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Tacos, Bowls, Burritos, Quesadillas

I have been going to fast-food Mexican restaurants my whole life. From large chains like Chipotle to smaller independent restaurants like El Patio, I have explored the wide range of foods offered by typical Hispanic restaurants. Every time, I am puzzled by the options available to me: usually tacos, bowls, burritos, and quesadillas. They each are a combination of the same ingredients such as lettuce, cheese, rice, beans, and meat, but each item carries them in its unique way.

The most popular mode for me is tacos. They offer all kinds of proteins including chicken, carne asada, beans, shrimp, and fish. Paired with those are sauces and toppings from all parts of Mexican culture. They fill the taco to the brim and add a variety of textures and flavors to the corn or flour tortilla base. These tacos are a quick on-the-go meal; in between classes, I like to stop by the food trucks near the Silo and munch on my taco plate as I walk down the street. They do have shortcomings, however: the sheer content of meat and toppings packed into the tacos makes them increasingly difficult to eat and eventually they fall apart.

Bowls are definitely my second choice in choosing meals. They are perfect for short walks because of their compact nature. I have a fork in one hand, and a bowl in the other, perfectly content with my lunch. They tend to become mushy by the end, with the guacamole and beans slowly bleeding into each other until each part of the bowl has the same overlying taste. 

Lower on my list is burritos. I enjoy the idea of them: all your veggies and meat rolled into one little on-the-go meal, with each bite carrying a little bit of everything. And this is usually true at the start of each burrito as well, since I begin with a fully-wrapped roll that is compact and perfect to dig into at the end of the day. I get to stuff my face with all the delicious flavors as I put my faith into the tortilla holding it all together. Unfortunately, no tortilla has been strong enough thus far. Halfway through, my burrito will eventually absorb the moisture in the filling and begin to fall apart in my hands, leaking beans and meat all over my clothes. I have no choice but to consume it quickly and pray that no one notices the stain on my shirt.

Quesadillas are my biggest comfort food of all. They are the perfect combination of cheese and meat grilled between fresh, warm tortillas: one of the simplest meals I have ever had but also one of the most fulfilling. I admire their nature to be adaptable to any dietary restrictions because they offer pretty much any meat filling or vegetarian options possible. They are wonderful until they spend too much time in my backpack, where the cheese begins to congeal and eventually becomes too rubbery to enjoy. All the same, I always crave quesadillas and they are my go-to midnight snack.

Mexican fast food is one of my favorite things to eat when I go out. Each dish has such simple ingredients that are seasoned beautifully to create amazing entrees. Although there is such a wide variety of options, I think they are wonderful in their own way and I will never be able to pick a favorite. The tacos, bowls, burritos, and quesadillas will remain the one thing I crave after a long day, and I can safely say that every mode is sure to leave you wanting more as well.

Hi! My name is Anvi Kalucha and I am a freshman at UC Davis studying Data Science with a minor in Technology Management. I discovered my love for writing as an editor for my high school newspaper, where I was the Technology Manager and Sports Editor. In my free time, I love playing board games and hunting for new fried chicken places.