Taco Tuesday: The Mysterious Spuderito

Share via

As any student of the antojito can assure you, a burrito is not a taco; not even close. A perfect taco will be made and eaten in one fluid motion, before the toasty flavor from the grill subsides into grease and salt. A burrito is basically last night’s leftovers wrapped into a tortilla, meant to be consumed at leisure.

And even if a burrito were a taco, a Spuderito probably wouldn’t make the grade. It is hard to come up with an authentic justification for what is more or less a flour tortilla wrapped around half an order of French fries, a spoonful of hot sauce and a handful of grated, orange cheese. Yet when the potatoes are crisp, the cheese melty, and the salsa hot, there is something irresistible about a Spuderito, which costs just $2.60 but fills a specifically Spuderito-size pocket in your soul.

If you grew up in Los Angeles, it tastes like the 1960s in a way — something that should have been on the menu of every taco stand and drive-in, although it almost certainly was not. As far as I know, the Spuderito was a creation of Rick’s Drive-In on Walnut in Pasadena, and it survives in unaltered form at Bobby’s Place, the successor to Rick’s, to this very day.

Bobby’s Place, 680 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, (626) 844-3510