On the second day of our 9 day road trip from Seattle to the Grand Canyon (and back) my family grabbed lunch at a Mexican restaurant in a rural town in central Nevada. We knew that pit stops and food options would be few and far between during this leg of the journey, but during my abbreviated research of restaurants along the way I came across a couple of interesting reviews for a place called Rolbertos Mexican Food. The reviews were interesting for a couple of reasons. Reason 1, there were a fair amount of reviews, and they were generally positive. Reason 2, several people mentioned a menu item that spoke directly to my soul. The HOT CHEETOS CARNE ASADA FRIES BURRITO.

You can’t make this stuff up. I had to reread it several times to make sure that I fully understood what they were offering. First off…Hot Cheetos. I’m okay with Hot Cheetos. They have a lot of cayenne or some other hot spice, but what people don’t realize is that they’re actually loaded with citric acid. So, they’re sour and spicy which are both profiles that almost force you to keep eating (hair of the dog). Speaking of which, “hair of the dog” refers to old cures for bite wounds like rabies. You’d need to take a hair from whatever bit you and place it in the wound. So, you’re using what hurt you to heal you. I can verify that chasing Hot Cheetos with more Hot Cheetos does not heal your Hot Cheeto consequences. It just delays the inevitable.

Alright, so Hot Cheetos, but also carne asada? Sure, why not? Who doesn’t like carne asada, and why shouldn’t you dump a bunch of Hot Cheetos into that burrito? But wait…it’s not just carne asada, it’s carne asada fries, which is it’s own food category. They’re seriously wrapping a plate of carne asada fries into a flour tortilla, but mixing in a bunch of Hot Cheetos to keep it interesting. The novelty of all this was more than I could resist and I committed to my lunch.

To the surprise of no one, this was awesome. Hot Cheetos were not a contradictory flavor profile to a carne asada burrito, and throwing french fries into a burrito is nothing new for anyone that’s been to Southern California. This wasn’t a gourmet meal by any means, but it was a starchy, spicy, and savory hand-held lunch vessel that got the job done. I thought that the carne asada could have been much better. I also thought the french fries could have been fresher and crispier, but when combined with a bit of fresh salsa I was very satisfied with my meal. The Hot Cheetos stained whatever they touched inside the burrito, but they didn’t overwhelm it. If anything, it could have used a bit more guacamole or substance from other ingredients, but it was cheesy, and savory, and a little spicy. Good stuff.

Funny story to cap off the blog post. A reporter from a locals news station (by my house, not by the restaurant) had been trying to get a hold of me all day but I kept missing them due to spotty cell phone reception. We were finally able to connect once we reached Ely, and I ended up doing an interview over Zoom to discuss a recent wave of pellet gun crow shootings in my neighborhood. It was a strange experience, but I ended up on the news back at home with my profound opinions about why people should not be killing crows in a residential neighborhood.