Vary by location
A Steamrolled Burrito Gathers No Flavor
By Dan Fishman
A special to Eat Vancouver
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
no stars (of four stars)
I went to Steamrollers’ Robson St. location on a hot, sunny Vancouver evening after an afternoon of shopping. Steamrollers claims to cook all their food using steam, which supposedly “prevents shrinkage, locks in moisture and nutrients and tastes great!” I had heard good things about Steamrollers in the past, and I was on the mood for a burrito, so I suggested to the Oakman that we check it out. He agreed.
When we first went in, I was a little surprised at the prices, but hoped that that just meant that the food would be good quality. Oakman ordered Super Deluxe Beef Burrito, and I ordered a Deluxe Chicken Burrito. We both had a can of coke, and it cost about $9 each. We actually got our orders pretty quickly, but I was quite surprised that all we got was the burrito, with no nacho chips or anything… seems a bit weak for the price. My disappointment only grew when I approached the hot sauce “station,” and found only one choice, a plain plastic bottle with a “hot sauce” label. I was hoping for more selection.
We sat outside, which was acceptable, except that they have a garage door opening with a bar inside, and it is right next to the outdoor tables, so that shoes (or in the case, sandals) from the people sitting inside are right at table height, and fully visible. Not the most appetizing set-up, but those were the only tables available.
The disappointment I felt with the cost and the lack of side was quickly forgotten once I bit into the burrito (or Steamroller as the restaurant calls it). Unless Steamroller is Spanish for “bland, boring, and revolting,” I think they need to come up with a new nickname for their burrito. The whole wheat tortilla was rubbery and cold. The rice, garlic yogurt sauce, and salsa had virtually no taste whatsoever, and worst of all, the pinto beans were stone cold. The chicken itself was so unremarkable that I don’t even remember it. In order to try to increase the flavor, I tried adding hot sauce. The hot sauce wasn’t especially good; in fact, I would say it was “fair” at best, but it was an improvement, so I ended up slathering it on in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to stimulate my taste buds. Oakman was no more impressed. In fact, I believe his exact words were that eating a steamroller was like “licking sweaty balls, but without the flavor.”
All in all, the only thing that I enjoyed about Steamrollers was the can of coke, and even there, you would think they could at least get fountain soda. Before you eat at Steamrollers, I suggest asking yourself the following question: “Will you die of starvation unless you eat at Steamrollers?” If the answer is no, then I suggest you rethink your plan, and consider eating somewhere—anywhere—else.
Rating: 1,347 thumbs down.
Dan Fishman is a Master’s student at the University of British Columbia studying Psychology. The Oakman may or may not be a figment of his imagination.