It’s not strictly an ‘Oxford’ thing, in fact it’s a San Francisco thing, but nuzzled right next to a delightful vintage book and print shop on St Michael’s street stands Mission Burrito, where the queue of hungry customers spills out of the little red burrito bar at lunchtime just as the fillings of my burritos are often prone to spill out from their too small tortilla encasing.
It is a place of abundance, and after 5 visits to Mission Burrito during my time here, and 10 stamps down on my loyalty card (double stamps on Tuesdays!), my mission was finally complete and I had come to claim my reward. I don’t know what it is about a free burrito, but I felt like I had earned my little parcel of joy, complete with all the ‘extras’ like Mission Burrito’s signature slightly browning guacamole.
Bopping my head by the window seat to the Spanglish pop tunes that really create the ambiance of MB, I wondered at the potential of such a place, wasted on merely selling burritos, salads and tacos. Was there the possibility of making it a burrito bar by day, and a nightclub/bar by night? Under the heady influence of the dance tracks blaring out on the speakers, an image of the same place was transformed before my eyes; I envisioned tequila shots with wedges of lime on sombrero-shaped platters at every corner and a glowing pinata hanging above me. I imagine would have given PT a run for its money.
Dispelling my visions of unashamed cultural appropriation, I turned to my burrito with some distaste. It was hardly authentic, to either Mexico or Oxford, and the rice is a bit stale, the guacamole a just slightly too old, and the corn tortilla wrap a bit disappointing. But, all the same, I devoured it with much delight and with my new loyalty card in pocket, I knew I would be coming back soon on my next mission. With food of variable quality, quick service and low prices, it is the quintessential meal for the busy, hungry student.