods. Three options are breakfast burritos, the other two are grass-fed beef or chicken. You pick the one you want (I went for free-range chicken with beans and rice), select your sides (sour cream, Tabasco or guacamole), then pay with a credit or debit card. While you wait a minute for your burrito, the box plays a music video and then boom: your 'rito is ready.
It comes out piping hot, and thanks to the steam and the fact that the burrito isn't frozen, the tortilla is actually soft and pliable instead of the dried out version that usually comes from microwaving. The burrito itself is $3 plus tax and the sides range from $.50 for sour cream to $.75 for guacamole. Honestly, I didn't even think it needed the sides. The burrito was really flavorful and just a little spicy, exactly the way I like it. The only snag is that it can only cook one burrito at a time. If a bunch of people are hungry at the same time, that's going to be a hell of a line. That said, Koci claims there are future plans to handle multiple orders simultaneously.
If you don't happen to live in West Hollywood, don't worry: the company is aiming to roll out 25 more kiosks in the next three months, then they're hoping to go national. They're talking to universities, airports and anywhere else where people have a hankering for a burrito à la minute. Pretty soon, you'll be seeing orange boxes all over the country and then, who knows, maybe the world.
This is it, guys. This is the future. We don't need flying cars. We have push-button-burritos instead.
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